Consumers are more likely to buy from companies they’ve been referred to by family or friends. Furthermore, customers who have been referred to a specific company are more loyal and are higher lifetime spenders than others.
So, just how do you get more of these valuable clients to your business? The key is to encourage existing customers to spread the word. Referrals provide a steady stream of customers who are very likely to buy, which has a significant effect on your company’s bottom line.
Here’s what you need to do to boost those numbers:
1. Give Referral Incentives
Offering an incentive to encourage your existing clients and customers to spread the word about your company is very powerful. Many companies are doing this as a way of saying thanks for referring new customers.
Some companies give quality corporate gifts for referrals whether the customer buys something or not. It’s a show of appreciation that makes the client think about others he or she can refer in order to receive more thank-you gifts.
Corporate gifts can be anything, but remember, the better the quality and the more useful the item is, the more likely the receiver will be to continue sending new customers your way.
2. Deliver Impeccable Customer Service
At the very least, you and your staff should smile warmly, offer quick help when asked, and display a genuine caring attitude at all times with every customer.
To get your customers talking about how you went above and beyond to help them, you need to do things that deserve attention. For example, you might work through the weekend to get your customer’s website online by Monday. Or maybe you shelled out extra for expedited shipping just so your customer would have his item by Christmas. These are stories people can’t wait to pass on to others.
3. Promote Social Media Sharing
When a customer is pleased with something you’ve done for them, encourage them to share their experience on social media. You might even incentivize their sharing by offering a gift certificate if they head to any of their social media platforms to spread the word.
Be sure to include easy-to-follow links to all your social media platforms on your website, any email newsletters and any other correspondence you may have to and from your company.
4. Give Referrals to Get Referrals
One of the most effective ways to get referrals is to recommend other businesses to others as the opportunities present themselves. The act of referring colleagues and friends can start a chain reaction that leads to a ton of new business quickly.
There are online sources such as BNI and Referral Key that have automated the referral business, making it easy to give and get referrals. Alternately, you can make it a regular practice to refer customers, family, friends, and colleagues to other businesses in the area when they need it.
Ultimately, every business strives to increase its numbers. Higher numbers mean more sales, increased bottom line, and furthered success. While it all makes sense in theory, boosting those numbers can be challenging. By following the tips outlined above, however, any business can see an increase in their numbers rather quickly. Give good customer service, refer to other businesses when you can, promote social media sharing, and offer incentives to get people talking about you to increase your customer base and your bottom line as well.