Businesses definitely benefit from having referral programs for their customers. However, businesses often do not take advantage of the benefits that an employee referral program can bring. Having an employee of a company refer you to them can be a unique experience for some people.
In general, we expect employees of any company to know the ‘real deal’ on the products or services being offered. Does the company use cheap, unreliable materials? Are the pastas in this ‘fine restaurant’ frozen? When an employee of a company recommends their company, we tend to believe that their inside knowledge reflects that their company’s offerings must indeed, be impressive and worth our consideration.
All-Inclusive Employee Referral Program
Including all the most vital elements of employee referral is imperative from the start. While it is up to each individual business how they will organize and record points, marks, credits or their preferred system of rewards into their records, it is critical to create a program that rewards employees for all types of referrals they may bring in.
Allow employees to gain rewards for referring other employees into the fold. Many businesses will provide a comfort zone for their employee-to-employee referrals by requiring the newly hired employee to put in a specific amount of hours before the referring employee receives a reward.
Employee to Consumer Referrals
Always provide your employees with instant rewards when someone they refer makes a purchase. Whether you choose to allow them to benefit from future or continuous purchasing is up to you. Most businesses can find a method of reward that will not negatively affect their bottom line. Allowing employees to earn extra vacation time for bringing in a long-term consumer can be an incredibly driving factor for many.
Good Employee Referral Program Rules to Live By
There are a few helpful rules to live by that will help an employee referral program run smoothly.
Keep a Scorecard but Don’t Compete
While a business should find a way to display some kind of scorecard, employees should not be encouraged to compete with each other, only to improve on their own scores. Giving away a huge and compelling prize is a great idea, however, do so by encouraging each employee to reach personal goals so that their names can go into a blind drawing for the winner. This type of technique will remove all opportunity for personal issues to arise between employees as can occur in more competitive contests.
Limit Required “Work” for Bringing in Referrals
Unlike consumer referrals, employee referrers are less likely to want to add more to their workload for a few points on a scorecard. Make entering or submitting new referrals as easy as possible. In this day and age, with social networking at the fingertips of billions of people, any business would do well to consider allowing employees on Facebook or Twitter to refer their friends and family directly. If you do require a bit of information for referrals, make sure the system to enter it is user-friendly and smooth-running.
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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