Your business is constantly trying to be noticed and heard in an increasingly competitive marketplace. With all the noise going around, it can be tough for new customers find you. Many of us end up offering ridiculous discounts just to get new customers in the doors. However, the problem with that is that far too many people are simply shopping for deals, and they’ll leave you the instant the have to pay full price.
What you really want is to find more people just like your favorite current customers. And the best way to do that is through effective referrals.
Benefits of an Effective Referral Program
- You get valuable, loyal new customers. Studies have shown that customers who come to a new business because of a strong referral are more likely to stick around.
- New customers already know just what to expect from your business, since they came in informed, referred by someone who knows them and what they like.
- You spend your effort and dollars more effectively, since you’re capitalizing on an existing relationship network (that between you and your current customers, and that between customers and their contacts) rather than building an entirely new one from scratch.
How to Get Better Referrals
- Invite: Sometimes it’s as simple as asking! Satisfied customers don’t always think to leave a review, like you on social media, or talk about you with their friends. However, if you have a good relationship with them, it’s something that they’ll be happy to do in order to support a business that they love. That’s why our service reaches out to customers to get reviews from happy people who wouldn’t have thought of it otherwise.
- Keep customers informed: The best referral program is a standing offer that everyone knows about. Referrals usually come organically, through an unexpected conversation. So when that moment comes up, it’s great for your customers to suddenly remember those incentives that make it even more worthwhile for them to share a recommendation. Those incentives don’t have to be extravagant. After all, there’s an advantage in and of itself in being the person who points a friend to a great service. However, incentives can help people to really follow through and provide the information needed to bring a referral customer to you.
- Make it a gift: While happy customers are happy to help you out, it might be time to consider a shift in the way you think of referral initiative programs. Instead of framing it so that customers are bribed to do a favor for you, wrap up the initiative as a gift that they can give to someone else. That way, they feel excited to give something to friends, instead of feeling like they might be imposing. Make sure that there are no string attached to the free gift; your services should speak for themselves. Make it easy for customers to deliver the gift, and put in the work yourself so that the referral process is smooth and leaves you with two happy customers where once there was one.