Referrals (AKA word of mouth marketing) are one of the most proven ways to drive your business’s sales. Did you know, for example, that a customer is four times more likely to carry out a transaction when referred to that product or service by a friend?
Combine this with the fact that referral leads cost far less to generate than virtually any of the alternatives and the benefits of driving referral sales for your business really speak for themselves.
But what if you’re unsure how to get referrals for your business? Worry not – we’ve got you covered…
Implement a referral programme
Referral programmes are popular for a reason: they work. It’s why you’ll see all the big brands, from Uber to PayPal, regularly utilising this strategy to continue growing their audience.
The basics are straightforward: provide an incentive for referring that benefits both you and the customer. Whether that’s an exclusive discount or free delivery with each successful referral, identify an incentive that drives engagement with a cheap overhead cost.
Keep the referral process as simple as possible. Think of an easy-to-remember discount code or create a mobile-friendly link that can be copied and shared with the touch of a button. By doing so, you’re presenting referrals as a real win-win for your customer – maximum reward for minimum effort.
Encourage on all platforms
Your customers don’t only spend time in one place. So, to get the most out of your referral scheme, be sure to encourage its use across all of your social platforms.
Look deeper into the nuances of your audience on each platform – do you reach a different demographic on Facebook than you do on Twitter, for example?
If so, look to tailor the incentive offered based on these findings. After all, the best way to get referrals is to offer value to the referrer – so the more this incentive can be tailored to a consumer’s desires, the more likely they are to refer.
Act on all customer feedback
To get referrals, you’ll need to prove you’re worth referring.
To do this, look to go above and beyond customer expectations. But what do customers expect from your brand? Well, this is where customer feedback comes into play.
With state-of-the-art software available to help you create and distribute customer surveys, you can send these out to existing customers to better gauge what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better.
To make the process worthwhile, ensure you’re acting on this feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or otherwise. By working with your customers in this way, you’ll begin to align your brand with their values, meaning they’re more likely to refer you to their peers.
Stay in touch with past buyers
Where are your referrals coming from? Past buyers, of course.
So, look to invest in each and every relationship your business builds. This often means establishing contact long after the customer’s initial purchase. This way, you can keep them engaged for longer, meaning they’re more likely to think of your brand when referring a friend or family member.
Create a community around your customer base that shares the core values of your brand. Do this by upping your post-sale communications to nurture one-off sales into longer-term relationships.
It’s important to understand that there’s a fine line between nurturing a customer relationship and being a nuisance. So, make sure you’re always offering some kind of value whenever you reach out to your customer – whether that’s through useful and informative content or special offers, for example.
Keep customers sweet with high-quality content
Speaking of content, when done correctly, your content can be one of the most useful referral marketing tools in your arsenal.
But how do you use content to dive referrals? Well, you want to start by ensuring that it’s high-quality. To drive engagement, you need to provide genuine value to the reader, so build your content around your audience’s needs.
With your high-quality content created and distributed, encourage customers to share it – this is where your referrals will come from. Assuming you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to relevance and value, the only thing left to do is nudge your customers in the right direction by making sharing as simple as possible.
Something as simple as an easy referral link will do the trick here, so look to include a ‘share this now’ link on all of your distributed content.
Leverage customer service for referrals
The quality of your customer service plays a major role in your customers’ experience of your brand, meaning one key way to get referrals is by ensuring your customer service is top-notch.
To do this, look to remain responsive and authentic. Address customer queries not only as quickly as possible, but also in a way that’s sympathetic and understanding with regards to their issue. Try to go above and beyond, always emphasising how valued the customer is regardless of how big or small their problem may be.
In short, the recipe for a successful customer service process is simple: be helpful and be respectful. Do this correctly and you’ll find customers are more than willing to make a big song and dance of their buying experience and your brand as a whole.
Driving referral sales for your business is all about creating brand advocates from your existing audience. To do this, look to properly nurture customer relationships to create a community your customers can proudly identify with.
At Six Circles, we know a thing or two about building a thriving community of engaged customers. Get in touch with us today and book a free online demo of our community engagement platform.