It is said that only 29% of happy and satisfied customer will refer your company. We are talking about happy customers, people that like your work. So, what can you do to get above the 29% mark?
1. Ask for referrals. Don't assume that people will refer you. Many people don't even think about referring you to their friends. Tell them that you want them to tell the world about how much they love what you do for them. Don't be shy. Ask.
2. Thank people for referring others to you. Be grateful, and thank people and thank them often. Email a personal note, or take them to lunch, or send a gift. If you have multiple referral sources get 3-4 of them together and take them out to lunch or happy hour. Show how much you appreciate them.
3. Reward your customers for giving you referrals. Although customers may be happy with the product or service you provide for them, getting a referral may require some positive form of motivation such as a reward. Think of some reward that will cause and motivate your customer to take action. It could be a free offering or a significant discount off of a product or servce you offer. The better the reward, the more the motivation. Also a great reward may cause your customer to repeat the referral process multiple times if the time to do so is justified. We recommend a service like SparkEngage.com that will make communicating the reward easy for your customer. SparkEngage goes way beyond that however as it also automates the sharing of a deal you create for your customer who refers you so that the referral process is fun and easy for them to share. Finally, it tracks the progress of the referrals and provide a redemption notice when the new customer who was referred buys from you. Check out this service at http://www.SparkEngage.com.
4. Give feedback. Give customers an update about the referrals they give you. Let's face it. When someone refers you to their friends they put their reputation on the line. If you disappoint the prospect they referred to you, this will likely embarrass the customer who referred them. Tell your referral source what happened. Did you manage to help the prospect? Tell them a little bit about the project. Keep them up to date.
In summary, referrals are about people and relationships. They are proof that you are doing something right. It shows that there are people out there that appreciate what you do. Nurture your referrals source. Don't take them for granted. Treat them as you would treat friend.