It’s no secret that referred customers make better customers. They cost less to acquire because they are already pre-sold on your services. They are less price resistant because someone they trust referred them. They tend to be more understanding and easy to please. And since they were referred to you, they are more likely to refer others. If you want to get more small business referrals from customers, here are some key strategies for designing your own referral marketing system.
Educate Customers About your Services
Your customers aren’t as intimately familiar with your business as you are. They don’t realize all the add-ons and special treatment you provide over your competition, so whenever you go above-and-beyond for a customer, make sure they understand that most service providers won’t do what you do. Always stress the benefits of working with you to manage your customers’ expectations and demonstrate your superior customer service. Disappointed customers don’t refer business but happy customers will continue to sing your praises.
Tell Your Customers Who Your Ideal Prospect Is
Put together a one-page guide explaining who your ideal prospects are, the best ways they can refer business to you, and what you’ll do when they give you a referral, such as how you’ll contact the person, what you’ll say, and how you’ll follow up. By outlining your referral process, you reassure your customers that you won’t hound or annoy the people they refer, and you can give them the opportunity to be involved if they choose.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Whenever a customer tells you what a wonderful job you did for them, thank them and ask for a referral. Ask when you first start working together. Ask after successful presentations. Ask after celebratory moments. Look for opportunities where your customers are particularly happy with your services, then don’t be afraid to ask.
Reward your Referral Sources
Finally, keep your referral sources informed on those referrals they give you, such as whether they became a customer. You might also consider rewarding your referral sources to provide additional incentives to refer you more business, or feature your best referral sources in your monthly newsletter. Try holding a contest, with each new referral being an entry. You can also partner with local service providers to offer special services to customers.