Did you know that referrals are one of the most powerful factors when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands? A study by Google, Ogilvy, and TNS proved this to be true after interviewing nearly 2,500 consumers, 74% of which identified word-of-mouth referrals as a key influencer when it came to their purchasing decision.
Referrals are so powerful because they build a seller’s trustworthiness and credibility. Consumers rely on their colleagues, associates, and friends to recommend different products and services. They listen to the feelings and opinions given from these trustworthy sources to make their purchasing decision. So what can you do to start bringing in more referrals in order to grow your business? Keep reading to learn 4 of the most powerful strategies to bring in more referrals.
1. Try giving “referrals” a new name
One powerful strategy to bring in more referrals is to develop another term besides “referrals”. According to Hubspot, many of your customers might not exactly understand what the term referrals means. For instance, they might think you need a reference or assume you’re just looking for names and numbers. Really what you want is an introduction to potential new customers, right? Therefore, it is recommended to forgo the term “referrals” and simply start asking for introductions. This will help your customers understand exactly what you need.
2. Focus on delighting your customers
Another powerful and simple strategy to bring in more referrals is to turn your focus to the level of value and service that you provide your customers. What sets you apart from the competition? Are you providing the customers with a unique experience while maintaining a high-level of customer service? Ensure that you deliver what you promise, when you promise it. If you do, your customers will be able to speak to others about the value you provide. Focusing on delighting your customers will encourage them to tell and show others.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask
This powerful strategy to bring in more referrals is simple: don’t be afraid to ask for them!
While delighting your customers is one of the most powerful strategies to bring in more referrals, sometimes you’ll need to take this a step further by asking them directly. Even if your customers have good intentions to recommend your business to another person, they will often remain just that – good intentions. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found this to be true after polling 9,900 customers at a telecommunications firm and 6,700 at a financial services firm. The objective was to gain insight into customer referral intentions while tracking both the behavior of the referring customers and the prospective customers brought in over time through those introductions. The pecentage of both companies’ customers who said they intended to recommend the firms to other people was high, but the percentage who actually did so was far, far lower. While 68% of the financial services firm’s customers expressed their intention to refer the company to other people, only 33% followed through. Fully 81% of the telecom firm’s clients thought they’d recommend the company, but merely 30% actually did.
In order to overcome low follow through rates, you must not be afraid to ask for referrals. If you see that a customer is happy with your services, ask if they know anyone who would benefit from something similar. Keep in mind that referrals do not have to be limited to word of mouth. Referrals can come in the form of case studies, testimonials, reviews, etc. Asking for a review of your product or a testimonial about your service can be as simple as a short email or text message.
4. Reward your customers with special offers
Our last powerful strategy to bring in more referrals is to reward your customers with special offers. One way to do this is to create a referral incentive program. Let’s look at an example. Uber uses a referral-incentive program that offers free rides to their customers. When a friend signs up with an existing customer’s invite code, they’ll receive a free first ride. After they’ve completed a first ride, the existing customer’s next ride will be free.
Another way you can easily reward your customers with special offers to bring in more referrals is by using the MACH1 app. MACH1 is the mobile app developed by Profit Engine specifically for independent service providers (aka solopreneurs, side-giggers, small business owners, etc.). MACH1 gives you the power to quickly and easily create and send special offers or attach them to bills to entice add-on sales and generate referrals.
Do you have any of your own powerful strategies to bring in more referrals? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!