At WarmUp, one of the most common questions we get is, “how do I even get referrals?” Our clients often do not know what to ask or how their processes should work. But that’s okay! You don’t have to do this on your own. Figuring out how to get customer referrals by yourself is difficult, so we decided to compile some of our best practices for obtaining referrals. 

Once you have set up your program, you might still be left with questions about how best to use it. These are three of our most effective strategies for getting strong referrals from customers so you can utilize word-of-mouth marketing to increase your sales.

Build customer satisfaction through great service and communication

If your product or service is good enough, customers will recommend you on their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a referral program, as programs significantly increase the likelihood of someone recommending you. However, it does mean that you need to offer an excellent customer experience.

You want your customers to be extremely satisfied and enthusiastic about sharing their experience with your company. You probably won’t have a lot of luck asking for referrals if your customers aren’t thrilled about your service or products. Before you can even start asking for referrals (whether you’re B2B or B2C), you need to wow your customers. 

One way to ensure that your customers receive the best experience possible is by performing a customer experience audit. Go through the same process a customer would to discover where you can focus more energy or time and what parts are working well. 

Think about a positive experience that you’ve had at a business and whether or not you recommended it to people you know. If you did, what pushed you to refer them? If you didn’t, why not? Use these answers to figure out the best way to encourage your customers to recommend your business. 

Make it a conversation

People don’t like it when they are ‘forced’ to ask people for referrals as part of their referral process. If you or your staff view your referral process as a burden, then you are losing people from the get-go. Customers can tell when employees feel forced to do something, as opposed to genuine enthusiasm for the company. 

For example, at fast-food restaurants where they tell you about the survey on the back of the receipt, it’s clear that they tell everyone that and that no one ever fills it out. Those customers know that conversation is part of a script rather than a suggestion from the employee. It is something the employee has to do, not something they want to do. 

So how do you get customer referrals through genuine conversation? Talk about how your product or service could help the customers’ friends and family specifically. Rather than asking for a referral, suggest that they recommend your company to people they know. Make them feel like more than just a box you need to check off when you ask for their input.

Don’t treat referrals as chores. If you do, your customers will see them as chores rather than a chance to share a great product or service with those they know. Encourage them to see it as an opportunity to improve their friends’ or family members’ lives, because your product or service has improved theirs. 

Be consistent

One of the most important aspects of establishing a successful referral program is consistency. When you want to get customer referrals, you have to ask every customer. Every time you don’t ask,  you are missing opportunities and losing money. 

Referral programs are a numbers game. The more people you ask, the better your chances of landing a new referral. You have to ask as many customers as possible to increase the number of referrals you receive. 

Additionally, once you set up your referral program, stick with it. If you forget about it or don’t try to improve it whenever possible, you won’t experience useful results. The more opportunities you take to grow your program and make it more effective, the better it will be.

With these tips on how to get customer referrals, you will see the results of a great referral program in no time. Strong, consistent strategies lead to positive results, and in this case, that result is your business growth. 

If you are looking to develop and implement a referral program at your company, schedule a free demo with WarmUp and see how you can reduce your marketing costs while increasing your lead quality.

Want to learn more about how referral marketing can generate leads and grow your business? Grab our free eBook today and set your lead generation up for success in 2021.