3 Effective Methods to Get Customer Referrals
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” — Mark Zuckerberg, CEO
A customer referral is one of the best signs of success. It’s what fuels many entrepreneurs.
Customer referral is a fancy way of saying “word of mouth.” It is the oldest form of marketing and it is still the most powerful. This why startups need to pay attention! Every good marketer understands that people have busy schedules and sometimes they just need a gentle reminder (or trigger) to give you that golden referral your business needs.
Here are three easy and effective methods about when and how to ask for customer referrals.
When: During customer discovery interviews
Even early stage startups can use the referrals they get from Day 1. After you survey about your target audience’s pain and benefit, see if they have other friends/colleagues that are in a similar. Remember to take every opportunity to expand your customer base early on!
When: After closing a happy customer
Take advantage of that rush or good feeling that the customer has after you have closed that deal/provided them value. For example, when our startup users went through our platform and closed their first Seed round with the help with of VenturX, we took that opportunity to get customer testimonial and ask for referrals. One founder said that his experience was easy and efficient for him so that is a good time to ask for recommendations. Beware, though: this is momentary. It will fade fast in today’s noisy world; also be watching for those opportunity moments. Timing is key.
Referral link on website/application
For some industries, referral links on your company website or mobile application is second nature. Successful companies such as Groupon or Uber expands their network by five-fold just by:
- making it easy to refer people
- giving users an incentive to refer people (ie. Uber credit)
The less the effort and the better the incentive, the more effective this method would be.
*Customer referrals are among the best things you can do for your business. At VenturX, we consider it a bonus factor in our “engagement metric” for startups; so the more referrals they get, the better their overall engagement becomes and the closer they are to entrepreneurial success.