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Bartercard New Zealand has over 6,000 members who can help you attract new customers and conserve cash in your business, and they ask the question, “Do you have a customer referral programme in place, and if so, are you using it in the most effective way?” Here, they offer some customer referral tips to fast track new business. Firstly, ask your existing customers if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services. Make them aware of any products or services they might not already know about. Secondly, you should provide incentives for referrals such as vouchers and gifts, making sure both the referrer and referee benefit from the rewards.
Another way is to conduct surveys of customers to see how they found your business. If they were referred to you, see if you can find out who made the referral and contact them to say thank you, and consider offering a reward to show your appreciation. You can also create valuable content on your website and ask your followers to share it with others if they find it valuable. Here you can include a ‘referrals appreciated’ (or rewarded) line in your emails.
Another very good way is to network with other businesses, both online (on platforms like LinkedIn) and offline, asking for referrals and offering to do the same for them. Similarly, social media can provide your business with some very low-cost or free marketing opportunities; make use of it and invite followers to share your website content, campaigns and special offers with their online contacts.
Every business should know the cost of their customer acquisition, and implementing a customer referral programme will not only push this cost down, but the cost of putting it in place can be minimal, depending on how big you want to go. There are many levels of referral programmes, some rewarding cash or the opportunity to win prizes, but it can be as simple as asking, “Do you know anyone who would benefit from using our products or services?” A customer who receives exceptional service will usually be happy to tell other people about it.
You can create a referral page and post it on your website and social media, and tracking how well your programme is working enables you to find out what works, what doesn’t, and how your programme can be refined. To share the benefits of growing their Bartercard community, Bartercard New Zealand offers all members the opportunity to earn referral payments. For each business you refer that joins Bartercard, you will be paid a referral bounty of T$500.