There’s no doubt about it, customer referrals are by far the best source of new business. They do the selling for you, and it costs you nothing in marketing dollars or time to attract this new business.
So how do you get more of your customers to talk about your business and refer you on to others? Here’s three tips worth trying.
1. Ask Your Customers to Review You
Why not ask your customers to refer you on True Local. This Australian directory is heavily used by people looking for local businesses, and the more reviews you have, the higher up you will appear in local search listings on this site, and the better your listing will appear against all your competitors. Our clients have had great success in generating new business enquiries using this strategy. Also, if you encourage your customers to do this before 26/5/16 they’ll go into a True Local competition to win $2000.
Oh, and if you've used our Commonsense Marketing services or you've had value out of the information we share on our website, in our mini marketing course or from our ebooks - then we'd be delighted if you would give us a review. truelocal.com.au/business/commonsense-marketing/cornubia 😛
2. Be Really Helpful
When we receive genuine help from someone who wants nothing in return, we feel quite special don't we. We feel a real warmth towards this kind person that has gone out of their way to do something a little extra.
So be as helpful as you can, in as many different ways as you can creatively think of.
Share useful tips on your social media, your website and in your customer emails as do our clients. Two of our clients, Liverpool Academy of Music and Kraudelt Painting share tips on their websites and social media, and these have certainly assisted with increasing website traffic and stimulating enquiries. Don’t try and sell anything – just be helpful. This also extends to being helpful whilst you are onsite at customer’s homes or businesses, or if they’re visiting your premises. People remember rudeness and they remember helpfulness.
For example, I was recently shopping at the Hyperdome, and as I was about to purchase some pants, I asked the owner of the clothing store where the nearest alteration outlet was so I could have them taken up. She told me she had no idea. I asked her if she knew where the Centre’s help desk was located. Her reply: “Why don’t you take a walk and find these things yourself, I’m not a store directory service”. Needless to say I left the pants right where they were and will never shop there again.
On the other hand, the young lady in the bottle shop gave me a discount, grabbed my wine purchases and carried them to the car for me with a big smile, before I’d even finished closing my purse. She also gave me a discount docket to use next time and invited me to their next wine tasting. I’ve told lots of people about her.
It doesn't take much to be helpful, and it has a big impact.
3. Deliver Random Acts of Delight
Show your appreciation for your customers by introducing random acts of delight as a regular procedure. You’ll be surprised by how much this will be appreciated – and will get them talking to everyone about what you did.
Send a hand written card expressing how grateful you are, or a small well-chosen gift they’ll find relevant and useful, or perhaps a book on a topic they’ll love. I’ve sent the new Elon Musk book to a few entrepreneurial male clients who’ve been kind enough to refer our company to their friends (click on the book image to check it out). For women I choose shopping related gifts. The feedback is wonderful, and guess what – they keep on referring us.
Want more ideas?
Check out the brilliant things that social media software company Buffer does for their customers and supporters. They've taken "showing customers some love" to new heights. There are some really great ideas shared here. buffer.com/community-delight/.
Got a story to tell yourself?
Share your stories of how you’ve been delighted or how you’ve delighted your customers here or on our Facebook page.
Let’s spread some happy stories and inspire other business owners to do the same. In fact, why not do something wonderful for your clients right now, and get everyone talking about your business.