Guest Author: Jeffrey D. Epstein, Ambassador
In many businesses, referrals are viewed as an organic byproduct of the company successfully doing its job. If you exceed customer expectations, it’s natural to assume they’ll return the favor by singing your praises to their networks. If you blow them away with world-class customer service, you can expect a flood of social-media goodwill.
But here’s the problem with those assumptions: While referrals do happen organically, they’re never a given — even if a customer loves your products and services. In fact, a Texas Tech University study found that while 83 percent of customers say they’re willing to provide referrals after a positive brand experience, only 29 percent actually do. That chasm exists for many reasons, but it’s often exacerbated by a failure to properly prioritize and manage a referral program.
So, how can your company close that gap? Here’s a list of referral marketing “dos” and “don’ts” that will help you proactively convert happy customers into reliable revenue-drivers:
1. Do give customers the tools they need to promote your company.
For referral marketing to work, you can’t expect customers to invest time and energy into developing tools and assets to support your brand. Instead, you need to make the referral process as simple as possible. This might mean creating a hashtag that customers can share on Twitter, or developing email templates that ensure ambassadors use the right language and share the right landing page URL.
Regardless, decreasing the effort required to deliver a referral is a critical piece of the referral-marketing equation.