One of the best ways to reach new customers is through existing customers. We have found the most successful method of getting your customers talking about your business with people that trust their opinion is through developing a customer referral program. There are several key components to a successful customer referral program including: rewarding leads, educating customers about the program, and maintaining a high level of customer support and service. If you have not developed a program for client referrals then your business is missing out on this excellent channel. Take the time to develop great incentives for your existing customers to talk about your business and you will unleash a large sales force into the community you do business in.
- Create a rewards system for participants in your customer referral program
- Cash incentives work well but also consider offering discounts on existing and/or future orders, special services or product offerings, more rewards for customers who refer more business or gift certificates and tickets to special events. All of these choices work well when selected for the specific client receiving them
- Be open about the incentives and deliver quickly when a customer creates a referral
- Define what types of actions receive rewards. Some businesses may provide rewards benefits to customers that send in new leads while others may need the business to actually close a deal in order to provide the incentive.
- Let customers know that you are looking for more business, if you don’t ask for leads you may be missing out on great referrals.
- Inform customers about the process of providing a referral so they will get credit for referring the business.
- Send reminder emails & include mentions of your customer referral program on your website and other communications with customers.
- People refer business to people they like and great customer service will achieve this.
- Make sure that customer service representatives are trained to remind customers about the business lead referral program.
Build an awesome ecosystem of happy customers by providing a great product or service and follow through with exemplary customer service and you are well on your way to creating a huge sales force of happy clients telling their friends and business associates about your business. Build a customer referral program and you’ll have that next layer needed to really incentivize a group of customers telling everyone about your business that will help drive hot leads to your sales team for the close.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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