Reference has become crucial than ever in the contemporary marketplace. With the world full of information at its fingertips, customers are getting smarter and looking for brands that can solve their problems. Now, before making any purchasing decision, customers want to read testimonials, reviews, and comments. So creating a customer reference program will help you acquire more customers for your business.
In a business world where word-of-mouth marketing continues to be the most reliable way to win the support of your target audience, therefore the need for building a robust customer reference program is becoming huge. Referrals are becoming popular day by day. According to Neilson, more than 90% of people have trust in recommendations from their friends, family, or the people they know.
If you are concerned about asking customers for their references, that they might consider you desperate or annoying, you do not need to think like this. Studies show that approx 83% of satisfied clients will be happy to refer to their friends or family. But the problem is that only 30% of those are generating referrals.
The main reason behind the difference is that companies do not have a strong customer reference program to urge their consumers to take action. If you really aspire to unlock the entire potential of word-of-mouth marketing, then you need to make referrals a part of your brand experience or strategy. Even combining marketing automation with referrals can help you understand the behavior better.
Let’s move forward to learn some useful tips for building a customer reference program.
6 Useful Tips for the Customer Reference Program
Today, customers have referrals, a powerful tool to make any turn any brand into a success. Once, if your consumers determined to share their opinions about your brand with their friends and family, those remarks would simply stay within that very close circle of people. Now, everything your customers say about you is open for the whole world to see.
The key to a successful customer reference program is implementing word of mouth that helps you to get the most of the discussion that’s already occurring around your brand. With a little bit of care and attention, you can convert your vocal customers into instant representatives for your company.
1. Make a Connection with customers.
An excellent way to influence your customers to participate in the customer reference program is to form a more extensive relationship with them based on reliability, sympathy, and shared benefit. The reference program should give clients outstanding customer support and innovative products that make them feel to utter about your brand positively. We all love to tell the exciting moments we have with brands
After you have established a sound customer support system, you can work on existing feelings of advocacy by inviting customers to join an exclusive club of people who refer new consumers to your company. Give them a unique link that they can share with customers to direct people to your business. Reward them every single time whenever they provide you with a prospect
2. Make it Simple and Fun.
No matter how loyal a customer is, he does not want to make efforts for your benefit only. To make your customer reference program marketing plan a success, you’ll need to make it as compelling and straightforward as possible. Provide customers options that they can use to produce an instant referral code and provide them with a membership dashboard on their website where they can check out their rewards
You can also have a little fun with your word of mouth
marketing and add fun elements to the mix. For example, launch contests where people can earn great prizes depending on how many people they refer to your brand. On the other hand, you could also drive promotions at different times of years where your customers can earn double points or additional rewards
3. Reward and Recognition
Remember, no matter how much your customers love your brand, they won’t make an effort to refer new clients your way unless they’re going to get something in return. While your customer reference program should be based on a framework of brand loyalty and affinity, it’s essential to show your customers that you value them with some great prizes and benefits. For instance, you could:
- Give customers discounts on their next purchase
- Offer early access to sales
- Provide preferential access to product upgrades and benefits.
4. Do not be afraid to ask them.
Do not feel nervous when asking for referrals because it’s a part of marketing, and you are not the only one asking for referrals. Many times sales associates feel reluctant to begin a conversation with the customers. Consider it this way: You will not lose anything if they said no, but you will gain something if they said yes. But by not asking them, you are missing an opportunity. Give a try and see the growth of your business
Keep this thing in your mind that it’s time to defeat your fear of asking for referrals and asking them directly. Push yourself to work through the pressure, and slowly you will see the difference
5. Propose it as a request to help you.
It’s imperative to propose it as a request for help whenever you ask for any favour from your customer. You know why? Because people feel happy whenever they get an opportunity to serve other people, primarily when they already know and like them
Start a discussion with them and get their feedback. When you do that, you will involve yourself in a productive chat and make the other person feel good about helping you out
6. Make the best use of your entire network.
Take advantage of your entire network, as references are all about networking. Don’t limit yourself to just one group of your system when you are looking for recommendations. Your existing customers are a great resource, but they are using a mixed network. It constitutes your past customers, industry corporations, former and present colleagues, friends, family members, social companionships, friends of friends as they are a component of this game. The more people you include in your quest for references, the more you will get. It is as clear and straightforward
In this article, we have learned a few tips for developing a more reliable and robust customer reference program for your business. References lead to increasing not only sales but also customer satisfaction towards the brands. Brands become more friendly when they communicate with advocates and make efforts to improve it.
I hope these tips help you to make a program a success.