When customers refer your product or service to their friends, what is this really about? They have put their credibility on the line, they’ve made an effort to help save their friends time and possibly money, and they are helping someone else make a better choice.
All this for you or for the small reward that you may send their way? Not really. Customers rarely make referrals to help a business. They make them because they want to bring value to their friends and be useful to their social connections.
So, if your referral strategy is centered on simply going around asking customers for referrals, it’s time to rethink things. You may win a few leads or even a few customers, but these tactics rarely scale and you’re essentially missing the point. Customers make referrals to help their friends, not you.
A truly profitable and scalable referral strategy is about connecting customers and enabling them to share what is already a good experience. For many service professionals and marketers, this means a resetting of expectations and tactics. Consider these basic tips and some effective approaches.
Connect customers. It’s obvious that people are more connected via digital channels. But simply gathering countless likes on Facebook or Yelp reviews is going to do little to spur customer advocacy. You need to connect with new customers at the time of need. If someone in New York City is looking for an insurance agent and one of your existing customers is known to them, they should be able to discover each other easily. There is nothing more powerful than knowing that their friend has endorsed your service when they are looking for a similar service.