A referral is a potent tool for your business. No matter how much time, money, and effort you spend curating the perfect advertising campaign, your business won’t get far without consumer trust. How is consumer trust established? Well, one way is through referrals.
It All Comes Down to Trust
According to the 2015 Global Trust report from Nielsen Solutions, consumers trust their family and friends’ opinions and even the opinions of strangers on the internet. Eighty-three percent of survey respondents stated that they ‘completely or somewhat’ trusted the recommendations from their inner circle, while 66 percent said the same about online consumer reviews. Beyond that, potential customers also said they trusted the feedback of brand-managed online channels—70 percent—and another 56 percent also trusted the marketing emails they opted into.
With that in mind, consumer recommendations, aka referrals, are critical in helping you gain footing with potential clientele. Tapping into your current customer base can be a source of unlimited potential in this area. Best of all, truly exceptional customer service doesn’t cost you a dime.
You don’t have to rely solely on expensive marketing campaigns and data analytics to gain new business. If you want referrals, put your best foot forward, and they’ll happen organically. But you need to make every single experience count. Each customer-facing interaction is an opportunity to earn something more significant than a single purchase; it is a chance to gain trust and loyalty.
How to Get High-Value Referrals
Here’s how you can capitalize on your current customer base and help build your company’s momentum through high-quality referrals.
Top-tier service and exceptional customer experiences are bound to get people talking. If your business goes above and beyond the call of duty to give customers a truly memorable experience, that effort becomes an investment.
- Encourage customers to share their feedback online via social media. That might mean leaving your business a rating and/or review on Google, liking your Facebook page, following and tagging on Instagram, or leveraging any other online outlets.
- Increase your network. When you refer customers to other local businesses—non-competing, of course—you’re broadening your sphere of influence and building a community network. This also shows customers that you have a good standing relationship with other reputable businesses in your area. Plus, those businesses are then more likely to refer customers to you in return.
- Create incentives. Sometimes, customers just need a little encouragement to spread the good news. Why not sweeten the deal by offering a prize or discount to customers who refer to friends and family? It’s a fun way to make a game out of business, and everyone wins!
- Just ask. Sometimes reminding customers that their word is extremely valuable is enough to get them to talk about their experience. Keep it simple, and don’t push it on them. Referrals are worth more when they come from a place of genuine appreciation and admiration. A referral shouldn’t come off sounding like a sales pitch (even though, technically, it is).
Business referrals are an incredibly simple yet effective strategy for business owners and entrepreneurs. Just keep in mind that good service is an investment that always pays off in the long term! Need more tips on growing your business? Reach out today to learn how we can help.