After 27 years in business, Lovebirds Café and Bakery owner John Jomehri understands how to make customers happy. His family-owned business www.lovebirdscafe.com has grown from a small Alhambra sandwich café to five locations, including two in Pasadena. They offer an extensive breakfast menu featuring an assortment of french pastries and bakery goods in addition to a mouth-watering lunch menu. But there's more to Lovebirds success than delicious food which keeps customers coming back.
"We are consumer driven. We have never had advertisements before and relied on word of mouth. This has been our style for the past 27 years," says Jomehri. He mentions that the cover of their menu says it best: Because of our customers, we exist.
Customers will recognize businesses that cater to their needs which generates enthusiasm towards their products or services. Often they become walking testimonials with positive experiences and help share their story with others without even recognizing it. Word of mouth is a powerful way to demonstrate the customer connection but must be integrated with all service levels to be effective.
Jomehri explains his viewpoint saying, "We are very versatile. If a customer wants an item that is not on our menu, we will satisfy their needs. For example, we make salt free bread for customers or sugar free products with very minimum orders. We also deliver with no minimum and a little delivery fee." He emphasizes how they pretty much bend over backwards.
They recognize how important customer satisfaction is and accommodate willingly, which is slowly becoming a disappearing service with many companies of any size.
There are hundreds of choices that customers have with other restaurants, yet Lovebirds manages to stay ahead of the competition. "We have core principles of QSCV: Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value. We never lose sight of that and we always recall our modest beginning in Alhambra in a 900 square foot space 27 years ago," says Jomehri.
His advice for small business owners seeking loyal customers, "Treat the customer well and remember that they are your lively hood. Be good to your employees since they are your extension. Make sure that once a customer leaves, he or she would say: I can't wait to come back."
[Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence is a marketing communications consultant, professional trainer, speaker and columnist. She is President of Financial Planning Association (FPA) San Gabriel Valley chapter. Her company website is www.advisorbusinesssolutions.com.]