7 Strategies To Encourage Your Clients To Recommend You

How To Encourage Your Clients To Recommend You

Let’s face it, we’re all super-busy people. Most of the time we’re far too caught up in our own stuff to really stop and think about how great the guy delivering our Amazon packages is, or how indispensable our VA has become. If these people suddenly vanished from our lives, work would likely grind to a screeching halt, but we don’t generally think about it until it happens.

#1 Have Impeccable Customer Service

The most straightforward way to encourage clients to recommend you is to simply ensure your service is impeccable.

Respond Promptly To Every Piece Of Correspondence

If you’re not going to be checking your email at least once a day, and replying to everything that requires it immediately upon reading it, setup an autoresponder that notifies people of a realistic amount of time they will need to wait for a response. If you’re going on holiday let them know, if there are certain days of the week you take off let them know you’ll get back to them on X day when you’re back in the office. And if you have a backlog of work and email and know it’s going to be a couple of days before you make it down the list to people, tell them.

Welcome Notes

When you sign a new client send them a hand-written note welcoming them aboard and telling them how much you’re looking forward to working with them.

Farewell Gifts

When a contract comes to an end send your clients a farewell gift — something related to what you do but helpful, interesting, and kind of cool! Pop another handwritten note in with it to remind them it’s not the first time they’ve received something unexpected and personal from you.

Bonus Samples

If you have a new product coming out that is small and relatively inexpensive, or lends itself to free samples, make sure your existing and past clients all get a free sample. This works really well with new product lines like soaps, candles, and other small items, but it can still be done for services and digital products — if you’re releasing a book send them the kindle version, if you’ve got a new SaaS (software as a service) option give them a free trial. It may encourage them to buy from you again, and they are very likely to show off their free stuff to their friends, family and colleagues.

#2 Build Your Email List

Building your email list so you can stay in regular contact with all your clients and prospects is generally a really important aspect of online marketing. But it’s also a really great way to encourage referrals as it keeps you front-of-mind. You don’t need to email your list asking them to refer you all the time, simply sending out high-quality content on a regular basis will reinforce their positive perception of you and ensure that, in the event someone asks them for a pro in your wheelhouse, they immediately think of you.

#3 Make Referrals Super-Easy

Your clients’ time is as precious as your own. Show them you respect that time by making it nice and easy for them to refer you. There are a few ways to do this, including:

  1. Include the direct links to your review page or feedback form in an email to them.
  2. Add review sections on the products/services on your website.
  3. Installing a ‘Recommend-A-Friend’ function on your site.
  4. Writing an email script for them to use to send out to their list, or email to individuals — script the whole thing from start to finish so all they need to do is add their branding and personal flare.
  5. Share functions on all your online content (make sure it’s mobile-friendly!).
  6. Send an email following a purchase encouraging the customer to review the product.

#4 Incentives And Affiliate Programs

A lot of businesses create great success through incentives and affiliate programs. The premise is really simple: whenever a client refers you and it leads to a sale, they get a reward.

#5 Be Direct: Ask

With 83% of satisfied clients happy to recommend you, and only 29% actually doing it, the biggest block preventing them sharing their positive impression of you is that you haven’t suggested it.

#6 Focus On And Showcase Your Best Clients

When you’re asking for referrals it’s a good idea to be selective about it. You don’t need to ask every single person you’ve ever worked with. Instead, pick the best of the best. Choose the clients you know adore you, the ones you did an unbelievably brilliant job for, the people who have already told you how happy they are with you, and the ones who buy from you repeatedly and without hesitation.

#7 Say Thank You

Finally, make sure you say thank you to the people who do refer you. They are helping you build your business so a quick phone call, email, postcard, or handwritten note is the least you can do. Aside from anything else, it will make them feel good about referring you, increasing the likelihood they will do it again!

How To Handle Negative Reviews And Referrals

Before you start nudging your clients into giving you glowing recommendations, a brief word of caution: when you take direct action to encourage people to recommend you, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility that some clients will do the exact opposite.

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Robyn Kyberd

Robyn Kyberd

Business Development & Optimisation Consultant with a serious soft spot for CX, Digital Marketing, SEO and Analytics. https://optimiseandgrowonline.com.au/