Top Marketing Tips: Referrals

5  secrets for maximising your business success with referrals

Here’s 5 ways you can use referrals to maximise your profits and increase your client base.

Did you know that one of the best and most successful ways of building your business is through good old word-of-mouth? Your customers are essentially a walking, talking advertisement for your services, which is why every salon, spa and clinic should have a solid referral strategy plan in place.

The 25/20 referral strategy

This method involves creating a referral card that offers existing clients $25 off retail products or their next treatment if they successfully refer a friend. If the friend books an appointment, they in turn receive $20 off their first treatment. The existing customer gets the better reward as a thank you for their loyalty, but the new customer wins too! Be sure to leave a space to write in a custom expiry date. This will help spur your customers into action.

How to make it work: Be positive and encouraging – “Wow, that [insert treatment name] worked so well on you! Have you got one of our referral cards yet?”

Reach out for Facebook reviews

Start making a list of clients who have received particularly great results from your treatments, or who remarked to you how much they loved their experience. Then, send them an email telling them how glad you are that they loved their results and that if they could spare a few minutes to share their experience with a Facebook review, you will have a free gift worth $20 (for example), waiting for them at your salon which they can come in and collect any time.

How to make it work: Give a deadline period for writing the review to encourage the client to take action sooner. Be sure to include step-by-step instructions for how to leave a review on your Facebook page to avoid confusion, and of course – keep track of who actually followed through and wrote the review before handing over any free gifts!

The Salon Selfie incentive

This is a great competition to run for Instagram. If a client looks glowing after (or you could even do it during their treatment), offer them the opportunity to enter your selfie competition. All they need to do is take a photo of themselves during or post-treatment at your salon, tag and hashtag your business name in it, and upload it. They need to do all of this before they leave (as you will need to make note of their Instagram name – and ensure they actually follow through!) At the end of the month, the ‘selfie’ that receives the most likes wins a prize (like a free treatment, or $50 off their next treatment, etc.)

How to make it work: Offer to take the photos for them to ensure you get their best angles. Diligently keep a register of all the Instagram pages that uploaded a photo so you can check through them at the end of the month to see who the winner is.

Delight with a gift bag

For your loyalest of customers, put together a little ‘thank you’ gift bag or box (you can pick these up super cheap at a dollar or craft store), which you can hand to them at the end of their treatment when they’re checking out. Inside you can include a few product samples, a fancy chocolate, discount vouchers from other locals shops in the area and a few friend referral cards.

How to make it work: Be sure to explain that the gift bag/box is your way of saying thank you for their loyalty and continued business. Also make a point to mention that you’ve included friend referral cards inside so your friends can be treated too (but they have to use it before the expiry date – always create an urgency for action!)

Walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk

You want referrals, right? Which means you have to be delivering an outstanding customer experience to deserve them. You must earn the referrals by putting work into creating a beautiful customer journey. Things to think about:

  • Are the customers met with a friendly greeting by the receptionist as soon as they walk in (and do you greet regular customers by their name)?
  • Are they offered a drink while they wait? Or is there a water/drinks station at hand in the waiting room?
  • Do you take an interest in learning about them, instead of talking about yourself during their treatment?
  • Do you notice how great they look on return visits? Are you complimenting them after their treatments? Be sure to do this, but in a way that is genuine and not over the top. Focus on the clear-cut positives.

How to make it work: Sit down and devise a ‘Customer Journey’ tree that starts from when the client walks through the door right through to when they leave after their treatment. Print out this customer journey tree and hand it around to all staff at your next meeting. This ensures everyone knows how they must play their part in creating a successful and satisfying customer experience.

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