I’m a hugger. I always ask permission first, but I believe hugging is good for business and good for connecting on a more human level. Hugging causes serotonin to be released and makes us feel happier. It makes us feel more connected to the world. It increases our self-worth. It can act as a stress buffer. Hugging even improves our immune systems.

Even if you do not physically hug, in the book Hug Your Customers, by Jack Mitchell, hugging implies passion and expresses our willingness to go the extra mile.

Mitchell says:

“In the simplest sense, a hug is anything that exceeds a customer’s expectations. It can be as commonplace as a smile or eye contact. It can be a firm handshake. It can be calling when you say you will. It can be remembering a customer’s name even though it’s only the second time you’ve seen him and the first time was two years ago. It can be asking about the customer’s children and knowing their names and ages even though there are five of them. One of the best hugs of all is a letter of thanks. It is a big hug if it’s handwritten and a very big hug if you write an additional hand-written note on the side of a typed letter. It’s true that in some instances we physically hug our customers, but we mainly metaphorically hug them by showering them with attention in a way that every business ought to but doesn’t.”

In April, Australians have “Hug an Australian Day.” I think every day should be “Hug Your Customer” day, whether we physically hug them or take Jack Mitchell’s advice and show them hugs in other ways. A hug is a symbol of caring.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” – Virginia Satir