Ask any good marketer, and they’ll tell you: word of mouth pays off. Best of all is when customers actively serve new prospects to you on a silver platter. Unfortunately, that rarely happens, even for operators with stellar service and top-notch online reviews. Here are some ways you can tip the odds in your favor.
1. Have Great Service
This one’s obvious, but we might as well start at the beginning and cover all the bases. There are many benefits to having great service. Improving the odds of getting those elusive referrals is one of them. You already know what to do here, but a couple of areas that can really make you stand out are your responsiveness and communication.
2. Cultivate the Relationship
Asking for a referral right out of the blue simply doesn’t work. Sure, you might get lucky once in a while. But it’s not something you can count on. Instead, focus on being consistent and building strong relationships with your customers over time. If you can prove yourself worthy of the endorsement, you probably won’t even have to ask them about it.
3. Follow Up
Checking in with customers after the appointment is always a good idea. It can reveal potential issues you otherwise wouldn’t have known about and gives you an opportunity to go the extra mile to make it right. After all, just because a customer isn’t up in arms and barking at your office staff doesn’t mean they’re happy campers. Even when things are perfect, following up can make you look professional and leave a good impression.
4. Offer Referrals of Your Own
If your customer is a commercial business, chances are they’re in the same boat you’re in and are actively looking to leverage word of mouth to grow. Even residential customers may have a side gig or an employer they want to promote. If the opportunity presents itself, why not offer to refer their business to your people. This could make them warm up to the idea of doing the same.
If you’ve done a great job and have a strong relationship with your customers, they should have no problem spreading the word. But some of them still might need a gentle nudge or reminder. If you do decide to ask for a referral, be sure you don’t put customers on the spot. Instead, just let them know that your business grows by word of mouth, and if you have a rewards program in place, go ahead and let them know about it.
Growing a successful business can be a challenge. Still, if you’ve followed the steps outlined here, you should have no problem snagging a few more referrals and improving your reputation in the community while you’re at it.
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