The 3 stages of driving customer referrals with Zoho CRM

Grow by being proactive with referrals

Most businesses know that the cheapest and easiest way to find new customers is by asking your existing customers.

For most businesses that we speak to however, this process centers around individual employees periodically contacting your customers to ask for these referrals.

Whilst this is most certainly better than nothing, like most things within the Lumen Ecosystem we think that there is a smarter way to do things.

We have developed a way to identify exactly when and how to ask your customers for a referral. Our referral generator is designed to achieve this and it works in three stages.

Stage 1

First we need to identify when the best time is to ask your customers for a referral. While this varies from business to business there are some fundamental principals. Two of them are:

  • When a prospect has said that they are not going to buy your product / service they may likely feel that they owe your business a favor for taking up your time. Imagine a situation whereby losing a deal means that you are given new leads to sell to!
  • When a person or company has been a customer for a certain period of time and they have just had a positive experience with your after sales or support teams. One of the ways customers like to say thank you at is to provide you with a referral.

Of course there are many more triggers that are specific to your business which may identify when a great moment is to ask for a referral but you get the point, you need a method to automatically identify when these moments that you define occur.

The trouble for most businesses that have a large number of customers is keeping track of these key points to ask for referrals which is sometimes a nightmare to manage.

However, with intelligent CRM integration you will be notified in your dashboard exactly which customers you need to reach out to ask for a referral.

Stage 2

Once you can dynamically identify the point to reach out to your customers for help, the next key consideration is that giving referrals is sometimes a pain for your customers. So, in order to ensure that you are extracting the maximum benefit out of this process, you need to consider designing a simple and painless way for your customer to help you.

Now, this will be different for every business and if simply being notified to contact your customer via telephone at the right time works for your business then this is great. For other businesses this will simply be impractical.

To solve this issue, Lumen can design automated correspondence to be sent to your customers whereby they can perform simple actions to give you the referrals that you are seeking with the minimum amount of disruption on their end.

These referrals can be fed back into the Lumen Ecosystem and allocated to the appropriate person to action.

Stage 3

It is important to reward customers that help you out. For this stage, let’s look at a simple example. Imagine that your business has just helped out a customer resolve a major issue that they were having in their business. Following this, an email was automatically sent out to this customer requesting a referral which they happily provided.

This seems like a fair transaction, doesn’t it? You have helped out your customer and they have said thank you by offering a warm introduction to another person or business for you to promote you products/service to.

For us, just fair is not enough. We want to have our customers go above and beyond for their customers which has positive flow on effects in many areas including customer retention.

So, as part of our service to help make your business streamlined we can arrange for your customer to be automatically thanked for their referral in a means that suits your business.

For some customers this is a simple thank you email or for others this is something more elaborate such as a corporate gift.

In order to reduce your cost of customer acquisition through a healthy supply of referrals from your customer base, you need to start thinking how to achieve this. You also need to consider the means to automate this process otherwise it may be too much of an investment and become counter productive.

 

Ilan Gross

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