How to Build Your Referral Program

Updated: Feb 1

There is no doubt that referrals are the strongest leads you have coming in, but how can you boost the number of referrals you receive? There are three questions to ask yourself to strengthen your referral program:


1. Are you delivering service worthy of being referred?

2. Are you on-boarding your referrals efficiently and delivering a flawless client experience?

3. Are you thanking those that send you referrals?


If you answered yes to all three questions, then congrats, this is only a reminder! Keeping reading though, you never know when there's an idea out there that you haven't heard before, or an idea that you've heard a million times only this time it sparks an idea of your own!


#1) Delivering Excellent Service

Now, I can't tell you if you're checking the box on this one, but the best way to find out is to ask! Your clients may already be telling you they like your service by referring their family and friends, or maybe you've gotten consistent reviews with 5 stars and thumbs up. If so, then great! If this isn't the case then there are two ways you can find out if you are delivering the kind of service that earns you referrals.


First of all, ask for reviews! Put a link in your email signature to your Facebook or Google account asking what they thought of the service. Send a thank you card or text after a pivotal moment in your sales process that ends in a "PS. we love to hear how we're doing!" It should be on your business cards and your fliers and in all your social platform bios. Everywhere!


Second, put together a survey and send it out after different points in your sales process. This is a great way to not only hear how you've been delivering service, but to also ask if there are any other services that your customers wished you offered! Sky's the limit!


Now that you have received your feedback, you should either be taking a look at how you can improve, or moving on to question 2.


#2) Flawless Client On-Boarding Experience

This may not seem that different from the first question, but it makes a world of difference. On-boarding your client is more about your administrative duties than it is about the service you are providing. It doesn't matter if you provide the most needed service in the world, if you are difficult to get a hold of, you don't send things for review on time, or a whole slew of bad on-boarding, then the client won't even get passed hello.


One of the best ways to ensure an impeccable on-boarding experience, is to create a Welcome Kit for your new clients. You can read more about how to do that here.


#3) Don't Forget to Say Thanks

Business owners often forget that a referral isn't only about your relationship with new client. More importantly, it's about your relationship with the one who made the referral!


Referrals have a much higher close rate than leads, and when you have a client who is an active advocate for your company, that is a relationship you want to continue to foster. Staying top-of-mind with thank you notes for sending referrals, email marketing campaigns, Facebook ads and a consistent posting schedule, and many more, are all ways that you can continue to foster that relationship.


The Open Market Agency rewards those who make referrals with prizes, a donation in their name to the charity of the quarter, and by entering them into a drawing to win even more cash, gift cards and prizes throughout the year.


Hopefully this has sparked you to begin nurturing your referral program to strengthen your relationships with your current clients and to build stronger bonds with your incoming clients!