As social creatures we habitually listen to advice on where to get a great body treatment, where to eat and how to snag the best deals. These referrals come from our friends, family, co-workers, hair stylist, esthetician and sometimes strangers.
85% of customers research a business online before they visit a location (Bright Local). And as consumers we do this because we want to know what to expect and find out if the businesses we plan to check out will meet our needs.
If you have no idea where we’re going with this let us just say that there are three types of referrals that your business may benefit from:
- Word of Mouth (WOM)
- Customer Referrals
- A Referral Partnership
Customer referrals are a bit different than their cousin word of mouth. How? Let me explain. You may have mentioned a restaurant last week to your best friend when you told him or her how wonderful their food, ambiance and service was! This is WOM. All a client has to do to give this type of referral is to simply speak their mind about your business. Yes, this can be fantastic and nerve-wracking at the same time, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you consistently provide quality services and customer service, the majority of clients will have nothing but nice things to say about you!
Creating a referral card that you give to your client to pass-on to a friend is a true customer referral sales tactic. Referral cards should include an inviting offer, similar to the example on the left, because rewarding loyalty shows customers that you care.
You want your clients talking about your business for a few reasons, one, they have some pull with their family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances and second, you want to stay fresh in their mind. Asking for or receiving referrals can be done in an assortment of ways and you may want to consider having a couple types of programs running simultaneously. The International Spa Association (ISPA) says 94% of spas are using Facebook to market their business and engage with customers. Using this platform can be a great way to inform clients of referral offers and you don’t have to stop there.
Click here to learn more about improving your social media to gain more customers.
Tracking your efforts is how you will discover what your clientele responds to. This can be done by simply asking clients “How did you hear about us?” and noting it in their account.
A referral partnership will naturally involve other businesses or a business-minded person. To get started, visit local businesses in your area and take a look at what they offer. Do they offer something you don’t that fits in with your mission? If you think that they do, set up a meeting with the owner and talk to them about how you can advertise for each other. We often tell our Certified Providers to consider working with a hair salon, local gym or a nutritionist. If you are selling beauty and wellness an independent personal trainer could also be an excellent partner for you. Not only is this beneficial for you but it’s great for your clients! (FYI: promoting healthy eating, working out and FIT sessions will help your clients achieve even more incredible results!)
In order to build and maintain these relationships, it is recommended to offer the other party a complimentary or discounted service. This allows them to experience what you offer for themselves. When someone feels confident about a product or service they will be more apt to make recommendations and refer their loyal clients to your business. It’s all about trust.
Offering referral options can grow your sales because opportunities are generated via current customers and your partners. All three referral types listed here have a place in your business and are great for increasing spa sales, you don’t have to choose just one. Trust us, you want to try them all!