You did a lot of great work for your customers, but do they remember you when someone asks them if they know anyone that can do what you do?
There are a couple of questions you need to ask all of your customers/clients that are very important to your business being found online and gaining more business from those happy customers.
1. Your customers may love you and the service you provided for them, but are you asking them to leave a review on Google or wherever you are most found? And are you making it easy for them to do so by giving them a direct link, either on your business card, invoice, text, or email signature?
When asked, many people will say “sure I’ll leave you a review” but then just never get around to it, or don’t know how to find the right area to do so. If you can make it simple for them, you will find more reviews appearing.
Are you worried about negative reviews? Well, obviously you won’t go out of your way to ask anyone that no matter what you do you can’t make them happy, but even if one of your customers leaves an “it could be better” review, it still provides you and your company with an opportunity to learn and develop. You can see exactly where your business is failing to meet customer needs and remove any roadblocks. And if it is on a public platform, that’s okay. You can reply to them there and contact them to see how it can be solved, then ask them to change or remove it. And a couple of average type reviews with your responses show others that you do care. After all, no one is perfect.
If you’re not sure what online platform your customer might be on most, you can also point them to two direct links, say Facebook and Google, or Yelp and Google.
But here’s the key – You have to ASK for them. Most people, even though they may have loved the work you did for them, do not think about going online, finding you/your business, and then leaving a review about the services they received. They just don’t.
Again, you can give them this information in whatever way is easiest: email, newsletters, business card, invoicing, etc. There are just so many different ways you can make it easy for them to find you.
2. You also need to be asking your customers if they can refer you to someone else they know that might need your services.
When you receive this type of referral, you have a greater chance to close that sale and even obtain more referrals from this new satisfied customer. Their neighbor or relative has already used your service and can vouch for your reliability and professionalism. And isn’t that what we all love, someone who can tell us that a particular company that we need work from does a good job because they have already used them? People trust the recommendations from the people they already know and trust.
Not only is this a free form of advertising, but it is one that has the best Return On Investment.
92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. (~Nielsen)
Emails, social media, and customer support also all tie into referral marketing. You can let others know, through social media or newsletters, that people love your company while thanking the customer who gave you the referral. It is another way to keep in touch and show appreciation for your customers all the while showing you have great services.
You can also incentivize referrals to gain more. Give your customers money off their next service. Or as a friend of mine does, you ask the customer to give you three referrals upfront, and you’ll discount their service. (A shout out to Martin Brossman and Pat Howlett for this technique.)
So whatever way you chose, keep in touch with and make use of the great customers/clients you have now. And if you need help obtaining any direct links to create ease for your customers to leave reviews/recommendations, just give Boomerang Social a call.