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Customer Referral Programs

Customer Referral Programs

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Marketers are going back to one of the most traditional forms of marketing, which is word of mouth. After all, it is the most effective marketing strategy and one that has stood the test of time even in this digital era. Customer referral programs rely on word of mouth but crafting a referral program that will be effective requires a tangible strategy.
Creating Customer Referral Programs Strategy
  1. Evaluate your database
    The first thing that you have to do is evaluate your customer database to identify contacts whom you have a good rapport with. Create a list of possible referrers and these could be people you are currently in contact with, past customers, industry leaders, your suppliers and others. You have to approach the topic with great tact. Avoid pestering as this may turn off your contacts and loyal customer.  
  2. Define Your Referral Program
    There are two types of referral programs and these are: incentive based and non-incentive based programs. A study conducted by a Chicago University found that having non-incentive based referral programs for clients are more effective by 24% when compared to incentive based referral programs. Identify what offers to give for customer referrals and break down your referrers into categories highlighting the offers to give to them.  
  3. Outline the Required Resources
    You will need to have a workflow on how the client referral program will work. The workflow needs to lead your contacts on the processes the program will follow as well as provide alerts to the sales team. Create a landing page that your referrers will use to provide more information and develop a holistic referral kit. This could be eBooks, case studies, videos and anything else that gives the people you are working with insight into the product or service.
Dos and Donts of a Client Referral Program
Its important to be transparent with the people in your referral program. One of the major reasons why people are skeptical about engaging in these programs is because they have no idea what you are going to do with the information. Address these fears by telling your contacts how this information is handled, how you will get in touch with the customer referral and much more. Share feedback and most importantly let your referrer know when their lead converts to a customer. Lastly, give recognition and rewards. These could be gift cards, tickets, or other tangible items. However, non-monetary recognition is equally important in showcasing your appreciation.
Do not bombard your leads with cold calls and sales pitches. Its important to make a connection with the referral. Dont fail to live up to your promises. This is where many businesses go wrong, especially after they have had a turned the leads into clients. Dont try change the process halfway through the program and you most certainly cannot start changing the rewards. Your business can learn to earn money using word of mouth marketing by having a client referral program. Referral marketing can help boost brand recognition and leads to better engagement between the brand and its customers.

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