We all want more business, but finding new clients out of the blue can be challenging. That’s why customer referrals are so great. When someone who loves your business recommends you, you’ve already established instant credibility with new potential clients before you even speak to them.
But how do you get these magical referrals? Is there some secret process or is it just as simple as asking? Below are a few steps to take if you want to ensure your latest client will jump at the chance to send their friends, colleagues, and even worst enemies to your business.
1. Do a Great Job
This may seem obvious, but it’s the absolute first thing you should do to ensure you get a good referral: wow your current customers with solid work! There’s no better way to promote your business than by doing the best job you can – every single time. Eventually, word will get around that you’re the best in the biz, which is an amazing referral by itself. Furthermore, it’s impossible to get referrals if your customers aren’t satisfied with your work.
Don’t just take for granted you’re doing the best job possible, though. There’s always room for improvement and thinking you’re perfect can be the first step to your downfall. Ask your customers if there’s anything you can do to improve your service. Constructive criticism might hurt at first, but can lead to a more solid business in the long run. If you’re leery about asking for input straight out, considering creating an anonymous SurveyMonkey survey and sending it to all of your clients.
2. Go Above and Beyond
Just doing a great job might not be enough, though. After all, most business owners want to do the best job they can so they represent their company well. As a result your hard work might not be fully recognized by your client.
So you have to go above and beyond the call of duty to really make your clients take notice of what you’ve done. Mind the details and provide customized service that other competitors or big companies can’t match.
For example, do you follow up with your colleagues and clients? Many people already do this once or twice, but few people create lasting relationships. That’s what can make you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you meet a reporter who regularly writes about your client’s industry. Make an introduction and the client will remember you as a handy person to know. Other examples of going above and beyond might be warning your client about a bad review or broken links on their website.
How often do you think of helping out someone you worked with unless they ask you for help? We’re all busy people and we may not notice when someone we know would appreciate a kind word that might get them some more business.
Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for a referral – otherwise, they may not know that you want one. Since you already did the two steps above, there’s no reason you wouldn’t get a rave review!
For further incentive, offer a referral bonus. It could be something as simple as offering a discount for another job done down the line, but that simple gesture could be what convinces hesitant clients to go ahead and do it. Also, be sure to thank them profusely – go the extra mile and send them a handwritten thank you card. They’ll remember it.
Do you have any tips for getting customer referrals?