The other day a client asked me to review a letter to clients about some technology glitches their company recently had. One person involved had included the idea for a referral contest to engage the clients.
All I could think was “How do I tell my client that this is a terrible time for this?”
Luckily my client agreed with me. Phew.
Running a referral campaign to increase leads to your business is a great idea. It might be a social media contest or an ongoing practice that you have in your business.
However, if your business is in the midst of having just upset a good chunk of your clients, that’s not the time to ask them to refer business to you. It’s the time to make sure that you go above and beyond in your customer service and acknowledge the hassle. On a case by case basis you can send a specific thank you/apology gift and make sure that all clients are happy to be working with you.
Then, once all glitches are worked out and things are running smoothly you can setup your referral campaign. Referral campaigns can be great. I recommend setting them up in a quieter time in your business. Make sure that you have time to do the follow up and have time for the additional work when it comes in. For some people that’s the summer, for some it’s the beginning of the school year.
Figure out when a quieter time is in your business, then figure out WHAT you want to offer – is it special pricing for new clients? What’s the contest reward for current clients?
By all means run a referral contest if that’s a good lead generation tool. AND make sure that your clients will gush about working with you.