How to Encourage Customer Referrals for Business Growth

Customer referrals
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Tips for getting more customer referrals for your business

Sponsored Facebook posts, pay-per-click ads and banner ads are good marketing methods for building brand awareness and increasing sales. However, the question is: Are they enough for customer acquisition and retention? Unfortunately, the simple, straightforward answer is no! You need word of mouth and customer referrals to really grow your business and lead it to success.

But how can you turn your customers into advocates for your brand? What can you do to encourage referrals? This following list of strategies will help guide you towards achieving your goal.

Getting more customer referrals 101:

  • Choose the right time to ask for referrals

Timing is the first thing you need to keep in mind when you are out to get referrals. You need to catch your customers and engage them at the right time during their journey with your brand, i.e, when they are most satisfied with your brand. That is absolutely the perfect time to channel that satisfaction into action.

The good news here that there are several opportunities for you to get that moment right. These include:

  1. Immediately after your customer makes a purchase from you.
  2. Right after a positive social customer engagement with your brand online.
  3. After they give your brand a high rating or fill in a survey.
  4. Following a positive customer service experience.
  5. When you launch a referral program and reach out to your loyal customers.

Remember this: Catching your customers at the right time and in the right mood can help you capitalize on their positive state of mind and thus capture new leads from referrals.

See Also: How to Win Customers Using Social Media

  • Provide the right incentives

Although not everyone will need incentives to refer your brand or its offering, providing the right incentives can lead to higher and more consistent referrals. If you decide to provide a reward in your referral program, you need to decide on who you will reward and what the reward will be. The following steps will help you devise your program effectively:

  1. Know your customer acquisition cost and his/her lifetime value.
  2. Understand what kind of rewards your customers might appreciate.
  3. Consider a variety of rewards depending on your budget.
  4. Ask for feedback about the rewards you have provided.

Bonus tip: Try to aim for immediate rewards. the closer the reward is to the time of the referral, the more likely your customers will be willing to repeat the referral.

  • Make the referral process as smooth as possible

Here’s the thing about customer referrals, if you want more of them, you need to make it easy for people to leave them. To do this, you need to let your customers know about your referral program in addition to your latest promotions. Don’t expect them to go hunting on your site to find your loyalty programs. Instead, lead them to it. Furthermore, once they are on your site, make it clear that you have this loyalty program and show them what benefits they reap when they sign up to it.

See Also: Why Customer Experience Matters for Your Business

  • Help them find ways to overcome reputational risk

There are many reasons why your customers might be wary of referrals programs. These reasons include the widespread fear of online scams as well as their perceived reputational risk. In layman’s terms, customers do not want to seem like they are spamming their friends and are afraid of giving some of their reputation away when they refer the “wrong” brand. To help your customers overcome these fears, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Ensure that your site is secure.
  2. Feature details about your referral program.
  3. Keep the process smooth and simple.
  4. Design an attractive and trustworthy program.

Following the above steps will help you dissolve any reservations your customers might have about your referral programs.

  • Engage with your customers on social media

Your customers are online and you have to engage them there. This means choosing the right social media platforms and establishing credible and interesting accounts. After that, you use those accounts to engage your customers in conversations about your products/services, answer their questions and help them troubleshoot problems. Your presence should not be only online, it should also be in the lives of your top customers. The more natural and conversational your interactions are with your audience, the more likely they are to follow your promotions and sign up for your programs.

Bonus tip: Try to make it a point to turn your reviewers into referrers. Customers who leave you positive reviews are easier to recruit for your customer referral programs.

  • Train your employees to promote your referral program

If you are running an e-commerce business, all you need is a refer button on your homepage to get customers to sign up. However, if you have a brick and mortar shop, you need active promotions as well. This is why you need to train your cashiers, customer service representatives and other staff members on how to effectively promote your referral program to customers. Involving people who have the most direct interactions with your customers can increase referrals naturally and effectively.

What do you think about customer referrals and referral programs? Do you use them to grow your business? What other tips and strategies can you share with our readers? We are so excited to hear from you in our comment section below!  

About the author

Beirut Abu Hdaib

Can be bit of a monomaniac. My lust for word manipulation is insatiable. An often doleful #writer with a flair for #marketing & #socialmedia :)

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