When you purchase a product or service, and it works as advertised, you don’t rush to tell your best friend, write a riveting review for the company online, or shout your happiness from the top of a mountain. Why is this? Because you and everyone else out there expect a product to work or service to be as good as it is advertised. This makes it completely unsurprising when things work out the way they are supposed to and leaves you yearning to do nothing more than personally enjoy your purchase. Yet, when you are on the receiving end of particularly horrible service at a restaurant, or you realize the product that you just made it home from the store with is already broken, you are shocked and appalled that a company enabled a less than exceptional customer experience.
So, as an unhappy customer, what do you do?
You throw down as much eternal wrath and fury as humanly possible from your keyboard (of course!) so that everyone from your mother to people you have never met across the globe may be spared from feeling betrayed by a company you trusted enough to purchase from. Just think back to the products you have bought, have you bothered to write a review for the ones that work just fine? Probably not. When a product works as expected, it doesn’t stick out as anything out of the ordinary, and so the customer is just not usually moved to talk about it— unless it is like their favorite thing. Ever.
That doesn’t seem very fair.
For a business, it seems a little backward that by doing everything right and working hard to keep your customers happy that your company isn’t getting as much publicity as it would if you had made a negative impact. While you may have heard bad publicity might be helpful for otherwise unknown companies, please trust us when we say that there are SO many better ways for you to make a lasting (positive) impression on your audience.
What is the trick to getting happy customers to talk?
You have to reward your customers in some way to get them motivated to speak positively about your business and understand that word of mouth power flowing. We have three words for you: Customer Referral Program. By offering discounts and incentives, you are giving a reason for the customer to spread the word about your company. Your customers will certainly go and tell 10 of their friends if something is “in it for them.”
This process bodes very well for your company because you now have a customer who is doing your marketing for you, and it’s mutually beneficial to your customer because it’s like making a little bit of commission off of the sale to go and spend at YOUR company. So, not only do you have the customer selling your product or service for you, but you are ensuring that they are going to come back to you to spend what they earned!
How do Customer Referral Programs work?
One example of this type of program is that you could give new customers referral cards with the customer’s name on them (and a spot for the person’s name that they provide the card to) that let them know that if they hand those cards to someone they know and that person becomes a new customer, the referrer and the referral will both get a $50.00 credit toward their next purchase when that card is turned in to your company. This not only rewards both the referrer and the referral, providing a double incentive to motivate new referral sign-ups, but it also provides your company with an easy way to track your referrals and ensure that you are delivering on your promise and that everyone is reaping their rewards. Of course, you will need to adjust the amount of credit you are using as an incentive as it is compared to the price of the product or service you are selling. That is, a $50.00 off may work for a $500.00 product, but it isn’t going to do much in enticing customers for a $5000 service. Simply put, the bigger the price, the bigger the incentive. For more examples of customer referral programs, check out this epic list.
Another referral program mistake is not promoting your referral program adequately. Make sure that all of your sales associates are informing new customers, that it is going out in your email blasts or on your direct mailing on the regular, and that it is posted inside your physical place of business.
Implementing a customer referral program will increase your marketing campaign via word of mouth, keep your business on the tip of everyone’s tongue, keep customers flocking your way, and keep them eager to recommend you because of their vast experience. After all, happy wife customers, happy life.
Did you come across an excellent customer referral program that you’d like to share or have any questions about ours? Share your thoughts in the section below; we’d love to hear from you!