For most businesses, referrals are the number one way to gain new clients. Referral programs are so powerful because they decrease advertising costs, deliver high-quality leads and leverage a business’ best asset – its satisfied clients. But despite the power of referrals, setting up successful referral programs isn’t always so easy. 83% of clients agree that they’re willing to refer a business, but only 29% follow through.
The simple truth is that there’s a gap between a business’ number of satisfied clients and the number of clients making referrals. So if you deliver an excellent customer experience (which I assume you are) but aren’t getting many referrals, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you increase the success of your referral program.
1. Let Clients know Up Front When you sign-up a new member or have the initial client consultation, introduce your referral program. It’s a great time to let clients know that you value their loyalty.
2. Make It Visible Clients should easily know how your referral program works. Consider adding a “Refer Us” page on your website or tab on your Facebook page, and including your referral program in print advertising.
3. Use Email Communications as Reminders Make sure to mention your referral program in your electronic communication. Include a reminder in your newsletters or link to the referral program in your email signature.
4. Let Clients Make Referrals Anytime One of the difficulties of referral programs is that clients forget them at the perfect moment to make a referral – like when a colleague asks about their recent move. Allow clients to submit referrals from their Smartphone so you don’t miss these opportunities.
5. Just Ask! If you have a solid base of satisfied clients, you don’t need to be sheepish about asking for referrals. Identify the best times in the buying cycle – like after a house sale closes – and use these opportunities to to ask for referrals.
The bottom line is that your clients can’t participate in a referral program if they don’t know it exists! By using some of these simple strategies and making the referral process easy, you can leverage your happy clients and increase referrals. What techniques does your business use to build loyalty and increase word of mouth?