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The Importance of a Robust Customer Referral System

There are endless opportunities for businesses to promote their services through paid, earned and owned media. Not to mention the infamous Google and Yelp reviews, where people are free to spread the news on what they like or dislike. Although, these ways are effective, the traditional word-of-mouth referrals have always worked best for me. People want to learn about a business and its services through trusted friends and acquaintances. Wouldn’t you take the advice of someone you know who has undergone a procedure, purchased a product or tried the newest restaurant in town first hand? If you answered yes, you’re part of the majority. In order for businesses to continue connecting with high-quality prospects, a referral system is a must.

Many business owners are aware that they should focus on gaining referrals, but they fail to successfully implement these referrals because they do not have a system already in place. Most businesses have to first establish one from the ground up, which can steer people in the opposite direction, as people assume it will be time-consuming and demanding. However, a referral system is one of the most cost effective, efficient and effective ways to bring in more clientele. Below, I’ve listed three benefits of a robust customer referral system.

· No Cost- Unlike paid media (advertising), customer referrals are a free tool for every business to take advantage of.

· Increase closing ratio- According to Bill Cates, founder of Referral Coach International and author of the new book, Beyond Referrals – How to Use the Perpetual Revenue System to Turn Referrals into High-Value Clients, “The closing ratio of a cold call is typically under 1 percent. The closing ratio of an inbound lead usually ranges between 15 percent and 30 percent. In sharp comparison, the closing ratio of a strong referral can be as high as 80 percent.”

· Referrals bring referrals- When you make a sale based off of a referral; the newly-referred client is going to be more likely to refer your business to other people in his or her network.

Along with benefits of referrals, key tools for an effective referral system include:

· Working on your “referability”- Make sure your customers love doing business with you. Create an environment that is comfortable and welcoming; ensure that customer service is held to the highest standards. Stay in touch with your customers, even after doing business with them. Check in on them and see how they are doing and how they like their product or purchase. By doing this, you’re ensuring that the customer feels valued.

· Be bold- Promote referrals and be on the lookout for opportunities to suggest referrals from customers who have taken the time to thank you.

· Turn referrals into meet-and-greets- Go a step further and have the person who referred your business connect you to the person they referred it to and introduce yourself, via phone or email.

By creating a referral system, you’re establishing a business culture that values its customers’ opinions and concerns. Try adding strategic referrals to your business plan and be ready for an increase in client base and loyalty.

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About Thomas Jeneby

Thomas T Jeneby, M.D. is a board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon who operates in San Antonio, TX. He is one of the most reputed San Antonio plastic surgeons and has handled several intricate San Antonio plastic surgery cases. Dr. Jeneby grew up in Alexandria and McLean, VA, wherein he attended the T.C Williams High School.…