This week I want to discuss the importance of managing the client experience to get more referrals. We all know how important an experience is for our clients, but I can’t tell you how many times I see business owners forgetting about the experience they are trying to give to their customers.
Some simple facts about referrals. People are more than four times more likely to buy a product or service when it is referred to them by a friend. (Nielsen Publishing). A referred customer has a 16% higher lifetime value than customers acquired through other methods. (Journal of Marketing.) 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer your company to their peers. (Adviser Impact.)
These numbers are indisputable and irrefutable, but they were presented by a lawyer so you might discount them because my lips, or fingers, were moving. I have verified them myself, through the last 4 years of data that I have collected in my business. We have over a 90% conversion rate of turning a qualified person into a client, when they come from a referral.
I hear you already asking yourself, how do you get more referrals? It’s much easier than you think. First and foremost, get on social media and start utilizing the internet. Make sure you have a Facebook and Instagram account that shows off your product and the experience you are selling. Make sure that you are active with Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google Places, Zomato and any other service that will promote your business, for “FREE.” We have never had so much free advertising in the history of mankind. Now, you have to put your ego aside and actually ask your clients to rate you on these websites. I would also suggest you read the book, Hug Your Haters, so that you are prepared with how to handle people that will make disparaging remarks about your business on the web.
How else can you ask for referrals? Just ask your clients! It starts out that simple. Get creative about it. Walk around your restaurant or bar and ask people about their experience. Have a specially designed coupon to hand out to those people that give you feedback, so you give them a discount the next time they come back to your business.
One other idea that I will pass along is partnering with another business that connects with a good number of your ideal clients. Create a referral relationship with that person or business, so that you can cross refer clients to each other. Referral partnerships are the most underrated way to get new clients in the door. And again, it is free!
There are more ways to obtain referral clients than I can mention in this space. The last piece of advice to help get people to come back and refer friends and family is to simply say, “Thank You.” We all love the feeling of appreciation. Pass that along to your customers and they will want to come back over and over again to regain that feeling.
Don't hesitate to stop by our Helena office at 950 North Montana, or our Bozeman office at 504 West Main if you have questions about growing your business!