Imagine a world where every single customer your business has brings another customer, or even two… heck, why not fifty?
What a business utopia, huh?
Of course, things look different in reality. It is not that easy to obtain customer referrals.
But are companies really trying to get referrals? According to a study, only 30% of B2B companies have a referral program.
Yet the facts are there: people are four times more likely to make a purchase after a referral from a friend.
So, it only makes sense to invest into referrals, but the question is: how to get referrals?
Join us as we unravel the answer to that and other questions.
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How Does Referral Marketing Work?
Before we dig deeper into the best ways to get referrals, let us define how referral marketing actually works.
It is not rocket science, in fact, it is quite easy to understand.
Here’s the deal.
First, you need to identify your most key/influential individuals. They could be existing companies, other businesses, contacts, etc. Then, you want to develop those relationships, and keep appealing to them constantly.
Finally, when you feel the time is right, you can ask those connections to refer customers to your business.
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How to Get Referrals: 10 Proven Methods
- Create a Referral Program
- Go Above and Beyond for Customers
- Keep Your Clients Engaged
- Encourage Sharing
- Offer Extra Incentives
- Provide Great Value
- Listen to Feedback
- Use Multiple Channels
- Improve Your Customer Service
- Give Referrals
1. Create a Referral Program
The logical first step to your client referral process is to formally set up a referral program.
Of course, such a program is meant not only for your customers, but also for other companies. The idea is to develop partnerships with other organizations, and mutually exchange (refer) clients.
Naturally, make sure to only work with businesses that you can undoubtedly recommend to your best clients, otherwise you could risk damaging your reputation.
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2. Go Above and Beyond for Customers
A certain way to ensure that your customers are happy is to do everything possible to please them. As you might know, a happy customer is one that will be willing to recommend you to their friends.
So, treat each customer with the utmost respect, and always try to create a special, and very memorable experience for them.
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3. Keep Your Clients Engaged
If you want to keep your brand present in the minds of your customers, you must do everything possible to keep them engaged for as long as possible.
A few great ways to achieve that is to:
- Follow-up on sales and nurture long-term relationships with your clients.
- Provide additional offers, informational content, and helpful resources.
- Create a community, and share common interests, values, and goals.
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4. Encourage Sharing
Are you wondering how to get free referrals? Well, why don’t you encourage current customers to share your content?
Getting someone to share their experiences with your company means that others will have a reason to talk about you.
Even though they say that there is no such thing as bad publicity, there is. You don’t want people talking about you in a negative context, especially not when you are trying to get referrals to your business.
5. Offer Extra Incentives
A tactic that will always encourage your customers to tell their friends about your business is offering them something extra for their efforts.
It could be an extra month of subscription, a discount for future purchases, or even good old cash. Whatever it is, if it has real value, it will encourage your clients to talk good about your company, and share their experiences with others.
Of course, it is well worth it for your business, too, since gaining additional customers will far outweigh anything you decide to offer as an extra incentive.
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6. Provide Great Value
“What a great company! They only gave me what I asked for!”, said no customer ever. However, imagine how it would sound, if instead they were to say: ““What a great company! They gave me what I asked for, and so much more than that!”
As you can see the latter sentence would much more likely catch the interest of others, and encourage them to at least take a look at your company website and see what products/services you offer.
In practical terms, here is how you can provide great, additional value to your potential customers:
- High-quality blog posts
- Free tools
- Seminars and webinars
You want to create something special for your customers to share with potential referrals. Something that will truly highlight your greatness as a company.
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7. Listen to Feedback
Customer referrals are not just about you. Quite the opposite, it is important to keep an open mind, and always listen to the feedback that your clients have given you.
Be proactive in reacting to constructive feedback, and do not just ignore the negative ones. Once users – current and potential customers – see that you are taking action based on their opinion, they will know that you truly care about what they think and will most likely start trusting your business more.
Said increase in trust could lead to a higher chance of them recommending you to others.
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8. Use Multiple Channels
The biggest chance you have to refer as many customers as possible is to be omnipresent, or at least try to be.
After all, if you are only using a single channel to reach your customers, your chances of getting new and referred customers will be lowered.
It is much better to strategically post content across multiple channels, so that you increase the possibility of reaching qualified prospects, even if that means repurposing your content.
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9. Improve Your Customer Service
Another proven tactic of getting more client referrals is simple: deliver an outstanding customer service experience.
You have probably been in a situation where reaching out to a company’s customer service can either be an extremely positive experience, or it can completely ruin your day.
Without a doubt, customer service teams are crucial to the success of your business, and the same goes for the quantity and quality of potential referrals.
Just think about it, why would someone recommend a company where they had such an awful experience when they needed help?
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10. Give Referrals
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. In other words, do not underestimate the power of reciprocity.
Sometimes, you just have to give in order to expect something in return. Referring your own customers to your new business partner’s business is an awesome way to begin a fruitful relationship
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There are many tactics on how to get referrals, and today we have tried to list the 9 best working ones. While there are some key differences in approach, there is one thing in common between them… Can you think of what it might be?
You guessed it. Caring for customers.
Essentially, you can be referred to by a lot of people, but will they become your loyal customers in the long run?
Chances are, if you are not treating them well after their initial purchase, or they are not getting what they need from you, they will just shift to another business. Perhaps, even one that offers referral incentives?
All in all, your goal should be to not only acquire new customers through referrals, but to also develop meaningful relationships with these new customers.
In time, after they have experienced a few positive interactions with your business, they could, on their own, refer their friends and family to become your clients.