Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful contributing factors for the growth of any business, and 85% of businesses believe referrals are the best way to increase customers.
Happy customers will always be your best brand advocates and help you to acquire new consumers at a lower cost than you can attain from any other methods.
Interestingly, studies show that although as many as 83% of customers are ready to refer products and services to others, only 29% actually do it.
Now, here is a huge source waiting to be tapped into! And what better way to tap into it than through your customer service team.
So, how do you get your customer service team to promote your referral program?
Give them a good script:
- To create a uniform and harmonious customer service experience.
- To ensure that your team is never left grasping for words.
- To easily answer questions about the referral program.
- To allow customer service agents to refer to while explaining the referral program, its benefits, terms, and conditions.
- To make your communication concise and help you quickly give the customer the information they require.
Step one – Identifying the right customers
The top 20% of your customers usually account for 80% of your sales. This segment would naturally be the target audience to whom you would want to pitch your referral program.
Analyze your customer satisfaction and net promoter score data to identify satisfied customers who are likely to recommend your product to others. You might also want to establish the right benchmarks so that agents can decide to whom to pitch. For example, has a customer bought products worth more than $300 in the last three months? These are customers most likely to give you a referral.
Asking for a referral is all about the right timing. In most cases, the best time to broach the topic is right after asking customers if they need help with anything else. Based on the customer’s previous purchase history, you can train your agents to identify customers most likely to sign up.
It would also help if you popped the question at the exact moment when your customer is feeling the most satisfied with your brand, company, and products. This is a good time to channel satisfaction and engagement into positive action.
It would not be suitable to request a referral when you are not delivering on your promises and you have unhappy customers.
The best referrals are likely to come after a good customer experience, and so by keeping your customers happy, they will want to spread the word about you.
Step two – Delivering the right script
1. Craft a clear message
A referral program needs to be simple, easy to comprehend, and easy to go about. Your messaging has to be loud and clear, easy-to-remember, believable, and convey value.
To achieve this, the script to promote your referral program needs to be clear and concise too. No matter how satisfied your customers are, they will not expend time and energy trying to decipher how your referral works and how they will benefit from it.
Hence, clear, simple language:
- Clearly describing the program
- How it benefits your customer
- How it is different from other company’s referral programs
The call to action in the script and conversation should be salient, uncomplicated, and easy to accomplish.
2. Create a personal connection
A referral cannot be the first thing you ask for when you contact a new customer. Even if you are using a script, it should fall into the conversation’s natural course after you have invested some time building a relationship and rapport with the customer.
If the customer reacts positively, you can go ahead and ask them for a referral. It should appear natural, seamless, and not forced. Nobody likes to be coerced into anything, so this has to be done tactfully.
Pause for a few seconds to gauge the customer’s reaction and mood (this varies from customer to customer). Next, tell them they could earn attractive rewards by referring their friends and family who would, in turn, also be eligible for benefits. If you have managed to develop a positive rapport with the customer, you are very likely to get a referral.
Referrals do not just happen on their own. You gently need to push customers into giving them to you. It all comes down to rapport and timing.
3. Overcome objections
You cannot expect positive answers all the time; it is not realistic. Life often holds more negative answers than positive answers, so you have to learn to overcome the objections.
Your referral program may be important to your business, but it is not to the general public. Most people are busy, and not everyone will be patient and listen to what you have to say, but that does not mean nobody is going to listen to you.
If customers sound unsure, using acknowledgments like “I understand” and “Let me explain” can show empathy and help you overcome any resistance.
Your script must explain how they will benefit- the types of awards and benefits available. This can often be the turning point.
If a customer says no, simply because he thinks your offer is not worth it, it could be because you are not highlighting the features of your referral program that would interest or benefit them.
Try tailoring your pitch a bit to meet each customer’s expectations, and you are sure to get referrals pouring in.
4. Tell them how to do it
You could miss out on referrals by customers with good intentions because they do not know how to go about giving you a referral or that they think there may be a lot of effort involved on their part.
So, don’t miss out on these golden opportunities. Ensure that your script quickly outlines the referral process to your customer so that they know it is easy to do and then guide them to your website or the platform on which you have your referral program going.
People like to be told that it is a simple process. And make sure that the process is actually easy, or you could miss out on repeat referrals.
5. Summarize and answer any questions they might have
People normally have typical questions when they sign up for a referral program. Your customers may ask you some of these questions if they are signing up for the first time or just starting to consider the program.
You should be able to quickly and briefly answer questions about rewards, conditions, limits, the use of referral codes and links, etc.
Creating a script around general frequently asked questions can equip your customer support staff to answer questions confidently and increase customer satisfaction.
A standardized script has many benefits like quality control and delivering a consistent and excellent customer experience. It is important that the scripted conversation has a balance of human and personal elements.
Therefore, your customer service team must be trained in rapport building, improvising spontaneously, and using good judgment in tandem with a positive script. This will come more smoothly with experience and practice.
Helplama is a leading customer support provider that can integrate seamlessly with your in-house team, enabling you to provide extended support at a lower cost. Our Zero-Risk Guarantee replaces long-term contracts to provide you with complete peace of mind. Contact us today for more information!