Three factors for a winning customer referral program


Customer referrals are a key strategy for high-growth small and midsize businesses (SMBs) according to a recent Vistage Research study on customer engagement.

Our study of 1,352 SMB CEOs found that high-growth businesses — defined as companies with double-digit revenue growth over two years — ranked customer referrals as one of their most successful strategies in sales. In addition, 20% of these CEOs selected referrals as their number-one marketing strategy.

Consistent results from a structured program

So why aren’t more SMBs enjoying this growth boost from referrals? Quite simply, it’s because they lack a formal referral program. Many companies approach referrals passively, expecting that their customers will recommend them as long as they’re happy with a product or service. The problem is, this unconscious strategy leads to unpredictable or inconsistent referrals.

To better understand the inner workings of a strong referral program, Vistage Research asked for insights from experts from our community;  John Goodman, vice chairman of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting; Ben Landers, president and CEO of Blue Corona; and Colleen Stanley, president and founder of SalesLeadership, Inc. What they shared — and what our research confirms — is that a winning referral program incorporates three key components:

  1. Talent
  2. Training
  3. Technology

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Talent — Individuals and teams are focused on building meaningful human connections.

Consciously building relationships with people — whether they’re existing customers, prospective customers, influencers, referrers or those who are referred — forms the foundation of a successful referral program.

 Training — Skills and processes are developed to support a formal referral program.

A company can’t deliver on a referral program unless its people are equipped with the right skills, processes and tools.

Technology  — Digital tools and platforms are integrated to optimize and scale referral activities.

 Technology has the power to strengthen and scale your referral activities, but it shouldn’t be used as a crutch for building relationships. Use it in conjunction with talent and training.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Predefined Skins

Primary Color

Background Color

Example Patterns

demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo

Privacy Policy Settings

  • Required Cookies
  • Performance Cookies
  • Functional Cookies
  • Advertising Cookies
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the Sites and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the Sites and using Vistage’s Services. Since these cookies are essential to operate Vistage’s Sites and Services, there is no option to opt out of these cookies.
These cookies collect information about how visitors our Sites, for instance which pages visitors go to most often. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Cookies used

Visual Web Optimizer
These cookies remember information you have entered or choices you make (e.g. as your username, language, or your region), and provide enhanced, more personal features. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

Cookies used

Google Analytics
GTM
Gravity Forms
These cookies are used to make advertising more relevant to you and your interests. The cookies are usually placed by third party advertising networks. They remember the websites you visit and that information is shared with other parties such as advertisers. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.