It’s a well-known fact that word-of-mouth referrals are one of the easiest ways to attract new customers.

Over 52% of small businesses found that referrals from friends were their most effective business method in 2014. But what if you are not a mom-and-pop shop or restaurant? Would referrals work for a solopreneur too?

Turns out that yes, referrals can work if you are a freelancer or solopreneur. A recent Hubstaff study found that prospective clients arriving from referrals were 30% more likely to turn to paid customers than those arriving from other sources.

Referrals work based on effort, and the work put in by you. Customers do not automatically refer to their friends and extensive networks—they do because you have created a memorable experience that made their time worthwhile.

Here are a few ways to boost the customer experience and referrals below.

1. Always be altruistic

Instead of immediately asking everyone for a referral with no context and prior to providing them with any value, you need to think of ways to show people who you would like to get referrals from that you’re a trustworthy and valuable partner. Think of your customer first and provide a great experience and the referrals will come.

When you ask a customer to refer customers to your company, they might ask the same from you. If that’s the case, again, be willing to advocate for them in order to show them you care and aren’t just selfishly looking for referrals to your business, while ignoring their needs.

For example, if you own an HVAC company who works with local businesses, let your customers know about those businesses if the opportunity presents itself. Anytime you can help your customers succeed, it will help you be more top of mind when they see someone that could use your services.

Do this with care. Your relationship with your new customers is at stake if you refer them to a business that is less than trustworthy. Be sure you refer them to a reputable business so that they get value, which will then make them want to return the favor.

2. Be intentional with your referral program

If you only think about your referral program once a month, when looking at reporting for the previous month, then you won’t be as successful. If you want to improve your referral program, get more referrals by giving alternatives.

Not everyone wants to engage with your referral program the first time you ask. The important thing is staying top of mind with it and giving them different ways to engage with the program. 

Try reaching out to them for a specific opportunity: posting a review, acting as a case study, or offering a testimonial. Put references to your referral program in your email signature, put it on your website, add it to existing monthly newsletters. Again, you don’t have to hammer it into people, but by making it a central part of your company’s process and giving them options to engage, that will maximize your chances of getting new advocates.

3. Take advantage of experts to optimize your referral program

Creating a customer referral program is a great way to standardize your process so your team will want to be involved in getting new referrals. Your customers will note this confidence and be more engaged in exchanging details because you have an organized plan. Referral programs improve the reputation of your company, making it easier for customers to trust you. There are plenty of resources for creating your own customer referral program from ebooks to YouTube tutorials to software to blogs on our website.

Referrals are a no-brainer because they lead to an easier sale to close, higher long-term retention, and they have a strong sense of loyalty. If you’ve created a valuable customer experience with these new referrals, they are more likely to make referrals themselves. 

Start Your Own Customer Referral Program

The better your referral program is, the easier it will be to receive referrals and see your business grow. We at WarmUp can help you get started a unique shareable link for each of your customers to spread the word about your business, which also allows us to track leads and referrals.

Want to learn more about WarmUp? We’d love to speak with you and help you get started! Schedule a call with us today.