Reputation is everything when it comes to small businesses. Therefore, if you are a business looking for ways to get a referral, you must build a trustworthy reputation in your market. Reputation and referral go hand-in-hand.
Satisfied customers will be your brand ambassador wherever they go. This post will walk you through several ways to get referrals and help build a strong reputation.
Types of Referrals to Build Reputation
As a business, your reputation matters, especially if you are want to harness the power of referrals. Here are six referral types that can help with your brand’s success.
1. Word-Of-Mouth Referral
The first and probably most common referral is word-of-mouth. Did you know that 92 percent of consumers trust businesses recommended by their family or friends?
For this type of referral, first and foremost, you must provide high-quality products and offer excellent customer service. Your customers need something great to tell others about. Exceptional offerings and experience will help build a long-lasting relationship with your customers based on loyalty and trust. Once you have established a healthy reputation, you can ask the customers for referrals (but they’re probably doing it already).
2. Online Reviews and Referrals
There are many online business review sites where customers can leave you a review. Some of the most popular are Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Glassdoor, and Facebook.
The more positive reviews you have on these sites, the more likely you are to be discovered by new customers.
When dealing with dissatisfied reviewers, just remember – kill ‘em with kindness. Your other customers will be impressed to see how calmly and kindly you deal with negativity.
3. Social Media Referrals
Social media reviews are the some of the most important for building credibility. You can use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to engage with your audience and they will spread about your business for you.
You can also build and nurture new relationships by engaging and communicating with potential consumers on social media sites. In order to get more referrals, you have to show consistency in your efforts on social media. For example, regularly share content, answer any questions and concerns quickly and clearly, use appropriate hashtags, keep your content brand consistent, etc.
4. Email Referrals
Email is a great channel to directly ask clients for referrals. If you have a respectable reputation with your customers, asking for referrals via email can be quick and easy. Emails are one the most cost-efficient means to increase brand awareness and boost your customer acquisition, retention, and conversion rate.
The best part about email referrals is that it gives you a direct communication channel with the customer. Social media interactions have a tendency to get lost in a plethora of live feeds and confusing notifications. An email, on the other hand, has a much better chance of standing out to the customer.
Your email marketing strategy should be well thought out and planned ahead of time. Use catchy subject lines, provide valuable content, and be genuine. If your content is worthy enough, you can request that your customers share it with their circles.
5. Sponsoring Local Events or Charities
Everybody loves a business that gives back to their community. Sponsoring a local event or charity or participating in a good cause is a very effective method to spread brand awareness without sounding salesy at all.
Helping others and supporting local causes will help your business to build a healthy and respectable reputation within your market. This will, in turn, earn you good favor and bring in referrals and recommendations without you even having to ask.
6. Incentivizing Referrals
Offering an incentive to your customers for referring your products and services is a very common and effective tool. You can run promotions such as offering a freebie, downloadable content, and even discounts on your products and services in exchange for your customers honest (important) feedback.
You can provide discounts to the customers that refer your products and/or services to a specific number of people. Or even provide special links to track referrals digitally. These incentives will motivate your customers to spread the word about your brand.
You will have to find the right mix of referrals that work best for your business. Continue to be consistent and proactive in offering high-quality products, services, and customer support and your business will have a reputation worth referring.