Updated: Feb 14, 2020
In order to build a reference system, you need to ensure that you can give good customer experience to the incoming customers. Else, there’s every danger that this strategy may backfire.
Here are the strategies that you can use to form a strong if you hear positive about a product through your friend, you’ll certainly feel excited about it. Without a second thought, you’ll gain immaculate trust in the product and company.
That’s the power of word of mouth. It can also be termed as ‘reference’ in terms of business. It need not be always positive. In fact, negative stuff will spread even faster.
For a business, reference is an underrated strategy that can get you unbelievable results to your business but it is equally risky.
So, you may feel like not playing with the risk as you have every marketing strategy spot on. But, let me say that referrals are 4 times more likely to buy than other customers.
Not only this, 92% of customers trust referrals. Now, you just can’t take your eyes off the reference strategy right?
By following some simple steps, you can create a formalized referral system. But ensure that you have the resources to carry huge inbounds that the referral system gives you.
Steps to Build a Formalised Reference System
#1 Set Your Target
You need to be entirely sure about the customers(brand advocates) whom you want to refer to your company. Track your best referrers and calculate the incentives you’re gonna provide them.
Check their profiles and make a list of possible resources that can help you to build a reference system. Make strategies to make your system effective in the market. Thus, you can get a complete overview of your reference system.
#2 Educate The Referrers
Make sure that your product stands out in front of others. Then, happy customers themselves market your product by talk of mouth.
One thing you need to ensure is that the referrers are completely aware of your product. Educate them with emails and messages to promote brand awareness.
Provide them with valuable content and every detail they should know about the product.
#3 Ask For Referrals
It’s a tricky thing to ask our existing customers for reference. They may sometimes feel offended and there’s a risk of losing an existing customer.
Hence, develop a methodical system of asking the customer. You need to look at the apt time and situation to ask the customers for possible reference.
#4 Incentivize The Brand Advocate
Not all referrers are the same. Yes, there are referrers who promote your brand themselves. But, who got the time?? Most of them don’t take their time off to promote your brand.
So, you need to provide some incentives to them for the favor of referring to your product. Don’t forget to give some benefit to the referral. This will help both the existing and new customers to build a relationship with the company.
#5 Make The Steps Simple
Make the execution steps simple for them to go through. If the steps to collect referral is made complex, then the customer and the referral may get irritated and they may step down.
Make it easy for the customer to access the referral incentive. No one wants to go through four or five steps to get something done. So, you need to be precarious in that aspect.
#6 Show Your Gratitude
Send a message to the referrer thanking him for his efforts to promote your brand. Send a message thanking the new customer for trusting your brand.
This leaves a good impression on both referrer and the new customer and in turn, makes the customer promote your brand and the chain moves on.
Building a reference system is like playing with fire. If it comes good, it proves effective. But, if it backfired, then it may prove a huge blunder because “negativity spreads 3X more than positivity”.
Don’t bombard customers with referral invitations at the start. Let them be completely satisfied with the product.
Keep up the brand promise of the product. Ensure great customer experience. Make the most of the reference system. Escalate your business like never before.