Boost Referral Business by Encouraging Your Clients to Talk About You

One of the best methods of advertising is often word of mouth. Your satisfied clients are so impressed with your services that they recommend you heartily to friends, family, and associates whenever the subject comes up. At least that’s how we would like it to work. How can you encourage your clients and satisfied customers to refer your services to others? What can you do to get more business from referrals?


Use Social Media
Social media networking has been getting a lot of focus lately as far as a method for increasing your business exposure. Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and other networks are great ways of getting your name out there and promoting interaction between your business, your clients, and your clients’ associates.
For instance, to promote social media interaction, mention on your website, blog, or social network page that you intend to give something away once a certain interaction goal has been reached, such as 1000 Facebook ’likes’, 500 ‘tweets’, or 500 Facebook ‘shares’. This not only encourages client interaction, but everyone who wants a chance at your free giveaway will encourage others to interact as well, and your social network presence will grow in leaps and bounds. Be sure to follow it up with a new goal and a new reward when the initial goal has been reached.


Business Cards and Flyers
When you perform services for a client, hand them a few extra business cards at the end of your call, so they can hand them out to anyone who needs your services. You would want to use discretion when doing so, and discern whether or not it would be a good usage of your cards, depending on the tone of the service call.

Testimonials are a great way to encourage client interaction. You could even offer a future discount for services if they agree to write a short testimonial for your website or your online business presence, such as Google Places. Testimonials that are the genuine article and are written by the customer with their name and often a link to their account with the service is one of the best things you could ask for. Often, testimonials with just a name and a few short sentences on a webpage aren’t trusted as much as those that contain links to the customer’s account, proving it’s a real person with a real review. If you were looking for accurate reviews online, which reviews would you trust?


Do Your Best
One of the most important ways you can encourage your clients to recommend you is by doing your best on every service call. If you do a half-rate job, you won’t be very likely to get recommendations. What you might not have known is the fact that the individual at the last job you did had a lot of friends and family who were also looking for a computer technician for their computers, but because you didn’t impress your last customer with your work, you won’t get referred to all those friends and family that were waiting to hear back from him about your work. On the other hand, if you always do your best, you will often hear back from friends of your customers about the great job you did and how impressed they were with your work. That is a great way to get referral work.
Along with doing your best on the job, showing some attention to the social aspect of the work is important as well. It’s often known as showing personal interest. Often clients will ask how your week is going, and they’ll talk about what’s going on in their life, problems they’re having with repairing something non-computer related, such as car issues, home repair issues, or business related issues. Yes, you’re busy trying to fix what they called you for, but listen to what they’re talking about and take an interest. I will always remember the words of a supervisor when I was younger, who said ‘People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.’ Try to remember the names of individuals they talk about, whether it’s associates, family, or even pets, and build a rapport with them. This is a good way to build client interaction, as you’ll be known as a person who is not only great at what you do, but people will look forward to you arriving and working, because you show personal interest.


Referral Bonus
Another great way to get referral business is to offer referral bonuses. For instance, I make use of such a referral bonus with my web development business. If a client refers a friend to your service, and that friend stays with your business for a minimum period of time, such as a few months, offer a bonus credit to their account in proportion to the value of the new client’s account with your service. This is an encouragement for your existing clients to refer valuable clients to your service, as the larger the account they refer, the larger bonus they’ll receive to their account.

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