The Best Ways to Earn Referrals from Your Customers: Zero-Budget Strategy
Looking for ways to grow your business? Have you considered referrals?
As it stands, referrals are the most effective way to expand your customer base and, thus, grow your business. It can be an effective way to build and maintain a good reputation and credibility. Referrals are often more effective than other kinds of marketing, especially when they come from people the customer trusts. So, the more you manage to earn referrals, the more likely you are to get new customers.
With that said, it is important to know the right approach to asking your customers for referrals. If you provide your customers with a good experience, you’re already halfway there. Word of mouth will always bring in new leads, but a systematic referral marketing plan can make a huge difference in the number and quality of recommendations you get. And no, it is not rocket science. Just a tweak here and there, and you will be able to up your game like never before.
If you have no clue how to ask your customers for referrals, you have reached the right place. In this blog, you will find some creative ways to get referrals. And unlike most blogs out there on the internet, you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve this goal. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out the best ways to earn referrals.
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Table of Contents
Customer Referrals: Definition and Types
By definition, a customer referral plan is a form of word-of-mouth marketing that rewards existing customers for telling friends, family, or colleagues about your brand, i.e., the product or service you offer. Marketers often describe referrals as selective word-of-mouth. This typically implies sharing a positive experience with a potential customer about the company and telling them that it can provide the products or services that they need.
Customers depend on recommendations from coworkers, friends, and other people they know. So when a potential customer comes to you this way, you know that a part of the work has already been done. Referrals help a business build trust and credibility—two pillars of a successful business foundation. In fact, several studies show that getting referrals is the most reliable form of advertising. To add to the list of benefits, referrals often come from happy customers, who are generally happy to talk about your company completely free of charge.
Customer referrals can be of various kinds. Such as:
- Direct Referrals or word-of-mouth referrals
- Email Referrals
- Incentive-based referrals
- Social Media Referrals
Referral Marketing: How It Works
Referral marketing is an effective way to get new customers by encouraging existing clients to help you find new ones. In return for an incentive, your current customers can tell other people about your business. The incentive may be a discount, plan upgrade, freebie, or anything else that gives them a reason to tell their friends about you. This kind of marketing is less expensive for your company than conventional advertising because it focuses on word-of-mouth instead of paid campaigns.
To start referral marketing, you will need to establish a referral system and decide what incentives or rewards you’re going to offer. You’ll also need to give customers a way to share your business with their friends and family, like a link to a website page or a discount code.
It would also help if you kept track of how well your referral program went so you could keep making it better over time. Referral marketing can be a successful strategy to get new customers if you have the right plan.
Ways to Earn Referrals from Your Customers
Now that you know what customer referrals mean and how they can help your business grow, it is time to focus on the important part—getting referrals.
More importantly, you need to devise a strategy to ask your existing customers to give you referrals, with or without any reward (your call!), and leverage them in the best possible way. This is where we come into the picture—to help you with some creative ways to ask for referrals.
Here you go:
Every business has a unique identity, which creates a distinct brand. When a customer talks about you, it’s important for you to have some say in how your story is told. You need to make sure they are representing your brand while referring it to others exactly the way you want them to. Marketing can accomplish a lot here, but how your team interacts with customers is the most important factor in how a customer feels about your business. So, before you set up any referral system, make sure you have a strong brand identity and voice.
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First and foremost, find out who among your customers is most likely to give you referrals. As a rule of thumb, happy customers are the ones you should go for. That is, people you know who are satisfied with your service and likely to book you again are the most promising sources of earning referrals.
If you want to earn referrals that give you more leads, learn when to ask for referrals rather than how to ask for referrals. Wait for the right moment. You should not ask for it when you are midway through delivering the goods or services, or worse—missed a deadline for something.
It is one “follow back for every follow”! In this age of social networking, you are well-aware of the importance of followers and following. Use the same technique for earning referrals as well. Don’t just wait for your customers to put in some good words about you. Give out a lot of referrals for other brands, and they’ll reciprocate.
When a person says something nice about you, you thank them for the kind words. The same rule applies to referrals. Not just out of courtesy, you should let your customers know that their feedback is highly valued and appreciated. To show your gratitude, you can send an email or a handwritten note, call them up, or simply share their feedback on your social media page. This will encourage more referrals eventually.
Some customers shy away from referring, while others may be restricted from doing so due to some legal/organizational regulations. For those, come up with alternative platforms where they can share their feedback. For example, a review section, testimonials, social media posts, or even anonymous case studies.
If you have a website, blog, vlog, YouTube channel, or any other social media page, leverage it to earn referrals from your customers. Provide unique, useful, and relevant content that they can share. This is a form of indirect referral. Since they are sharing your content, they approve of your message in it, which implies they endorse you at the same time. Even if someone has yet to buy goods or services from you, they may find this content interesting and share it with their circle, thus expanding your network of potential customers even further.
There is no better way to stay at the top of your customers’ minds than by being in constant contact with them. The best way to achieve this goal is to send them regular emails informing them about the latest deals, discounts, and other important information. You can also develop a newsletter. If the content of your email or newsletter is insightful or valuable to them, you can ensure an even better customer experience and, therefore, earn more of their trust. This results in an increased chance of getting referrals.
Most businesses know how important referrals are, but they have no idea how to use their networks to get sales recommendations on their own. This is because a lot of sellers feel awkward asking for recommendations because they don’t want to come across as “pushy” or desperate for jobs. Or they’re not sure if they’re truly offering their customers value and helping them. Especially for field service businesses, this is one of the most common issues.
The only remedy to this problem is to ensure top-of-the line service. Make sure your service quality is so stellar that your customers will positively benefit from it and, therefore, will happily talk about you to their friends and family.
If you are a service provider company, the best way to provide stellar service and earn referrals is to sign up for a field service management software system like Field Promax. This amazing piece of technology uses advanced digital tools and capabilities to automate and streamline your workflow, which in turn increases efficiency and productivity. To be more specific, Field Promax can dramatically improve your first-time fix rate and reduce downtime. The result is a happy customer who is more than eager to talk about you without even being asked for referrals.
For more information contact Field Promax.