Posted by Claire White ¦ Business Skills
Harnessing the power of referrals can give your business a huge boost. Personal recommendation is a really effective marketing tool and it doesn’t even need to cost you a penny. Check out our top ten tips below for getting referrals for your business.
1. Always give your customers the best possible experience
Customers expect the highest quality service from your business. Make sure you deliver. At every stage of the process, in every interaction with a customer, pull out all the stops to provide them with a personal touch and make them feel valued. If you can achieve all that, customers are bound to tell other people how good you are.
2. Be active in your community
For customers to recommend you, it’s important for your business to remain on their radar. Get involved in local community events, sponsor a local team or support local initiatives. Getting out there and being visible within the community will keep you front and centre in customers’ minds and encourage them to recommend you.
3. Make sure customers know what you do
A common mistake businesses make is to assume that customers know more about the services you offer than they actually do. If you want your customers to be effective ambassadors for your business, make sure that they are familiar with your full range of services.
4. Provide valuable content customers can share
Publishing a regular newsletter, blog or creating a webinar on an industry topic will encourage your customers to share these with their network. Regular, relevant, engaging content is a great way for others to introduce you to a wider audience and do your marketing for you.
5. Make your content easy to share
Creating engaging and valuable content is only half the battle. You have to make sure it’s easy for others to share by including quick links and icons, such as buttons for Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume your customers will share your content – it’s OK to encourage them to do it!
6. Treat your customers as partners
Explain to your customers that you think of them as strategic partners and create formal channels for them to share referrals.
Simply asking your customers can leave it too much up to their imagination. Create a clear process for them to follow instead. Put a referral form on your website that’s easy to complete and share.
7. Give someone else a referral
Recommending another business, a useful tool or an interesting website or blog is an excellent way to get the ball rolling. If you create a culture of mutual referral your recommendations will soon gain momentum.
8. Help others in forums
If you are active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or other online communities you can quickly create a positive buzz. If you are seen as having a positive, encouraging and helpful influence in these forums people will soon start recommending you to others.
9. Create a referral scheme with rewards
Why not reward customers for referrals with an exclusive offer or a special discount? There’s nothing like an incentive to get people talking.
10. Be grateful for referrals
If someone refers your business, take the time and effort to make sure they know you appreciate it. An email, telephone call or even a handwritten note to show your gratitude will have an impact and may encourage them to keep referring you.
How about you? Do you get lots of referrals in your business? Do you have a particular process that works well for you? It would be great to get your comments below.
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