How to build referrals for your business

Gina Theron   |   September 21, 2015

You will often hear businesses telling you that a substantial number of their new customers are a result of word of mouth. So how do you get your customers talking about you? Providing exceptional service is the first and most important step in the right direction. By following a few simple suggestions you can increase your number of referrals and almost guarantee your customers will spread the word!

Improve you chances of receiving new customers through referrals with these 5 tips!

1. Ask for them!

Stop and think, have I even asked...? Often people are hesitant to ask for referrals, in fear of impacting their relationship with their customers. It is important to understand that you are offering great value to your customers and also want others to benefit from the service you provide. Be confident to spread the word of your business, never be worried to ask "who else do you know who could benefit from my services?"

2. Make it easy 

Customers who have a positive experience with a company are more than happy to spread the news, in fact they are probably more excited than you know to tell people about their success story! It is important that you take advantage of this and make it as easy and straight forward for your customers to rave about your business. 

Ideas such as:

  • Adding a testimonial section to you website which allows customers to add their own review
  • Requesting testimonials via email or over the phone and publishing them on your website
  • Asking your customers to leave a review on your Google plus listing 

3. Remind them 

Keep in touch with all of your customers and reaffirm how much you appreciate their support. Let them know that referrals are an important step to building a construction business, and can even help you better service their needs. Sending a friendly email to check in with both regular customers and those who haven't engaged with your business for a while is a good way of reminding them of your service. Being at the forefront of their minds will ensure you are the first business they refer when people are in need of the service you offer. 

4. Focus on the right customer at the right time 

Talking to a new customer - Ensure you deliver a service with all the bells and whistles, give them something to talk about. Remember you only get one first impression! If you deliver top notch service every time, there is no reason for your business to not be their first choice to refer. 

Talking to your long-time customers - These customers have already experienced your great service and have probably already referred you to their contacts, however, work gets busy and projects start to pile up, it can be hard to remember every company's name and where they placed your business card. Send them gentle reminders with the use of discount codes, new product information, email check in's, spot specials and any resource material your company might be creating. This is an effective way to extend the service you provide them, offering them more than just what they paid for. 

5. Thank you 

Always remember to say thank you! Showing customers that you appreciate their efforts to refer you will convey your need for referrals and that they are largely beneficial to the success of your business. If you have helped them by delivering a top class service, nine times out of ten, they will be happy to help you in return.  

One good place to start is by getting your business capability statement in place. Using this collateral as a starting point will help showcase your unique selling points and capabilities to customers. When they start to spread the good news about your business, you'll want these key messages at the forefront of their mind. If you don't yet have a capability statement in place or are looking to update your current statement, check out our free capability statement checklist below.

business capability statement

Gina Theron
Gina is a Marketing Coordinator at Felix. She is a business and engineering student, and relishes working for one of Australia's greatest mining and construction disrupters. Harsh critic of tomatoes and spiders that surprise her.

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