A business needs to be introduced, otherwise, nobody knows it exists. First thing come up is normally advertising, beside other marketing channels such as branding, brochure, website, landing pages, social media, digital marketing, etc. There’s nothing wrong in putting your budgets in such marketing channels, but don’t forget, one thing that is still and will always be effective, which is word of mouth. A single new customer that refer your business is the best customer you’ve ever had. A study conducted by The New York Times said that 65% of new business are the results of good recommendation.
Getting referral is not easy but then again, it does not require high academic skills anyway. It is definitely best to focus in getting referrals. Your sales are going to jump rocket-high if you know how to build your referral channel.
Here are 5 powerful tips to generate more referrals for your business.
1. Build your product knowledge
First comes first. Knowing what your business is and deeply understand about your product or service are essentials. You don’t want your customer to get bad experience, simply because you or your employees don’t know how to answer their questions
If you are selling iPhones, you need to know the features inside, what the phone can do and how it can help your customer’s needs.
2. Serve your customers well
As a business owner, you must have known that serving your customers best is all you need to get good referral, but, do your employees know it? Do they know how to speak or act when communicating with customers? They need to be well trained in order to help you offer good service.
Building good customer experience while in contact with your business helps you increase referrals. People will talk about how well you treat them.
3. Recognize your customers
You might know who is your first customer because he was the first person that step in your store or office. You know his name, age, phone or even better, his address, even though you didn’t write it down. You talk and make friends with him and he knows you pretty well too. You will unintentionally recognize him again when he comes next time and offer him the best experience.
How if you are able to treat the next customers in the same way as the first one. You talk and make friends with all of them, know their names and other details. Do you think they will come again to buy from you
You might think it can only happen with startup or small business when the owner has to run the business himself. Effectively yes, but it can be applied in big corporation too. It is hard but it can be done. Generally, you need to train your front desk staffs, customer service and setup your system including customer relationship management application.
4. Motivate your customers to refer
Everyone has a heart to help others. The difference is only in how big they are willing to help. So, before they leave your shop or office, always tell your customers to refer your business. Not all of them will spare their word of mouth, but you can expect 20% of them spread your business information. It is a good percentage already since they’re doing it for free for you.
Other than that, you can motivate them to refer by offering reward. You can offer them a gift or discount if they refer someone. The more creative your reward, the more referral you gain.
5. Remind your customers
Though you have done all the above tips, still, you can expect your customer forget you. Why? Because you are a new business, a new brand or a small business (SME) which is not obvious in the highly competitive market. So, you need to remind your customer in a frequent time, but don’t be spammy. It could distract them and make them intentionally forget you.
You can try to send them an email newsletter and remind them about your business, offering a promotion or any event and announcement. A good old conventional greeting card or individual note still works too, probably better than online since not many businesses are doing this anymore. You could be unforgettable because of these.
Do you have any other tips to grow business referral or word of mouth? Let me know in the comment box below. We always have a place for good tips. And don’t forget to share if you find this business blog post useful.
Wahidin Wong is a digital marketer. He is also a jazz and bossa lover.