Referrals are the best form of adverting there is. Referrals are free advertising of your services by someone who believes in you! There is no sales pressure, no credibility problems and very low cost. Before you spend one dime on other forms of advertising commit yourself to getting referrals.
There is no good reason for not taking the trust that you have earned with your customer (by doing a great job) and make it work for you in the form of referrals! Plus, people generally like to help other people, especially their friends and family. Your referral program is a way for them to help their friends and family.
How:1. The first and most important single thing you can do to get more referrals is to do a great job every time. Many people do good work and there is nothing wrong with good work. If you can aim a little higher your customers will think the world of you and the service you provided. Do the obvious things like:
- Be on time.
- Be courteous.
- Be neat.
- Treat your customers’ home like it was your grandmother's home.
- Clean up after yourself.
Take that extra step and:
- Do a great cleaning job.
- Take before and after photos to prove your quality.
- Do something extra at no charge like change a filter. Leave them with the impression that you are the best HVAC system cleaning contractor in town.
2. Then you have to ask for the referral. You cannot be shy about it. Be proud of your work. Whenever someone compliments you on a job, thank them for their feedback and ask them if they would be willing to tell their friends and family. If they say yes...
3. ... at minimum you should hand them 4-5 of your business cards. Better yet, you could create a Friend & Family referral card (which could be on the back of your business card). There are many different ways to do this but here is one example:
- Put your customers name on the referral card.
- Offer a small discount and the promise of a great job on the card.
- Hand your satisfied customer 4-5 referral cards after they has said yes (see #2).
- You get a call from someone who has one of your referral cards and you close the new sale (you get the actual referral card or the name of the customer listed on the referral card).
- You reward the original customer with a thank you note and some type of a gift card. You could team up with a local restaurant for a restaurant gift card (that could cost you less than the face value).
- You do a great job for the new customer and repeat the referral card cycle.
- Be creative and design your referral rewards program to best fit your needs.
4. In this example your customer really gets three rewards:
- The satisfaction they get when you do a great job in the first place.
- The reward of feeling good when they refer you to their friends and family.
- The restaurant gift card they receive when you get a referral card back.
5. Other referral opportunities:
- You can partner up with other trades (like HVAC contractors, carpet cleaning contractors, chimney sweeps, plumbers, etc) that you know do good/great work and refer customers to each other.
- Join a business/professional networking group.
- Sponsor something like a sports team, fund raising drive, etc. Be involved in your community, people are always willing to recommend those they see as leaders in their community.
Referrals can make a huge difference in your business. Don’t leave them to chance. Get organized, make a plan, and keep at it! Make a “Get Referrals Program” one of your companies New Year’s Resolutions for 2014!
If you have any questions please call Peter Haugen at 855-Vac-Systems or 952-808-1619.