There are few ways of generating new opportunities that are quite as effective as customer referrals.
Not only are they a highly credible source, they likewise have a disproportionately high chance of converting.
Hearing about a positive outcome achieved from engaging with your organisation is arguably the most powerful marketing collateral out there.
“9 out of 10 people say they trust what a customer says about a business more than what that business says about itself.”The Importance Of Testimonials
In providing a great customer experience, word of mouth referrals are bound to happen naturally.
However, a conscious effort to cultivate them will result in a larger number being initiated and result in a greater return on investment.
Intrigued to see how you can tap into such a lucrative channel? Here are five top tips for generating red hot referrals…
We tell 10x more people about a negative experience than a positive one.
That means you need to work 10x as hard to earn the positive review.
Going above and beyond expectations will not only endear you to your customers, it will also help you stand out as a retailer who genuinely cares about helping clients succeed.
By being a partner in the project, rather than a mere provider, you engineer an experience that customers actively want to share.
Exceeding expectations will only move the needle further toward a positive referral.
Ask (At The Right Time)
It may sound obvious, but do you currently ask for referrals?
That’s the first step.
The second is identifying the ideal moment to do so.
In much the same way that you wouldn’t ask for a promotion if you’ve had a poor month, you shouldn’t ask for a referral right after letting a customer down.
Likewise, the most common time to ask for a referral is upon payment or once the project has come to a close.
Consider for a moment, is this the most opportune time in your process to ask?
“Experiment asking for referrals at other times.
Look for opportunities where a client is particularly pleased with the work you’ve done.”Practice Ignition
Buyers remorse can creep in post purchase and asking for a referral at the same time as asking for payment can create a conflict of emotions.
Try and gauge the moment of greatest positive sentiment and excitement. When you’re most confident you’ve reached the pinnacle, its time to dive in for the referral.
Engage Existing Customers
As part of exceeding expectations, you should look to maintain a positive relationship with customers well beyond the point of sale.
Even if your product is a one time purchase, investing in long term thinking will pay off over and over again.
Use your post-sale touchpoints to continue providing value to existing clients.
This will help keep you front of mind when it comes to future recommendations as customers’ friends or family are looking to make a similar purchase.
If you disappear the moment you see “closed won” against an opportunity, you’re not likely to hear from that client ever again.
Align Your Values
Do you truly know your customers? Are you able to instantly identify where your values align?
“72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.”Big Commerce
If so, you can align your proposal with those values to give them an idea of the impact they’ll have by instigating a referral.
For example, if your product range uses sustainable materials, that likely plays upon the minds of potential customers.
Gear your referral about the positive impact of more people having an environmentally friendly alternative.
Suddenly the referral becomes less about you, and more about the mutual value held by yourself and your clients.
Create Avenues For Advocacy
Finally, make it easy for customers to become advocates.
“Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.”Social Fresh
Consider opting a referral program or offer incentives for those that make an introduction.
By creating multiple opportunities for happy customers to provide a referral, or at least give a glowing testimonial, you vastly increase your chances of actually seeing them materialise.
Equally, allow your customer to say no.
Rather than being pushy, some people aren’t comfortable making a referral so burning a bridge will only lower their perception of your organisation.
It may only be a no for now, not forever.
Ultimately, client referrals are worth their weight in gold. It’s up to you to seek them out.
Ready to explore how Anthill can revolutionise your customer experience to generate more referrals? Schedule a demo today.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
September 23rd, 2021-