In this competitive and dynamic landscape, every entrepreneur aims at grabbing more and more customers. Referrals can be one of the best tools for doing this as it means that your current customer base believes in your products and services. According to research performed by Nielsen, around 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know.
But in spite of understanding the significance of referrals the majority of small businesses fail in getting more and better referrals. Why? Let’s explore the reason and have a look at five key techniques to help you boost your referrals and increase sales.
Refine Your Referral Generation Plan Frequently
In order to get more referrals, it’s mandatory to have a comprehensive plan in place. Remember referrals can’t be generated automatically but you have to put efforts to trigger it. It’s a good idea to have a strategically planned referral generation plan. You can also streamline the entire process of tracking and managing referrals with the help of different automated referral marketing platforms.
These systems can easily perform most of the complicated and time-consuming tasks related to monitoring referrals and distributing rewards. As per the CEO of Optin Monster Syed Balkhi, “If you choose the right referral platform, you can see exactly how much new traffic and sales were generated from referral traffic.”
InviteReferrals, Refersions are two of the best-automated referral solutions available in the market that can help you to design and launch exclusive customer referral programs and tracking them in order to test their efficiency.
But in order to use these systems to their fullest potential, it’s necessary to train your staff so that they can use them properly and take their full advantage. One tip for your benefit is that you shouldn’t use these referral engines as an afterthought but integrate them in the process of product roadmapping so that you can get results soon.
You should deploy the best CRM tools for identifying the right referral program as well as making sure that your sales pipeline is brimming with referrals. Also, these solutions can give you an idea of where exactly the referrals are and how they are moving through the different phases in your pipeline management tool.
Pay Attention To The Most Important Customers & Ask For Referrals At The Right Time
If your resources are limited, it’s better to ask for referrals from your most influential customers because their opinion will matter to others and these people can be the tool to produce premier quality referrals. Simultaneously you can also focus on other customers for getting better referrals.
In addition, you have to make sure that you provide the customers with proper support such as a brochure, your business cards, latest newsletter, link to a special page of your website, etc. so that they can recommend your business to others. Custom develop the website landing page by hiring a software development agency to accommodate the referral links that will help your audience to share at the right instance.
But it’s not a good idea to ask for referrals at any random stage of the buyer’s journey because if you ask the customers at the wrong phase definitely your request will be ignored. But it’s advisable to identify the stage where your customers are fully satisfied with your brand then you can seek referrals from them and hope to have a positive outcome.
Seek Precise Information
To gather several names and contact numbers won’t help you in building your list of referrals. Rather you should use tools such as comprehensive referral forms or web-based system in order to capture the right details.
Your customers can be your active agents only when they actually arrange a meeting or purchase by the referred sources. This can be done only when you will make a habit to seek the right information for grabbing better referrals.
Ensure That You Are Offering Right Incentives
In order to attract more customers to spread word of mouth for your business, it’s essential to offer the right incentives. Also, the incentives must resonate with your area of operation. For example, you may offer an upgrade, discounts, a free item, service cards, etc.
It’s advisable to test different incentives and figure out what’s working best. Never forget to convey your special referral programs and offers to your current customers through a call or email. Also, it’s crucial for you to make referring as easy as possible for customers.
Try To Nurture Long Lasting Relationships With Current Customers
It’s not only important to persuade customers for getting referrals but it’s equally vital to gain their trust to keep them providing you with referrals on a continuing basis. There is a plethora of ways to do this but let’s list down the major ones:
- Make sure to send thank you notes to the customers who have referred your business. Also, send special gifts for every referral that turns into business for your brand.
- In case you feel awkward in asking customers directly for referrals you can write letters and ask them to send a few names. Also, tell them what they will get in return.
Try to celebrate every milestone with your customers by keeping a track of events and never miss any chance to congratulate them for good work.
- Connect with your customers on major social media platforms by answering their queries, participating in discussions about your products, troubleshooting problems, etc. Also, you can identify platforms on which you and your key competitors speak to the same audience. Try to share each other’s content and build relationships mutually with the customers.
- Personalize the experience of the customers by sending them specific messages, reminding information about them such as wishing customers on special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, etc. This will cherish them and they will always keep your brand in mind.
For instance, if a customer buys your ride-sharing service, you can send them material relevant to their specific requirements such as information on making trips more environment-friendly and cost-effective. Or, details of the nearest places to visit for spending a holiday.
- Provide top-notch customer support in order to encourage referrals. Seamless customer service will make you resolve the issues instantly and satisfy your customers. Be responsive, sincere, and consistent in providing prompt support to your clients so that they remain happy and feel good to recommend your business to their peers.
For example, Zappos is a renowned footwear brand that is popular for going beyond to offer great service to its customers. This ability makes them stand out from the crowd and keep adding new customers to their base.
These tricks can help you get better referrals to increase sales and retain a huge customer base with new leads coming in on a regular basis. Recommendations can be the magic wand to propel your business forward and taking it to the new heights of success.