Paul Weston recommends that brands should ensure active encouragement for referrals from customers.
He recommends that develop messages around how the organisation values and appreciates referrals from existing customers of potential new customers who they may know.
Consider the use of referral incentives but recognize the importance of asking for referrals even if incentives are not going to be available. Build the messages into existing communication activity and consider the potential for specific referral activity, especially to customers who are known to be highly engaged.
Focus on making it incredibly easy for customers to make the referrals with dedicated telephone, on-line or SMS capabilities even if the request is made via physical media. Ensure that every single referral is ‘thanked’ immediately with at least a recognition that it has been provided and, ideally a further communication if it is successfully converted.