Alongside social media and enticing promotions, your customers are one of the most results-driven ways to market your business and raise brand awareness. By creating a customer referral program, satisfied customers can help build your business by spreading the word for you. Here’s five referral strategies to consider.
1. Walk the walk
Positive word of mouth and referrals will only happen if your client is happy with their experience. Consider the journey from the customer’s perspective as soon as they walk through your door. Little details can make all the difference to how your service impacts your customer’s experience.
- Is the receptionist present to welcome the customer when they walk in?
- Do you make an effort to greet return customers by name?
- Are customers offered a drink or refreshment on arrival?
- Do you take an interest in getting to know each and every customer?
- Do you compliment them or use positive/encouraging language during consult, treatment and follow up?
- Do you take note of customers’ birthdays, and send them a birthday discount voucher?
- Do you aim to make each and every customer walk out feeling amazing?
2. Say thanks with a gift
If a customer has visited a few times, be sure to let them know that you’ve noticed, and that you appreciate their loyalty. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune to implement. A little gift bag (which you can buy cheaply in bulk), filled with a few product samples, discount coupons for local businesses, and a “refer a friend” discount incentive can work wonders with making your customer feel valued.
The key is to mention the “refer a friend” discount when handing over the gift bag. The referral card should come with an expiry date (14 days is a good timeframe), so the customer is spurred into action. The incentive is, if the referred friend makes a booking, both your customer, and their friend, receive a discount or service upgrade on their next treatment.
3. Ask for a review
A single social media review can multiply your referrals and bookings with a simple click of a button. When researching a new business or service, it’s no secret that a positive or negative review can make or break a potential new customer relationship. Reach out to your regular customers with an email and ask them to share their service experience on your Facebook page by writing a review. Of course, to spur them into action, it’s best to include an incentive, which could be:
“To say thanks for sharing your experience with our Facebook friends, we would love to offer you $10 off your next treatment. Simply leave a review by [insert date], to receive your special discount!”
4. Instagram selfie referral
Another effective social media referral strategy is to ask your clients to share a post-treatment selfie on Instagram. In the caption they must tag your Instagram page (so you can be alerted to their post), and share with their followers which treatment they received at your salon. The incentive is up to you — it could be a $5 or $10 discount off their next treatment or product purchase, or you could initiate a monthly competition, in which the customer who receives the most likes and comments receives a complimentary 20 minute LED facial.
5. Create a one month referral frenzy
Choose a typically quiet sales month and go full throttle with a 30 day “refer a friend” promotion:
“Share the love by referring a friend this March to receive $25 off LED, microdermabrasion and IPL treatments!”
Advertise the promotion across all of your marketing avenues: email invites, newsletters, social media, in-store posters, and have your staff mention the promotion at the completion of every treatment at the sales counter.
The catch is that the customer must refer their friend during this 30 day period, and the friend must also book their treatment within a specified timeframe. The referred friend should also be offered an incentive to book with a discount on their second/return treatment.