There are any number of referral reward programs that can offer a small business owner a few great ideas to build upon. Everything from customer contests and other interactive reward offers can bring in referrals in droves. However, these short-lived referral reward programs also present a problem of their own. They supply no longevity in a marketing campaign setting and can require a series of short-burst referral reward programs to provide consistent coverage for your business advertising.
While these referrals are still invaluable, unless you want to spend the entirety of your business management time brainstorming new referral reward programs, you need to prepare your business to be its own constant source of incoming referrals.
Creating Lasting Referral Reward Programs in Three Steps
There are a few challenges that business owners must tackle to make sure their business is referring itself when and where possible.
Perfect Your Asking for Referrals Spiel
While some educational information about referral reward programs will tell business owners to ask for referrals immediately, others may suggest waiting until the customer has had time to get to know the business, its services and products, before suggesting they share with their own network. It is probably more likely that depending on the products or services, the business owner may need to work on some practice, while accepting there will be errors in their trials, before finding the perfect time to ask for referrals for their own customers.
Teach Customers How to Refer You, Make it Easy and Make it Worth It
One of the biggest improvements you can make to your referral reward programs is finding an easy method that customers can remember when the opportunity for the referral comes up in a conversation. Customers are always driven by convenience. Make sure your URL is easy to find, remember and share. Make sure you provide your customers with a card, email or tool that allows them to refer you with the least amount of clicks and make sure they are receiving scalable rewards for working for your business by providing you with usable referrals.
No customer is going to be satisfied with a business that welcomes him or her in with open arms and fanfare and then quickly forgets them. A consumer can get this treatment in any number of super stores around the globe. What they will remember and throw in their loyalty lot with is a business that still appreciates them even after they have completed a purchase or two. Celebrate a Customer Appreciation Day every year. Choose a day that isn’t already a highly sales-y holiday and make it your own. Make sure your customers are appreciated on that day with gifts, fun or entertainments, notable discounts and more. This is also an incredible opportunity to aggregate more new referrals as well. Any customer catching wind of the way your business celebrates their customer, will likely give far more consideration to becoming a customer. Offer 50% off on custom products or services on Customer Appreciation Day. Make sure your offer also includes 25% off for any new referral that one of your current, elite customers, brings in.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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