Referrals are the best leads your business can get. A referral means your customer is not only happy with your product, but willing to put their reputation on the line to support you. Leads like this are more likely to convert to customers than any other source. So how do you get them? Here are seven ways.
1. Offer incentives for reviews on websites such as Yelp and Google Local – but be open to criticism.
Make it easy by putting direct links on your website. Don’t, however, hide negative reviews. Customers like to see that you are always willing to make your business better, so responses to negative or less-than-favorable feedback is actually helpful and builds trust. Just make sure the incentive is for a review in general, not a positive one.
2. Offer Refer-a-Friend discounts.
Not all of your customers will be tech or computer savvy, so offering something that works with the traditional “word of mouth” strategy is always a strong option.
3. Share reviews.
Take a Yelp review and post it to your Facebook page. Others will see these reviews and be reminded that they can also leave their mark.
4. Utilize other site reviews.
With the popularity of personal blogs, your business may have reviews out there without even knowing it. Use “social listening tools” like SocialMention, Google Alerts, etc. to look for your company or brand name online. Utilize this free press and mention the blog you found it on. Now you’re doing them a favor by increasing their web traffic, all while spreading the free publicity for your business.
5. Engage people on social media.
Take to Facebook or Google + and ask your audience how they would describe your service in three words or less. Or ask which feature/service they could never live without. You may find that people are more apt to commenting quickly than writing a full review. Also, respond to tags, replies, comments, reviews, etc. Providing extra care and attention can make a world of a difference.
6. Ask for feedback and then ask if you can use it.
In person, on Facebook, by email – whatever channel your customers respond to! Knowing your service company values your input does more than businesses assume. People love talking about themselves, so why not ask them what they think? Simply showing that you value their input can leave a lasting impression and, if they’re willing to let you use it, provide you with a testimonial.
7. Give awards.
Surprise a customer with an award based on your industry. For instance, if you’re an HVAC provider, give an award for “Coolest Customer” based on the HVAC improvements made to their home. If you’re an Electrician, give an award based on their energy savings post-job. It sounds hokey, but they’re likely to tell a few friends and family about it. Especially if it’s a real trophy.
Referrals can grow a business fast and help keep retention high. Make sure you give your referral program credit by assigning “Referral” as a lead source in your CRM or field service management system.