There are a variety of things that make referral marketing risky. Your offer could be unprofitable for your business, or it might not be enough to encourage people to take advantage of it. Or referral fraud may strike and it could potential make your referral campaign ineffective.
But did you know that referral marketing can also be risky for the people referring your business? To describe how your referral program could potentially harm your customers reputation, let’s take a walk in their shoes.
Let’s say you recently visited a new restaurant. The service was great. The atmosphere was great. The food was great. And if you give a friend or family member a copy of your receipt, they get 10% off their final bill and you get 10% off your next visit.
But what if they have a bad experience? Suddenly, you lose your position as the go-to foodie expert (at least to that individual) and you don’t want to take advantage of your end of the deal because they had a bad experience.
Now, step back into the shoes of the business owner. Not only have you lost a referred customer, you lost a customer that had already fell in love with your business. So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen?
Ask yourself the following questions to ensure every customer has a similar experience:
Do I have good customer service?
Good customer service is key to see your referral marketing campaign get positive results. Setting business-wide standards and putting them in a place where all of your employees have access to it will make it more likely your customer service will be consistent. When was the last time you went to Chick-fil-A and they said “Thank you!” instead of “My pleasure!” after completing your order? Exactly.
Is my product or service consistent?
During a trip to our favorite bakery, we noticed that the frosting on the cupcakes was a little lacking. The next time it was topped with the perfect amount. The next time it had even less frosting than before! This may have gone unnoticed by the bakery owner, but to us it was a red flag. If your product or service doesn’t remain consistent, customers will be nervous to refer you since they can’t guarantee their friends or family will have the same experience as they did.
Is there anything I can do to improve my atmosphere?
Decor, music, uniforms, greenery, table settings, product displays and even scent are just a few of the stimuli customers experience when they visit your store. Make sure each of these is clean and updated to reflect how you want your customers to experience your business. For example, studies have shown that faster music will get people in and out more quickly, while slower music encourages patrons to spend more time shopping or eating.
Are my customers having a good experience?
Your goal should be to eliminate the “but” from people’s repertoire when talking about your business. “The food was really great but the service was okay.” Or “I really like their product but I wish it did this.” Making sure your customers are having a good experience from the beginning to the end of their interaction with you will ensure they have only positive things to say.
Do I employ people that I can trust?
If you can trust your employees to uphold your customer service standards, deliver a quality product, maintain an inviting atmosphere, all while making sure each and every customer has a good experience you’ve hit the jackpot. If you have to constantly monitor what your employees are up to, it might be time to consider making some changes to your team. Your employees are your right hand when it comes to making your referral marketing campaign a success. Make sure you give them the proper tools for success in their day-to-day duties and in promoting your campaign.
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