“Tomorrow morning, when you look in the mirror after you’ve gotten up, just write — put it in lipstick or whatever you want on the mirror — just put ‘delight my customer.’ “
— Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about business. He is, after all, a genius investor, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and — according to Forbes — worth about $63.3 billion. So when Mr. Buffett says the No. 1 way to grow is to do a GREAT job delighting customers into naturally giving you referrals, here at The Newsletter Pro, we’re inclined to believe him. According to Marketing-Schools.org, around 2.4 billion brand-related conversations occur daily. For better or for worse, people are talking. What are they saying about you?
Start With the Basics — They’re Important
Walt Disney, the man who founded a company that became a cultural phenomenon and known for its incredible customer experience, said “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Disney is right. The truth is that you can’t afford to do a bad job when it comes to customer service. The odds are already stacked against you. According to The White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a bad experience will reach two times the number of people that a good experience will reach.
Fortunately, referral marketing is so organic, the first steps come naturally when you do a good job. And how do you do that? Start with the basics. Keep your customer satisfaction ratings high by making and keeping basic business promises. Underpromise and overdeliver, and when that doesn’t happen, apologize and accept responsibility for your mistakes. One of the things we do here at The Newsletter Pro when we make a mistake is send what we call a Humble Pie — a specific, targeted apology gift that shows our clients that we’re doing everything we can to listen and respond in spite of our mistakes.
Unfortunately, just doing a good job only goes so far. Research done by Texas Tech states that while 83 percent of satisfied customers are willing to refer, only 29 percent will actually do so. The bottom line is this: Even satisfied customers need encouragement to share.
Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
One of the ways to encourage this is by going above and beyond. The dentist’s office is rarely anyone’s favorite place to be, but with a little bit of “going the extra mile,” several of our clients have made their clients’ experiences more than just tolerable — they’ve made them enjoyable.
Dr. Wirig of Matthew Wirig Orthodontics — one of our successful clients in Nevada — has turned his office into the playplace of dental offices. His office’s motto is PIE, which stands for making a “positive impact on everyone.” And they do just that with a colorful pie-themed office, complete with an arcade and ice cream machine. Then there’s Dr. Perrigo, a skilled dentist with excellent marketing ability. He has made the dreaded dentist’s office into a spa experience with the inclusion of massaging dental chairs. Walk into Dr. Perrigo’s dental office, and you’ll see a spacious reception area, complete with beverage buffet; it’s a truly referral-worthy experience.
But dentists aren’t the only professionals with the potential to go above and beyond. Just about any company can show their clients how much they care through appreciation events or giveaways. One of our clients, Garry Liday in Oregon, holds a massive yearly client appreciation event to do just that. The party includes several magicians — Mr. Liday loves magic — along with face painting and various other activities for the kids, as well as live music for the adults. This night of fun is truly a delightful customer experience that has enabled Mr. Liday to tap into a wealth of referrals!
Capitalize on the “Wow Factor” With a Referral Program
In our years of running newsletter marketing campaigns, we’ve learned that doing more than what’s required is only the first step toward cultivating referrals. Once you’ve delighted your customers, it’s time to take things a step further by building a referral program.
A successful referral program involves …
1) Delivering a wow experience.
2) Encouraging customers to refer others in exchange for potentially earning a reward — one of our clients gives away a big-screen TV every year to the client who makes the most referrals, while others hold monthly referral contests.
3) Having a system to gather and track those referrals.
Once you’ve created an effective referral program, stay top of mind with your contacts by using strategic marketing tools (like newsletters) to “delight your customers.” You’ll be able to maximize not just your customers’ experiences, but your profits as well.
Delight your customers with a high quality newsletter with staying power. Check out our newsletter samples today!