In recent years, technology and the internet seems to have taken over the world. However, we cannot underestimate the word-of-mouth as this has always been the most powerful free form of marketing around. Since we trust the word of our friends and family, we’re more than happy to try a restaurant (for example) they suggest. Of course, we also have word-of-mouth online now with social media and review websites such as Yelp but how you do use this knowledge wisely?
Considering referrals are the cheaper and (arguably) most effective form of advertisement, we have some tips you can use to make the most of this resource. With your customers having direct access to more people in your target market, it’s time to take advantage.
For customers to refer your new business to friends and family, they need to have a motivation and this could come from vouchers, gifts, or any other reward. As well as both parties benefiting from the referral, you’re saying ‘thank you’ to an existing customer while welcoming a new customer for the years ahead.
Often, we see businesses not knowing how to ask their customers for referrals when the easiest thing in the world would be to just ask them directly. As a restaurant, for example, you could ask whether the customer has anyone who would enjoy the food. As an IT solutions company helping businesses, you could ask whether they have a sister company or any other business who could benefit from the service.
If you have a range of services and your existing customers only uses one portion of your offering, make sure they’re aware of the whole range. This way, they’ll keep people in mind who could use the services even if they can’t themselves.
Do you send regular emails to your existing customers? If so, there’s nothing wrong with utilizing this opportunity and adding a line about referrals at the bottom. Whether it’s ‘referrals appreciated’ or ‘referrals rewarded’, you should see a reaction so long as the line is clearly shown rather than being hidden. With this line alone, they’re likely to think of their friends and family to see whether you could help them.
In the past, we’ve seen businesses adding paragraphs regarding referrals but we don’t think this is necessary. The longer the message, the less likely people are to read it because it’s not a part of the main email. With a short and sweet two-worded message, your existing customers keep it in mind for the future.
In case you didn't notice, there are new businesses all around the world (and just around the corner!) in the exact same position as you. Why not get in contact with them and create a referral system? Of course, we aren't talking about your competitors because you’re looking for the same customers. Instead, we recommend a complementary service.
For example, a car mechanic who specializes in everything performance-related such as engine, brakes, exhaust, and more. If they were to start networking with a bodywork expert, the two could refer work whenever the opportunity arises. Similarly, a hairdresser might have a relationship with a nail bar where work can be referred. For the customer, your two services might actually become more attractive as a package than alone, so the networking could be a great move.
Even after these superb referral tips, you could conduct surveys of how people found your business, ask followers to share your valuable content, and run competitions on social media with the hopes your customers will inform their friends, family, and colleagues.
As you can see, there are several ways to use referrals. Use these tips to start creating more referrals for your business today!