It is no secret that customer referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are highly effective tools for bringing in new customers and strengthening relationships with existing customers. Despite its immense power and essentially free (or at least very little cost), few service business owners use it nearly to its full potential.
Consider this: if you got one referral from every customer over the next 60 days, you’d double your customer base! What would that mean to your potential income, and how many more people would you be able to help?
In our previous posts related to customer interactions, we talked about Customer Experience Tips and Customer Value, as well as why It’s Important to Monitor Customer Service. This article will continue and discuss the importance of customer referrals.
What are the best ways to maximize word-of-mouth? You can start right now by following these 5 steps.
1. Ensure that you consistently show your appreciation to your customers
In creating endless referrals, this is the most critical component that is overlooked. Profits are more important to many businesses than people. When you focus on profits alone, you may not be successful, as ‘Word of Mouth’ success comes from enriching your customers’ lives beyond profits.
Take time to show your gratitude to your customers regularly. Provide them with something of value, something unexpected, a discount, or a helpful tip. Don’t forget to do it regularly and make it relevant to them.
2. Make each interaction with you or your business exceptional
The more amazing your customers experience with you, the more likely they will tell others about you. Experiences are important to people.
For instance, an appliance repair company has a special arrangement with a local appliance store. Every six weeks, he visits the appliance retailer to teach customers how to maintain different appliances. As a thank you for coming to the mini-seminar, the owner of the appliance repair company gives every participant a card and a voucher, which is a discounted service call voucher with an expiration date. The voucher is a discounted service call voucher. They are therefore encouraged to make an appointment before the voucher expires. Due to the fact that the retailer owner is exposed to new potential customers, the partnership is a win-win for everyone involved. You can make dealing with your business that much more exceptional with just a little extra touch!
Is there anything you can do right now to make your experience exceptional? Using the above example or something similar, you can network with other professionals while simultaneously providing amazing value for your customers. Don’t wait any longer to start creating exceptional experiences.
3. Customer Referral incentives will encourage your customers to refer you
You could be sitting on a goldmine if you’re passive about referrals. Create ways to reward customers for referring business to you. It could be free gifts, like a gift card for a nice dinner or financial rewards (like a Visa gift card). Whatever you choose, make sure that anything you offer will be something that your customer will appreciate!
Your customers should be rewarded for referring people to you. Offer your customers rewards that they will appreciate. It might be very motivating for a customer who frequently enjoys shopping to receive a gift card from Amazon. Don’t forget that money is always a great motivator if you’re stuck for a gift idea!
4. Ensure that customers can refer you easily
Getting customer referrals is about making it easy for your customers to tell their friends about you. It’s not expected that they will go above and beyond to assist you in growing your business. Simplicity is key.
Educate your customers about the referral packages that you offer. You want to work with people similar to your customers, so ask them to be ambassadors for your business. Referral cards/invitations/links that your customers can easily share with others and post to their social media accounts would be included in the package, along with a professionally created document explaining why referrals are important to you. Put your best foot forward to potential customers by always presenting everything very professionally to increase the perceived value of your offer/services.
5. It is important to ask for customer referrals at the right time
Asking for referrals at the right time is important. Every time! When you follow the steps above…you’ve demonstrated your appreciation to customers, consistently provided them with an exceptional experience, created a compelling incentive for them to spread the word about your message, and made it easy for them to do so. After this point, you should be able to ask your customers for referrals and receive excellent results from such inquiries. They just might have a family member currently in need of your services.
Taking action now is the key. Send your customers an email today telling them how much you value them and how much you enjoyed working with them in the past, and include something that will add value to their lives. Once you have developed your ‘referral package’, start using it over the next four to six weeks. Don’t be afraid to take action and get out of your comfort zone… It will benefit your business and new referral customers.
Referring is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to small businesses. By following these five simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your referrals.
As a result, you’ll get more customers than ever.