How do you get customers to refer you without asking? Get 13 examples for your referral strategy right here.
To help you adopt the best ways to get customer referrals without asking, we asked customer service managers, marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From making your packaging attractive to customers to offering your clients personalized experiences, there are several ways to consciously target your customers with excellent service and subtle gestures that would incentivize them to readily recommend your brand to others.
Here are 13 ways these leaders get their customers to refer their business without asking:
- Make Your Packaging Attractive to Customers
- Offer Discounts Or Privileges
- Share User-Generated Content to Build Your Community
- Continue Customer Support Even After Transactions
- Provide Products and Services of Exceptional Quality
- Offer Your Clients Personalized Experiences
- Make Your Product Solve a Unique Problem
- Ensure You Are Meeting Your Customers’ Expectations
- Introduce a Customer Referral Scheme
- Promote Other Businesses
- Give Out Free Handouts
- Be Sincere in Providing Excellent Service
- Be Timely With Your Social Media Engagements
Make Your Packaging Attractive to Customers
The best way for an e-commerce business to get more referrals is to focus on packaging. Packaging sometimes feels like an afterthought in the entire distribution process, but it’s actually extremely important. Steve Jobs and Apple’s marketing department knew this well. If you have customers that enjoy opening the package, or better yet, take a picture of it, there’s a better chance a friend will see it. This kind of stealthy marketing is both a benefit for existing customers and future customers. Don’t overlook the packaging. It’s the first thing customers see when they open the product, and if it’s good, it can easily attract word-of-mouth customers on a frequent basis.
dan potter, CRAFTD
Offer Discounts or Privileges
Offer your clients discounts or privileges for referring you to others. This is a tried-and-true method that works especially well if you have a product or service that people are passionate about. For example, many gyms offer a free month of membership for every referral. And why not? It’s a great way to increase business while showing appreciation for your clients’ help in spreading the word. You can also offer discounts on future purchases, or even something as simple as a thank-you card.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Share User-Generated Content to Build Your Community
Sharing user-generated content is often an undervalued and indirect way to get a referral from a happy customer. When you interact with your customers by sharing their content that includes your products, you are building a relationship and community with your customer base without asking for a referral. You can promote the sharing of user-generated content with promotions and opportunities to win prizes or get featured. Any chance you have to build community and positive experiences increases opportunities for organic referrals of new customers.
Ann McFerran, Glamnetic
Continue Customer Support Even After Transactions
The bulk of our business is by word of mouth. As a business that caters to local small businesses, these referrals are crucial to sustaining our operations. In my experience, the only surefire way to get referrals from existing customers is to continue to support them even after the transaction is complete. This means following up to make sure they are satisfied, or in our case, popping into their storefronts now and then as patrons. You want to keep it personal, light and casual- this isn’t about bugging them for more business. If you can demonstrate that your service comes from a place with heart, concern and genuine desire to help, your customers will notice. And they will want others to have that experience, especially if you are in a B2B industry.
Gates Little, altLINE Sobanco
Provide Products and Services of Exceptional Quality
Your products speak for themselves. Customers refer their friends and family to brands that they believe provide exceptional quality and customer services, such as products made with high-end materials and craftsmanship. Word-of-mouth referrals start with products that make an impression that begs to be shared.
Cesar Cruz, Sebastian Cruz Couture
Offer Your Clients Personalized Experience
While there isn’t a magic trick to getting somebody to refer you, you can ensure that what you are offering is the best service. Consumers are known to talk about two things when it comes to business they interact with – really bad experiences, and really good experiences. Being middle of the road won’t cut it if you want those referrals to come in, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward and offering a personalized experience for your clients.
If you are finishing a project or ending your work with somebody, it can always be nice just to get them a small bottle of wine, or a box of chocolates just to say thank you for working with you. It may seem like a simple and unnecessary gesture, but it will definitely be something that the client brings up in conversation over the next few days, which will lead them to comment on how good you were to work with.
Mike Walsh, Cloud My Biz
Make Your Product Solve a Unique Problem
Word-of-mouth referrals spread like wildfire when your product solves a problem that the competition doesn’t. For example, standard products found in the drugstore that protect against bladder leaks are manufactured with harsh chemicals that can be irritating to the skin. However, we created a product that says goodbye to the powerful ingredients and embraces the natural process of aging. When you genuinely improve your customers’ lives by solving unique problems, they will share the solution with their network.
Alexandra Fennell, Attn: Grace
Ensure You Are Meeting Your Customers’ Expectations
Yes, I do get the bulk of my business through word-of-mouth referrals. This does not mean that I have not invested in other marketing strategies. Instead, as customers get satisfied by the services of my business, they automatically become ambassadors of the brand by giving out positive words to their friends and family. The best tip to get referrals from already existing customers is to make them happy and satisfied. Ensure that the expectation they have in your brand is fully met and provide top-notch customer service delivery. You will not have to tell these customers to speak from your brand. They will do so automatically and send many referrals your way.
yongming Song, Imgkits- Photo Editor
Introduce a Customer Referral Scheme
Having a Referral program gives the impression that you have a well-organized system in place. Your clients will notice this assurance and feel more at ease exchanging information. Customer referral programs strengthen your brand’s credibility. They, therefore, find it easy to put their trust in you. Additionally, you can give them reward points or coupons as part of the scheme. They are more likely to act on a referral when they are given a reward with your referral scheme/program. Thus, introducing a customer referral program is a great strategy to generate referrals from your existing customers without asking!
Mark Blakey, Autism Parenting Magazine
Promote Other Businesses
I used to routinely receive numerous referrals without having to ask. Promoting other businesses is the best tip for getting a referral from an existing customer. Customers could anticipate reciprocation if you ask them to recommend others to your establishment. You’ll bring crucial negotiating chips to the table by promising to refer your consumers to other businesses. Customers will believe they are receiving an equal return for their information. But take care. Whenever you suggest one of your current customers elsewhere, you risk damaging your relationship with them. Make sure the company you’re referring them to is just as unique as yours; otherwise, they might blame you for their bad luck. By outlining the exact reasons you are asking them for it, tailor the proposal to the client.
Victoria Culbertson, NYC House Cleaners
Give Out Free Handouts
Asking for referrals from customers can be awkward. Instead, you can give satisfied customers a few pamphlets or brochures that provide helpful, general information not specific to your brand. Include your logo and contact details at the back or corner of the pamphlet. This way, the customer is less hesitant to give the handouts to family members and friends- customers are much less likely to distribute marketing material focusing mainly on your brand. When you create a useful source of information, they feel better about handing out the brochures because now they’re helping their loved ones. By giving information to the reader, you’re also creating a positive brand image by showing how you care more about the potential customer’s well-being than sales.
Brian Campbell, Waterfilterguru
Be Sincere in Providing Excellent Service
Customers are always the core of any business. Without customers, there’s no revenue, and without profits, the business won’t go on. It’s the basics of Marketing! A satisfied customer will become loyal to the business and become a worthy asset. It is because when a customer is satisfied with the company’s products and services, they tend to share them with others. This is nothing but – Word of Mouth.
They sow seeds of curiosity in others who will be the business’ new customers. It is a cycle. In all this, there is only one ingredient – Excellence! Providing excellent services & products should be the goal & vision of any company/business. When this is followed, no need to ask for referrals, they do the rest. Excellence doesn’t come from a hypocrite’s heart but a sincere one. This needs to be remembered at all times.
Helmut Biemann, On Demand Painters
Be Timely With Your Social Media Engagements
Staying on top of our social engagement is how we quickly identify leads. When customers share posts and videos on their social media channels demonstrating how much they love using our product, it’s free word-of-mouth marketing that results in a windfall of new leads. And by responding promptly and thanking them for sharing their joy, we make ourselves available to engage with their contacts should they have questions or want more information about our product. It’s an excellent way to engage potential customers and start building a relationship while their interest in our offering is piqued.
Jayme Muller, RTA Outdoor Living
Make It Easy for Your Customers to Refer You
There’s nothing better than getting referrals from customers when you didn’t even ask. And, the best way to make that happen is by creating an unforgettable customer experience that leaves them so excited, so full of value and so grateful for you that they can’t wait to tell their friends and colleagues.