In today’s world of instant information, many businesses have shifted their attention to what’s being said about them in the digital space.
While online review sites like Yelp and social platforms like Facebook are a fast way of sharing positive (and equally negative) experiences, it’s easy to forget about the power of referrals. This simple concept costing a fraction of your expenditure can break through the clutter and quickly fast track new business.
So, do you have a customer referral program in place, and if so, are you using it in the most effective way?
Why not consider these customer referral tips to fast-track new business?
- Ask your existing customers if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services. Make them aware of any products or services they might not already know about.
- Provide incentives for referrals such as vouchers and gifts. Make sure both the referrer and referee benefit from the rewards.
- Conduct surveys of customers to see out how they found your business. If they were referred to you, see if you can find out who made the referral and contact them to say thank you. Consider offering a reward to show your appreciation.
- Create valuable content on your website and ask your followers to share it with others if they find it valuable.
- Include a ‘referrals appreciated’ (or rewarded) line in your emails.
- Network with other businesses both online (on platforms like LinkedIn) and offline, asking for referrals and offering to do the same for them.
- Social media can provide your business with some very low-cost or free marketing opportunities; make use of it and invite followers to share your website content, campaigns and special offers with their online contacts.
Bartercard New Zealand has over 6,000 members who can help you attract new customers and conserve cash in your business.
Word travels fast in a world of constant connectivity
The digital world has made companies more transparent and accountable than ever. Consumers are inclined to share information and convey their experiences anyway, so every company should have the framework in place – i.e. a customer referral program - to leverage on what the market is already doing.
Attract more customers
The average person is exposed to thousands of marketing messages each day conveyed through slick advertising and shrewd sales expertise which has made the consumer space louder and more competitive than ever. But hearing about a product or service from a trustworthy source who can vouch for its quality will still get some of the best cut-through in the market.
Low or no cost
Every business should know the cost of their customer acquisition. Implementing a customer referral program will not only push this cost down, but the cost of putting it in place can be minimal, depending on how big you want to go. There are many levels of referral programs, some rewarding cash or the opportunity to win exuberant prizes. But it can be as simple as asking ‘Do you know anyone who would benefit from using our products or services? A customer who receives exceptional service will usually be happy to tell other people about it.
Tips on implementing a robust customer referral
- Take up a referral mind-set. Create the structure of your referral program, and integrate it into your sales force. Don’t let referral opportunities escape – take advantage of a situation where a customer is happy and ask for a referral. Customers aren’t mind readers so the best approach is to ask directly.
- Roll it out through a digital strategy. Create a referral page and post it on your website and social media. Tailoring the referral system to your customer persona, a blue print of your typical customer, is important.
- Tracking progress and successes. Tracking how well your program is working enables you to find out what works, what doesn’t, and how your program can be refined. This includes setting up analytics to track results so you can determine your referral-to-sales (conversion) rate, and also determine what types of campaigns are the most effective.
To share the benefits of growing our Bartercard community, Bartercard New Zealand offers all members the opportunity to earn referral payments.
For each business you refer that joins Bartercard, you will be paid a referral bounty of T$500.