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Every business will probably agree that customer referrals are awesome!  Not only do they have a much lower acquisition cost than customers obtained from traditional marketing efforts, but conversion rates are usually much higher as well.   The amount of referral business you have is a good measure of success of your marketing efforts.  There are numerous ways to get referrals from your customer base and the sections below will outline a few of them.

Satisfy Your Customers

It may be a simple idea, but providing a great product or service your customers love will naturally get you referrals.  The idea is to have something your customers truly love.  For some industries it can also be what your company stands for, such as environmentalist.  If you are lucky to have a very unique product or service, you may also be able to get many of them to talk about it on social media sites.  The more a customer loves your product, the more likely they will want to tell or brag to their friends about it.

After they Order or Sign Up

For many businesses, a great time to ask your customers for a referral is after they placed their order or signed up for your services.  For example, our company mails out hand written thank you cards to every customer that signs up for our merchant account service.  We also include a flier in the card asking for customer referrals as well.  If you sell a product, you could have the person that packages it write a very short message on the packing slip asking for a referral.  Not only will it show that someone took the time to handle their package with care, but also a few seconds to write a personal message.

Customer Service Issues

Let’s say you have a customer call in with a complaint or customer service issue.  How can you turn this into a positive thing?  If you take care of their issue and make them a satisfied customer once again, that would be a great time to ask for a referral.  People can feel obligated to return the favor when you help them out with their issue, even if it is your fault.  This can be done after the issue is resolved while you still have them on the phone or even with a follow up email.

Product Reviews

Any business that sells a product online should have the ability for customers to post product reviews.  A product review in essence  is someone speaking out that they vouch for the product.  According to some online research, over 70% of online shoppers read product reviews before buying.  When was the last time you purchased something online?  Did you look at the reviews to see what others were saying?

Offer Incentives

When you ask for referrals, it can be a great idea to offer some type of incentive when it is appropriate.  If you offer a fairly profitable product or service, you may want to offer cash as an incentive.  For example, we offer our merchants a referral fee for every customer they refer to us.  Another idea would be to offer them a discount off of their next purchase.

Curtis with has been helping small businesses accept credit cards for the past 8 years.  They offer an award winning merchant account service with a level of personal service unmatched by most of their competitors.

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This post originally came from Michael Gray who is an SEO Consultant. Be sure not to miss the Thesis WordPress Theme review.

5 Ways to Get More Customer Referrals

Michael Gray – Graywolf’s SEO Blog

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