1-800-Radiator has done a marvelous job of keeping their customers loyal. They do it a couple of different ways. But one way that has made many of their clients feel extra special is every shipment of radiators sent out includes a small package of candy. It makes their customers feel great. Now I’ve read the book that explains why it’s so valuable to “hug” your customers.
As a business owner, CEO or marketing professional, there are five audiences that you want to influence:
1. Current and past clients
2. Potential clients3. The Press
4. Tastemakers, influencers, connectors
5. The people in your company.
When people think about PR, they think about getting stories in the press. And it’s always exciting to talk to the tastemakers and influencers. Marketing people get excited about spending lots of money advertising to prospects. However, as Jack Mitchell explains brilliantly in his book “Hug Your Customers,” the two groups that pay off the best are clients (both current and past) and the employees in your company.
Mitchell runs two of the most successful clothing stores in the suburbs of New York City. He describes clearly, and in loving detail, how his company has grown significantly over the years by concentrating on clients and employees. The first third of the book is example after example of how taking care of (“hugging”) his customers leads to additional business. The second third of the book is how to put those same principles in place on the other incredibly effective group, his employees. He shows how to efficiently inspire them to bring in and close business. The final third of the book is an extra bonus for any business-owner reading this–he gives a number of very well thought-out ideas on how he and his family have run their business (now entering the third generation).
The important thing for a marketing guy like me to be reminded of (and this book does an excellent job of reminding me) is that the most effective first marketing time and dollars that you spend should be on your clients and on your staff. Without those groups energized, the rest of your marketing money can be wasted.
My thanks to Lisa Locke (www.lockeandkey.com) who gave me this book to read. It’s a quick read, and well worth the time to read it.