Hug Your Customers

“We shower our customers with attention. There’s no doubt in my mind that our philosophy can be applied to selling just about anything- from aircraft engines to beanbags.” ~Jack Mitchell

Flo Hajek from Northern Michigan Hallmark (aka The Book Queen) gifted me with this book at least a year ago, and I have flipped back through it looking for a particular piece of advice several times since my original read many months ago. Flo and her husband Steve are outstanding retailers in Northern Michigan who truly believe in training their staff to give STELLAR customer service.  Their daughter, Jaime has joined their leadership team and you can see the evidence they have instilled in her to strive for excellence in caring for their customers.

The author of “Hug Your Customers,” Jack Mitchell runs Mitchells/Richards, a profitable high-end clothing business in Connecticut that was founded in 1958. Today they do over $65 million in sales. They know how to take care (HUG) of their customers. This book talks about going way above and beyond the normal expectation for customer service in any business, however, you do not need to be a high level multi-million dollar enterprise to learn from the examples in his book. He gives down to earth, daily practices that you can instill in your team that will make a difference in the business you do today!

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss

“He’s just an imperfect human being doing the best he can. Just like you.” ~Karin Hurt

I ordered a copy of this little book after coming across it on a google search for books that lead to being a better boss.  Its name caught my attention because like most every boss, I am imperfect in many ways, and thought I could get some pointers in how I can relate to my staff better.  I don’t think anyone sets out to be an imperfect, demanding, cold-hearted or unprofessional boss (Remember the movie 9 to 5?), but there are times when we could all use a little (or a lot) of coaching in this area.

Karen presents her book in a small workbook form with a paragraph or two about a “situation” between a boss and a staff member. She then follows it up with “Advice” for each situation.  Remember, this book is written to someone trying to deal with an imperfect boss; however, I believe that as leaders of our group, it helps to see ourselves through the eyes of our staff members. I found it to be very practical and enlightening.  Some stories are funny and some are very serious.