As we noted in our article Referral Programs – closing the “like” loop, sometimes your loyal customers need a little enticement to bring warm leads to your door through a well-managed referral program, member get member program, or refer a friend incentive.
Here are a few tips to maximise the effectiveness of your referral program
- Offer your existing customers something they actually want
Its important that you offer and thank your existing customers with something they really want. A bag of lollies may be a nice touch out of the blue but it is not an incentive to do anything different – unless of course you are looking for referrals from 5 year olds!
Finding an incentive which is universally motivating across your customer base can be difficult
- Make it easy and fast to participate
When you boil it down, when seeking new customers or leads through your existing customer base you are in fact asking them do you a favour, albeit a favour which will you thank them for, never the less you are asking them to go out of their way and endorse you.
You therefore need to make it as easy as possible for them to participate in your program and be as convenient as possible – avoid lengthy forms or questionnaires and make the process appropriate to your client base.
If you promise to offer a reward to your customers for providing you leads through a referral program then you need to be fair d’income about it!
Nothing will damage your reputation more and lose you customers faster than a customer expecting a reward and not getting it because they don’t reach the terms of the fine print.
- Be immediate and timely
To be effective and continue the cycle of referrals you should aim to present your reward as soon as possible.
The stronger the association between behaviour and reward the more effective it will be.
- Reward both your existing customer and referral
By rewarding both parties in a referral you help to create a better sense of community and draw people closer together. This will help to encourage the new customers to in turn provide you with referrals as their immediate dealings with you will have been rewarding. You create a chain reaction and ultimately a more engaged customer base.
- Use Measures and Controls
It can be tempting to just decide to implement a referral program and hope something sticks. But, like any prospecting initiative you need to test and measure and focus your energies on a program which will reap the best type of leads. Ensure your program can provide reports and statistics which you can analyse for continuous improvement
Compared to other lead generation methods referral programs can be very low in cost to initiate. They are often not given the attention or effort they deserve as many organisations don’t scrutinise their ROI as the investment is comparatively small.
Make sure your customers know about your referral program. Talk to them, tweet them, facebook them, shout it from the rooftops – we love you so much we want more like you! Try to find a referral program provider who can help you to personalise your program as much as possible – the target here is your existing customers so be sure you are speaking directly to them – use their name, use a medium appropriate to them and leverage your relationship as much as you can.
To discuss how Rewards Come True can assist you with the set up and rollout of a referral progam
Contact us to find out more