5 Tips For Improving Your Business

Jack Mitchell is a motivational speaker, a second-generation owner of a family clothing business, Mitchells Family of Stores, and the author of Hug Your Customers—a NY Times best seller that details philosophies that may be implemented in settings well beyond retail businesses. Here are our key takeaways from Hug Your Customers:

  1. Know Your Customers
    The key to any business is its customers. Do you know your customers as well as your product? Who are your top customers? What traits do they have in common? How can you attract similar customers?
  2. Know What Customers Care About
    Businesses often fall into the trap of offering products and services that they believe have value, but do not align with the wants of their customers. Communicate with your customers and learn what they actually care about. Don’t be afraid to offer services that stray from the “standard” industry services.
  3. Build Relationships, Not Transactions
    While a good product and good price are important, it is often the people that sell the product. Building relationships with customers may lead to years of future business, free word of mouth marketing, and customers that are more forgiving and less price sensitive. Small gestures, such as thank you notes and birthday cards, can go a long way to furthering these relationships.
  4. Hug Your Employees
    Employees are a vital part of most businesses. Jack Mitchell emphasizes the importance of creating a positive work environment, to limit turnover and retain top employees. This will lead to a better customer experience and fewer resources devoted to hiring and training new employees. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of making customer interaction a part of every job role. This gives employees a better understanding of the product they are delivering, and a greater sense of purpose within their roles.
  5. Focus on Spending that Directly Touches Customers
    During an economic downturn, the Mitchells took a closer look at their expenses, and found that a number of them were unnecessary. They created a formula which places an importance on spending that directly touches their customers. Using these principles, they cut many of those unnecessary expenses and are now better able to weather tough economic times.

Bonus Tip: The CEO Effect—The Mitchells found that when they dressed the CEOs of other companies, soon the employees within those companies became customers. Influencers can play an important role in most businesses. Work to identify who these people are and how you can earn their business.

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