8 Proven Strategies to Boost Customer Referrals

Don't just ask your customers to refer a friend - create a comprehensive customer referral program. Develop a detailed plan for how the program works, how you can follow up on referrals, and what incentives you'll offer as rewards. Incentives can be given to the person who made the recommendation, the referee, or both parties. When a brand provides an excellent customer experience, organic word of mouth happens naturally.

However, this is often random and hard to track, influence, and measure. Referral marketing is a strategy that takes advantage of this word of mouth and uses sophisticated tools to direct, measure, and optimize it. You want to get mass referrals to increase your ROI. Here are eight effective ways to promote your customer referral plan:

  • Survey customers - Most surveys simply ask customers what rewards or incentives would be most likely for them to participate in a referral program.
  • Interact with customers - One of the most important ways to get customers to recommend their friends and family is to interact with them.
  • Delegate responsibility - Delegate responsibility to a specific employee; for example, many companies choose to delegate this responsibility to the sales representative who closes a certain deal and already has an excellent relationship with the customer.
  • Utilize contacts - They also often have contacts in their industry that expand the reach of their marketing efforts.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing - Word-of-mouth marketing, which occurs when other people talk about a business, is also considered a form of referral marketing.
  • Take advantage of post-purchase excitement - According to Rokt, a leading e-commerce marketing solution, customers are more excited about a product right after they buy it.
  • Optimize your referral request strategy - A low engagement rate means that you need to optimize your referral request strategy or target a different segment of your customer base.
  • Hire an advertising manager - Most advertising managers have a 4-year degree in advertising, although a related field, such as marketing or journalism, can also be useful. Marketing managers generally have at least a bachelor's degree in marketing or related fields, such as business, accounting, statistics, or economics.
Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Networking International) and holder of the title “Father of Modern Marketing” (at least according to CNN), summed up one of the main challenges of referral marketing in one sentence: “As with all marketing tactics, time is of the essence when it comes to requesting referrals from your customers.” You must decide not only which incentive is most likely to generate an increase in referrals but also the value of each reward compared to the value of the new business for you. To maximize your customer referrals and ROI, you need to create an effective referral program.

Start by surveying customers and interacting with them. Delegate responsibility and utilize contacts for word-of-mouth marketing. Take advantage of post-purchase excitement and optimize your referral request strategy. Finally, hire an advertising manager who can help you reach more potential customers.

With these strategies in place, you'll be able to increase customer referrals and grow your business.