Business by referral is the least expensive, most reliable way to bring in more customers. It's also the best and cheapest marketing tool available. Here are some keys to increasing the business you receive by referral.
- Do a good job with your existing customers. It's up to you to create a pleasant experience for your customers. Give them high-quality service and great value.
- Get customers' feedback on a regular basis. Ask them if they're happy with your company and the service they receive. If you hear any suggestions on how to improve, respond quickly. Customers will feel appreciated and valued when you listen to them.
- Reward customers who refer business to you. A hairdresser can offer a R10 off coupon to new customers and the customers who referred them. The new customer is happy and the current customer is recognized for her efforts.
- Partner with complementary businesses in your neighborhood. A gym could offer vouchers for the health food shop around the corner, while the health food shop offers a 10% off membership voucher for the gym. Both businesses win.
- Network at local business associations. The Chamber of Commerce and similar organisations are great places to get to know people and make personal and professional connections.
- Communicate regularly with your customers. Use postcards, newsletters, or E-mail tips. Encourage customers to refer your business to friends and family. A dry cleaner could send out seasonal tips on preparing clothes for storage, the proper storage of winter sweaters, and how to make your clothes last longer. Include two vouchers, one for the customer and one for a friend or family member.