If you’re a local business and do not have any type of referral process in place, you are losing out on future revenue. It’s one of the biggest problems I see when working with local business.
1. They aren’t asking for reviews.
2. They aren’t asking for referrals.
3. They have the phone number and contact form BURIED on their website.
I already broke down how to get more Google reviews and Facebook recommendations for free and in these blog posts. I’m working on a post about getting more conversions with your site but in this post, I’ll break down some ways to get referrals.
But first let’s break it down. You really need to think of your LCV (lifetime customer value) to figure out how much 1 referral can bring in. For an example let’s say:
– 1 customer transaction is $100 but they use your business 5 times a year
– That’s $500 per year per customer.
– Now let’s say that 1 customer refers 3 friends to your business.
Customer 1 brings in Referral 1 ($500) + Referral 2 ($500) + Referral 3 ($500)
That’s an extra $1500 per year for your business for doing nothing (except for providing a kick ass service or product)!
Let’s look at this example.
– Say 1 customer refers 7 friends a year. Pretty simple right? Nothing too crazy.
– 7 referrals X $500 = $3500
– Easy money!
And if your business has a higher customer value, then even 1 referral a year could bring in more revenue.
I say this often, getting reviews, referrals and more conversions from your website is the cheapest way to grow your business. I break down some of the numbers in this post here about the cost of getting more reviews.
Below are some actionable ways you can start getting referrals for your business.
Provide a kick ass service
This is obvious but your number one goal should be to perform an amazing service for your customers. If you do, they will refer you. Plus provide even better customer service. It shows you care when your customer service is top notch. We often get compliments about our customer support. We’re quick, helpful and genuinely try to help our own customers and users. But why not give your customers the best support possible?
Ask after a review
After your customer has used your business ask for a review and feedback. Ask for reviews for free or you can use a paid review platform like ReviewRail. Whatever the case is, ask for reviews. But here’s the kicker. Anyone that gives you positive feedback you need to ask for a referral. If someone was happy with your business then why wouldn’t they refer a friend?! THEY PROBABLY WILL! You just need to ask. ReviewRail has a built in referral program which automatically kicks in and sends to happy customers.
Use social media
Social media is basically taking over the world (that’s another whole post in itself). But most are social media obsessed. According to the survey here, people spend 2hrs and 22 mins on social media a day! So sad but it’s our world. So the more people post and share about your business, the more their friends and family will see your business.
Email is not dead
Marketers have been saying email is dead and social media has taken over. While yes social media is massive, email is still a great option. I’m not a big fan of just promoting your business. If you have a list of customers, start emailing them 1-4 times a month. I like once a week but a few times a month is cool. Give them valuable, actionable information. For example:
Massage therapist or chiropractor: You can send them endless health tips.
Roofer: Send them home improvement tips.
Lawyer: Send them articles and info about the specific type of law your firm practices.
Then at the bottom of each email, include a PS. In that PS ask for a review and/or for a referral. If you send 100 customers 26 emails a year (2 a month), that’s 2600 your PS might trigger them to take action and write a review or refer you.
And all of these emails don’t have to be tips. I’d say 1 out of 5 or 20% of them can be promotional or an email talking directly about your business.
Pretty simple. Pay them or give them something every time they refer your business. People basically want 2 things, money and Amazon gift cards. Give them one of those and you will get more referrals.
Being kick ass is the most important. If your business is amazing and awesome, your customers will be happy to refer you. Even without an Amazon gift card! 🙂