That's the claim, anyway, of one of the more successful US retailers.
OK, he doesn't mean it literally - although it's no less wacky than some ideas emanating from over there. No, what Jack Mitchell means is hugging in the sense of pleasing customers to such an extent that they come back for more.
Mitchell has developed his philosophy while running his family-owned clothing stores. The question is why his views, encapsulated in his recently published book Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way To Personalise Sales And Achieve Astounding Results, should attract glowing testimonials from the likes of Ralph Lauren and the chief executives of Gillette and Honeywell.
After all, this sort of business seems hardly pertinent to billion-pound companies serving thousands of customers.
But that would be to underestimate an approach that has become a byword for healthy margins and enviable customer loyalty. Mitchell fervently believes that providing over-the-top service can be applied to anything from aircraft engines to bean bags. And those personal touches will keep customers coming back, he asserts.
It's also based on an extensive use of technology, including customer relationship management and point-of-sale software. But, as he says in his book, systems only work if you have the right mindset. And that has to include everyone, from the tailors to the credit managers to the shipping clerks, not just the sales people.
According to a global survey from Accenture and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the tough economic circumstances are bringing into sharp focus the weaknesses many companies face in their sales operations.
The survey was conducted with senior management around the world and the results don't make for comfortable reading. More than half described their sales performance as either average, worse than normal or catastrophic.
And while there were a number of factors contributing to these results, in general, companies are blaming customers for spending less, demanding more or deferring their decisions to buy.
But the sales people themselves also come in for some stick. Almost 60% reckon their sales teams are stuck in the past, a similar number complain about poor metrics for sales performance, and 56% worry about incomplete or inaccurate customer data.
There are a number of organisational and technological changes these senior executives feel would help. Organisationally, they would like to see their sales people focusing on high-value customers, as well as better integration of marketing and sales. Technologically, the wish is for more, and more consistent, customer information.
The question is why these senior managers seem so helpless in the face of these deficiencies - almost as if they were disinterested observers rather than supposedly in charge.
Maybe they have let themselves get too far from the sharp end - unlike Mitchell, for whom customers, employees or technology aren't the problem but the solution. And he even remembers the names of his customers' dogs.
Now that's being customer centric.
This article was first published on Marketing