My mother-in-law recently had some new blinds installed in her home. A friend of hers highly recommended a particular company that had done a great job at her home. Unfortunately, the installation for my mother-in-law was rife with problems, delays, and broken promises. A recommended service should never turn out this way.
Earn the Recommendation
The first step in gaining a recommendation is to provide a top quality product or service. When your customers are happy with your work, they’ll be more likely to refer you to their friends and family.
Make it easy for customers to refer you by giving them your business card, and provide clear contact information on your receipts or invoices. After all, if your current customers can’t contact you, how will their friends?
Put a system in place and train your employees so that any customer, at any time, with any employee, will get quality work. Consistently meeting your customer expectations will produce repeat business and referrals.
Treasure that Recommendation
One of your customers has stuck her neck out to recommend you to others. Don’t make your customer look like an idiot! If you don’t live up to the recommendation, your original customer will have to deal with the aftermath of your mistakes with the friend they referred. This situation could lead to at least two lost customers plus the potential referrals that could have come your way from both.
Remember to thank the original customer that referred her friend with a gift or hand-written thank you note.
Customer referrals are potential gold mines that require careful handling and nurturing. Treat the referral right and they will, in turn, refer others to your business.