The way customers interact with the market is completely different now than it was ten or fifteen years ago. The competition is fierce and improvements in technology continue to drive prices down in a variety of industries. Businesses may find it increasingly difficult to compete or stand out in today’s market. While it may seem like everything has changed, there are actually a few things that have remained constant in the world of running a business. Two of the things that remain constant-despite all the changes in the ways we do business-are the importance of taking care of your customers and the value of customer referrals. If you want any chance of standing out in today’s market you must make it your priority to take good care of your customers. When you are confident that you have provided your customers with the best service possible you can ask them to provide you with referrals. Then the question becomes, ‘are customers really willing to provide referrals in today’s market?’ Thankfully, customers are still willing to provide referrals but only under certain conditions.
After a good experience
Think about the last movie you watched or book you read that you absolutely loved. Did you tell others about your experience? For most people, the answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes.’ This is because people like to share their good experiences with the people they care about. The same is true when it comes to providing referrals to businesses. The first step in developing a customer who is willing to provide referrals is to give that customer a great experience before, during, and after the buying process.
When you offer desirable incentives
Everyone loves an incentive for doing something they’re otherwise willing to do. It is like getting an unexpected bonus at work. You may not be able to convince a dissatisfied customer to provide referrals with an incentive, but it can inspire a satisfied customer to put forth the necessary effort to provide a referral. The type of incentive you offer is up to you. Think about what would appeal to your client base in order to increase the likelihood for participation.
When you make it easy to provide referrals
One of the keys to getting customers to provide referrals is to make the process as easy as possible. Researchers with the Harvard Business Review found that brands that make things easy on their customers are 115% more likely to be recommended by those customers. If your process for providing referrals is too long or too involved, it will discourage people from providing referrals. Minimize anything in your customer referral process that may frustrate your customers and ultimately discourage them from providing referrals.
The ways in which people consume information and interact with the marketplace continues to change at a rapid pace. But, the desires to be treated well and have a good buying experience are still common among consumers across all types of industries. If you commit to providing that type of experience you will always find customers who are willing to provide referrals-even in today’s market.