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How Cracker Barrel Keeps Them Coming Back: Audio Books

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A business writer for the New York Times asks his mom —a small business owner of many years—about how to get customers to keep coming back. She brings up Cracker Barrel, the popular comfort-food restaurant chain that dots highways all along the south. Each location features a general store that offers a unique feature to its customers:

They have a “Books on Audio” program that lets customers buy an audio book at full price at one location and then, when they finish, drop it off at the next Cracker Barrel down the road. There the cost of the audio book is refunded, less a rental fee for the amount of time the book has been out. Guess what I noticed as I watched people drop off their audio books? They checked out another book, and shopped till they dropped while they waited for a table.
The author explains that a key ingredient to getting customers to return is creating a sense of "I love it here. I want to be here. I belong here.”
· How Do You Keep Them Coming Back? [NYT]

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