In the land of retail, return customers are coveted. Not only because they are willing to spend their money with you over and over, but also because they might tell their friends and neighbors about you.

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In the land of retail, return customers are coveted. Not only because they are willing to spend their money with you over and over, but also because they might tell their friends and neighbors about you.

Last time I spoke about Trader Joe’s and bringing in the “out of towners,” but once you they’re in your business, what’s the next step?

“Shockingly, it is not absolutely necessary to keep every client happy every time.”

You’ve effectively “wowed” an out of towner.

They’re fascinated by your business and want to frequent it. My main point of reference, aside from Trader Joe’s, is my family’s small business. Open for over 40 years, Emily’s Deli is the epitome of the return business model.

To remain open 40 plus years, return business isn’t an option it’s a necessity. It’s no surprise I would look to a small family owned and operated business as an example. It is that mentality that brings customers back. Customers, clients, and really anyone else want to be treated like family.

I’m not revealing a huge secret here. When we deal with our clients, the fundamentals of a small family business should be considered.

Why are people visiting Emily’s Deli 40 years later? Because they’ve continued to do their own thing while keeping their customers happy. Shockingly, it is not absolutely necessary to keep every client happy every time. It’s impossible really (just watch an episode of Mad Men).  However, even if they’re not totally happy, results must be consistent.

In the case of Emily’s, a meat pie has been a meat pie for 40 plus years. The triangular bread pocket filled with ground lamb, onions, lemon juice, pine nuts, and spices has maintained an almost identical recipe since the day the deli opened.  Results for a deli are immediate. One bite and there’s either satisfaction or disappointment. When most of your customers are satisfied, they come back and eventually they bring their friends, relatives, kids, coworkers, and acquaintances.

In the land of digital strategies, the first “bite,” which is actually a look, is infinitely important.

Many times it is that first look that reels the clients in and they never look back. Long term relationships can be built on that first look just as they are built on that first bite of meat pie. Once that first look has impressed, bring those clients back with the attention to detail and hard work that define family owned businesses. Always remain true to your focus as a company, consistency is as important as anything else.

Consistency can breed comfort, which keeps the customers returning for generations to come.

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