How to Get Your Customers to Send You More Customers
A mid- to large-sized business can spend thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing strategies in a single year. Both are designed to target and attract particular types of customers who will likely get the most value out of whatever the businesses are selling.
But, while a great deal of money is being tossed at advertising agencies in an effort to produce the next water-cooler-worthy commercial, many businesses are losing sight of the single most effective way of attracting new customers – word of mouth referrals.
Positive word of mouth is one of your business’s most powerful marketing tools if you can get it, and best of all, it does not cost your business a penny. Because customers are being referred to your business by people they trust, referrals can be highly effective at boosting your customer base.
Here are five tips you can use to encourage your loyal customers (and others) to start referring your business.
#1 – Build an Online Community
Social media allows customers and businesses to interact in an instantaneous and gratifying way. By establishing an online presence with a social media aspect, you can start building a community in which the public can become fans, followers, contributors, and eventually customers.
It is becoming increasingly more important for small-business owners to be active and engaging with their audience, and social media is the perfect outlet for this. By posting funny, insightful, or inspiring quotes, pictures, or videos, you improve the chances of your fans sharing the content on their own social media pages, thus increasing your exposure at little cost to you.
#2 – Send Personalized “Thank You” Notes
If your company is a client-based business, then taking the time to send personalized “Thank You” notes to your clients will not only show them that you appreciate their business, but also that you care a lot about their satisfaction. This simple expression of gratitude will help build your reputation, and in some cases, your clientele.
#3 – Become an “Expert”
One of the most effective ways of being considered an “expert” in your industry is to write articles for online distribution. By writing insightful articles pertaining to your industry and having them show up on various websites, you increase the chances that people will read and share your content, and this could lead to an increase in business referrals.
The key to this being effective is to not shy away from sharing your secrets. Provide valuable information for free, and you might be surprised at how that can improve your customer or client base.
#4 – Request Customer Reviews
If you have a new product and your in-store customers are raving about it, then simply ask them to do you a favor and write a review about their experience online. If the customer says they don’t know how to do that, then give them a list of websites where they can go to post a review, and easy-to-follow instructions on how to do it.
When you notice a positive review, send that person a thank-you note if possible, or share your gratitude with them the next time they stop in. The more positive reviews your business gets, the more attractive and trustworthy it will look to others.
#5 – Give Referrals to Get Referrals
If in passing you hear a customer talking to their friend about needing a new landscaper, and you happen to know a really good one, then say to the customer, “Sorry, but I overheard you mention that you needed a landscaper. I think I might know somebody who can help.”
By referring your customers to other local businesses, you stand a greater chance that those businesses will refer their customers to you.