You might think a customer referral to be a new concept, one that has been around only recently. If you think that, well think again!
The concept of a ‘customer referral’ goes back hundreds of years. If you are ever in any part of any town and ask a passerby for the best restaurant or the yummiest bakery, you would always find the answer. Now, how do you think that is, and more importantly, why do you think that is?
You already know the answer to that because it’s that simple. It is ‘word-of-mouth’. The same is the concept of referrals!
Keep reading on to find some cool tricks to stack up against your sleeves and never lose the business you’ve had.
Why is asking for a customer referral important?
As a Customer Success Manager (CSM) you’re proud of the product that the firm has rolled out. It is critical to a domain and it’s the most elegant solution to a problem most enterprises never knew they had. Well that’s excellent, but take a step back and assess:
- How many companies genuinely feel that way after trying out your product and testing it within their teams?
- Do you get awesome feedback every time where they couldn’t stop praising you, so much that they make you feel overwhelmed? Or
- Do you hear them ranting as to what could be better, that they’re having a hard time grasping some of the functionality; that they are in a state of confusion and constant dilemma not knowing what’s happening?
Expecting to get a reference from a confused or annoyed customer is unrealistic. But by carefully tending to your customers’ needs and being there to help their organization, getting them to adapt to the changes that they would need to make for smooth implementation isn’t always straightforward. When you have the right attitude toward your customers, the right solution, and make them feel you’re reliable, then that’s already a game-changer for you.
Suggested Read: A Guide to Customer Advocacy and Driving Value Through it
Imagining you have a great product and the right attitude let’s see why getting referrals matters and the impact that might have on your business. Getting a referral is like a tree growing a branch. You start with just one branch that bears one fruit but with the power of referrals, the same tree can grow multiple branches and start bearing fruits in each one of them! If you follow the analogy further, the branches can have branches and every new branch leads to fundamentally more and more fruits. The branch being every new potential customer that your base customer referred you to and the branches of branches being the referred client referring you while the fruits are your rewards! Aimed with a customer success strategy, that might mean exponential growth of recurring revenue.
Steps to asking for a customer referral!
Now that you have the propensity for a juicy and sweet world of referrals, let’s explore some steps that you can take to accomplish it.
Listen; and then, keep listening.
The cause of frustration between any two entities is that either they are not able to convey the core issue or that the so-called solution isn’t achieving what it should. The true issue though will be quite basic most times. Always be a problem solver. Always be open to feedback and quick to implement, improve and impose strategic development of your product onto your company. This is a brilliant way to never lose a customer while you can guarantee that your happy clients will refer you!
If one of your clients needs you at any point during their journey with your product, make sure to be at their beck and call. If they can feel rest assured, they will let people they care about, know about you and how your solution makes all the difference in their world for them.
Rewards are never a bad idea
If you’re already doing a great job at satisfying your paying client, they might be interested in a special deal that you have just for them. Let them know about your referral program and the benefits that they’d be obtaining in doing so.
Up close and personal
Everybody likes the attention. Let your customers know that they’re being thought of! Keep yourself updated with their needs by getting yourself reviewed and getting feedback. Update them of your updates and keep them in the loop of your product development strategy! Everybody loves feeling important too.
Just ask for it!
Call it being old-school but most of the time, the best way is always the easiest as well. Being direct speaks of respecting one’s time. Nobody likes someone beating around the bush and never getting to the point! Write personal emails or call up directly and just ask for it. If you’re great at whatever you’re doing and you’ve gained the trust and respect of your customers, then without a doubt, you’ll be treated the same.
A referral is an attempt to increase the customer base with fewer marketing efforts. By initiating referrals from your existing customers, you are accepting a qualified lead, who already understands the kind of service you give and might require it.
Summarizing what referral can do;
- The quality of leads is enriched
- Reduces the cost of acquisition
- High probability of conversion
- Reduced churn rate
- Increased CLV
- Multiplies the customer base
So, basically helping your customer success team get new leads. And to gear up to initiate a frictionless program for referral, so that you make a better deal with the absolute value your product and service offers.