You can always choose to embrace customer retention in a dramatic way. While good customer-focused businesses make a customer really want to return, the great ones figure out how to make that return visit a status symbol.

Scottsdale Gun Club invested heavily in this concept by developing a Titanium Membership Plan. For a $5,000 initiation and $200 per month membership fee, Titanium members enjoy a wide range of benefits, including free range time, a private eight-lane range, locker rooms and showers, complimentary gun storage lockers, free training classes, free private lessons, complimentary quick gun cleanings, and free machine gun rentals on the member’s birthday.

The Titanium lounge makes those premium airport clubs look like a Waffle House. Wood-paneled walls, chess sets, oil paintings and billiards tables fill the space. You could easily imagine Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill relaxing and swapping big-game hunting stories there.

There are a number of benefits to SGC’s approach. Clearly the club member will make this store and range his or her first shooting destination while paying premium prices for premium privileges. Also, more likely than not, they’ll spend more time in the store and tend to buy ammo, accessories and new guns there.

But most importantly, by making the experience a status symbol, Scottsdale Gun Club gets new clients every time a premier member visits the range. When you’re in an exclusive club, you want to bring friends. The private range is a great experience, and admit it, who doesn’t want to show off their club membership just a little bit? Those guests are potential future club members, so the cycle renews. It’s a brilliant customer retention plan.

If you don’t have the square footage and investment capital of a Scottsdale Gun Club, you can still create a premium customer experience.

For frequent customers, why not offer an invitation-only membership with benefits like automatic price matching on new guns? Perhaps in these times of scarce ammunition supplies, develop a premium customer mailing list with advance notice on new product arrivals?

If you want to mimic the SGC Titanium experience, allow your premium customers to share benefits with a guest periodically, thereby encouraging them to bring a friend.

The important part is to make the recognition visible. Make membership cards or certificates and present them in person. Their goal is to make your most valuable customers feel exactly that — valuable.