Note – If you are looking for useful and handy resources on customer referral solutions, you have landed on the right page. Here we will discuss various aspects of the referral program.
“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell.
Isn’t it true- that when we receive more than what we expect, we become happier? Have you ever wondered why it happens and how you can use this knowledge to upscale your business?
If the answer is yes, then read on because we will be talking in detail about how you can take your referral program up a notch and use some brilliant ideas to create excitement among your followers.
A study conducted by Nielson found that 92% of customers buy from brands if they are referred by someone they trust.
Customer referral programs work when two criteria are met: 1. When the offers are attractive, and 2. When the person referring your products is someone others will trust.
When you get these two aspects right, you have the perfect solution for an unbeatable customer referral program. To get the best results from the promotions, you need to advertise your services strategically.
While some strategies work for a majority of companies, they may not work equally well with a few others. That is why it is essential to know all the possibilities in this sector that you can implement and other ideas you had not thought of.
In the previous episodes, we spoke about the basics and advanced features of a customer referral program. We also looked at some examples of wonderfully executed programs in some of the bigger names in business and discussed essential dos and don’ts of implementing a robust referral program.
Today, we will be talking about some tips and discussing how best you can use your referral program. So, let’s get started!
Here are the following topics that will be covered in this chapter:
- 5 Tips to make the best referral program
- Promotional Ideas for Referral Program
- 5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Enough Customer Referrals
5 Tips to make the best referral program
The customer referral program has become the need of an hour in today’s digital marketing world.
When everybody’s clients are more associated with companies, the informal exchange has transformed from a “decent-to-have” feature to a need for development and success. From being just a word-of-mouth scheme, customer referral programs have become well-thought-out and designed after a lot of research.
Referral programs these days don’t just allow you to send gifts and goodies to your customers and help you locate the most active names on the customer list, provide data on customer likes and dislikes and engagement patterns, including their buying tendencies.
With the assistance of artificial intelligence and machine learning, referral programs can also make suggestions based on your customers’ liking. So, now you won’t have to ever do business on assumptions and guesswork. Everything will be linked back to data and research.
Unfortunately, many brands introduce Customer Referral Program that crash and burn off their potential. This happens when you don’t use proper tools and mechanisms to assess the needs of your customers.
Let us look at some essential tips that will take your customer referral program to another dimension:
- Analyze what kind of referral you want: One of the biggest mistakes which many companies make is not being clear about the type of Referral Program they want. The best way to deal with this is to chalk out a plan with your teams and target only a specific group of people.If your target is to increase your customer base, irrespective of where they come from, then a generic but well-researched program would work best. However, if you are targeting a specific audience, a referral program targeting their needs and liking is what will fetch you the most customers.Ask your customers, or perform surveys, to understand what background the users come from. This will help reduce the size of the target population and fetch you more specific data. It’s less demanding for your future referrer to recognize the right sort of individual to connect with. It will probably work out in your benefit.
- Make a user-friendly customer referral program:
The most crucial step to keep in mind when making the Customer Referral Program is its design—the more perplexing your referral procedure, the lower your odds of effectively putting it to use.When somebody has discovered your Customer Referral Program, it ought to require meager time to fulfill the basic steps. Don’t make a Customer Referral Program complex and challenging for the customers, which might not only make them lose interest but also make them move to another brand. The customer referral programs should be made in such a way that it should feel like the gifts are only one step away.
- Pay worthy offers to clients:
You can offer the world to your customers, but if that is not what they need or like, your referral incentives will simply not work. This is why we can help but stress the importance of giving valuable gifts to your customers. An effective referral requires some investment to make it work. So, it’s vital to offer something important in return for their time and loyalty towards you.
- Increase participation rate:
Get as many customers to take part in your referral program as possible. The equation is simple: you need more sign-ups to get more links shared. When more links are shared, more people will join in. It is like a cycle. Existing clients are unbelievably capable of bringing referrals. They know how and why it functions.What’s more, they know other individuals who have needs that are similar to theirs. Needless to say, you’ll need to email your clients and welcome them to your Customer Referral Programs or promote yourself on social media channels. Your product may be really impressive, but that won’t suffice.The larger part of individuals will never prescribe it unless you provoke them. Try not to resent this. Your clients are occupied, diverted, and dealing with their issues. Be that as it may, many people love unique arrangements and combine that with special offers and rewards to get yourself a perfect way to get more customers.
- Use social media to boost customer referral programs:
The most important thing to note here is that you need to follow the rule of simplicity when working on the referral process. A mere share or spread of information on social media can create a positive image of your brand. It can further act as a reinforcer for prospects to make a purchase.Social media is a boon when it comes to improving your customer base. Make each of your posts so attractive that customers can’t help but share your content. Make them engage more by responding to their comments. Apart from the ideas mentioned above, asking some important questions before setting out on delivering gifts will get you going in the right direction.
Answer these questions to make the work easier: How will customers discover the program? How will they be approached to take part? What will grow their interest? How will each offer make them feel? How can I improve the referral program? What is it that they are not liking?
A planned and well-executed referral program is bound to work. For best results, take the help of AI and ML-integrated tools to improve and speed up the process.
Setting up a referral program is not a sufficient task to take your business to new heights. Several other factors need to be kept in mind before making any customer referral program. The referral program that you select should add value to your organization and business practices.
Every business aims to reach out to the customers and market their products. This aim can be achieved by foolproof marketing strategies, along with analytic tools, perfectly fit together. Nowadays, with the help of high-tech digital tools and programs, it is not that big a task to improve your marketing game. Here are some impressive ideas to look at:
24 Promotional Ideas for Referral Program
- Discounts – Once a customer touches a specific parameter, the company can offer discounts on all their purchases. Make sure to advertise your product simultaneously and introduce the idea of an upcoming sale, too.
- Coupons – Almost every business gives coupons to their customers. Coupons can be advertised in brochures, ad displays (online and offline), emails, and on billboards in high traffic areas. Sending out coupon codes as an SMS or on a social media post works well too.
- Free Samples – Hand out samples of your product or other gifts branded with your logo. This is the best way to promote your products or a sneak peek to your upcoming product to multiple people in a short time.
- Contests – Contests create a lot of buzz amongst users. They are an easy way to get not only recognition, but also more followers and customers.
- Membership Card – Offer membership card as a token of acknowledgment after buying from your brand. Through this kind of a card, the members enjoy additional benefits, which further pushes them to a more long-term association with your brand.
- Vacation – You can send a promotional greeting card or ecard for vacation giveaways. For this to get your customers, you can have contests where customers have to tag and make their friends follow your page to be eligible for the prize.
- Payment – These days, nearly all well-known brands have initiated “pay later,” EMIs, and other convenient payment options. These are simple ideas that make your products more affordable and can be bought without any monetary trouble.
- Referral Discount – Needless to say, referral discounts work like butter. To take it one step further, you can also provide group discounts. These are the kind of values that get people talking and using word-of-mouth marketing. Motivate your customers to speak openly about your brand with others, to avail more such discounts and offers.
- Guarantees – Offering a guarantee can act as a good promotion step since it inspires the customers and builds confidence in the buyers’ minds.
- Free Trial – A free trial or a demo of your product always works. Once they get used to the idea of using your product, they can upgrade themselves to a paid or premium version.
- Gift Cards – Gift cards act as a great reward because they allow customers to pick up whatever they like instead of having a gift forced upon them. Gift cards are more effective as a reward when they are personalized to fit the customers’ needs and changed according to their liking. This means that you need first to understand what your customer is most likely to shop for and then provide a suitable gift card.
- Special Deals – Always boost your customers’ moods with some special deals. Make them feel it’s primarily meant for them to be loyal to the brand and refer to new leads.
- Greetings – Customers feel special when you, as a brand, remember to wish them on special occasions, including their religious festivals and birthdays. Take this opportunity to convert them into loyal customers by providing additional gifts and discounts.
- Merchandise – brand-specific merchandises always work. Not only are they amazing and useful for the customers, but they also come with your logo to work as a promotional product. Every time your customers use your products, the logo will attract attention.
- Online Reward – Send out discount codes or coupons to your existing customers in the form of online rewards to entice them to buy from you again. Make use of emails, SMSs, and direct phone calls to give away these codes.
- Loyalty Scheme – If you’re an FMCG company, you can take advantage of the frequency of customers’ purchases and use that to provide loyalty schemes. With every purchase they make, they get closer to getting a free drink or a hefty discount. After they reach the set target or a minimum number of purchases, they can get a discount or the freebie.
- Customer Reward Program – Introducing a lucrative customer reward program as a secret sauce in getting referrals. Your customers must be aware of such programs, and you must keep promoting so that your customers can take full advantage of it.
- Referral Bonus – After every referral, they make and post that referral’s purchase, provide your customer with an immediate reward. This reward could either be a hefty discount or coupon to be used at your website or any outlet.
- Customer Status – VIP membership has always been something customers look up to. For customers who have been associated with your brand for more than 5 to 10 years, they can be given a VIP membership card or those interested in availing. One may be upgraded to it. This card can be used to avail discounts and VIP services at airport lounges, hotels, and restaurants. You may add a “Fast Service” feature where VIP cardholders will be served at priority.
- Make purchase Memorable – Usually done by a newly established brand, this scheme can be used out of the blue by established businesses as well. Celebrate your milestones by giving away small souvenirs or gifts to thank customers for their continued service.
- Spot Rewards – The main objective of such a program is to reward a consumer for frequent patronage, and that’s why entry-level perks like a free drink, Chocolate samples, free Wi-Fi, etc. work well.
- Donation and Charities – Volunteering or donating ensures people will hear about your business. You can donate your products or ask your employees to donate their time to NGOs. Take part in marathons, or fundraisers, too.
- Free Consultations – Free consultations are a great way to showcase your expertise and get more clients. Consulting can be on your service or product and let the people know how it can benefit them.
- Go Green – Get associated with an organization that advocates for cruelty-free and vegan products or speaks for eco-consciousness. Promote societal and environmental welfare and let others know about your efforts.
Now that we have discussed some brilliant ideas of rewards that you can offer as part of your referral program, it is not to say that merely following each idea word-by-word will get you the desired numbers.
Some ideas will work, and some will not. If you have followed the ideas given here and have still not got the desired results, there must be something important you are missing out on. Here are 5 reasons why you may not be getting enough customers, despite having done everything else right.
5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Enough Customer Referrals
- Subpar products/services:
Your customers may not be referring to your brands because, most likely, they are not satisfied with your product. Run a thorough quality check on your products, and if possible, brand your services to create a better and fresh image of your services. As long as you offer something that is in line with the customer’s needs and wants, and are of good quality, you will keep getting referrals.
- Presence of aggressive Salesperson:
Barring few, most salespeople do not know how to handle clients. Make sure all your employees are trained well and meet the requirements. They should have empathy, patience, and, most importantly, a willingness to work for customers’ welfare.
- Not enough trust on the brand:
Trusting a brand is essential for referrals. If your company is not reliable, does not deliver on its promises, and provide poor quality products, the customer will never come back, let alone refer it to others. Build a sense of trust and reliability in your customers. How will you do that? Improve your social media presence, and be active there. Respond quickly and solve customer problems.
Along the same lines, you can also make sure your website feels like a safe place for transactions by using trusted brand names for payment gateways. Follow the example of leading brands that make small promises but deliver big- ensure product delivery by 7 days, but get it to their doorstep by day 4, to win their trust.
There is so much you can do to make them trust you. Once you have made some changes to how you respond to your customers, you will see the numbers rising, and how!
- No clarity of the benefits of your products and/or rewards:
Sometimes, a communication gap exists between the customers and the business. They may not possess information related to your products to recommend it to their friends. Present your advertisements and promotions in the simplest way possible to ensure the most clarity. When there is clarity, there are referrals.Make sure ample materials are available for them to refer to. Some customers may be looking for to-the-point answers, while others may be looking for in-depth research on your products. Making both available will make you gain the trust of everyone.
- Business operations are backdated:
You may have brought in place a modern customer referral software, it doesn’t equal to becoming a tech-oriented and fast company. You must also bring changes in other processes, such as the faster resolution of customer queries, fair and quick delivery of referral rewards, transparency in all practices which concern a customer, and implementation of efficient CRMs to speed up all activities.The world is changing fast, and constant updating matters a lot in terms of getting referrals. It helps to stay in the competition and compete with the other players in the market. If you have followed all the points mentioned above, we assure you that your customer referrals are sure to increase.
So, this was another chapter on implementing strong customer referral software in your organization. Here we gave some tips on making a good referral program, looked over at some promotional ideas, and also discussed some probable reasons you were not getting enough referrals. We hope this chapter has been helpful to you.
Feel free to get in touch with NextBee, for a free consultation on customer referral program.