What To Consider When Evaluating Referral Program Software
Is your business looking for a referral program software solution?
To save you time, we’ve put together a handy checklist of the features to look out for when weighing your options.
Here are the six key tools and functionalities you should consider for your referral program:
1. CRM integration
If your sales team uses customer relationship management (CRM) software (like Salesforce), then you’ll want to be able to integrate your referral program software with it. This will help you track the progress of a referral through your sales funnel, which will make following up with your customers on the status of their referral easier.
2. A simple way to submit referrals
The solution that you purchase should provide a hassle-free referral submission page where customers can fill out a few customized form fields to refer their peers. There should also be space to outline the referral process and information about the types of referrals you’re looking for. This will help customers feel comfortable submitting high-quality referrals.
3. An easy way to follow up on the status of referrals
It’s important to let your customers know how their referrals are progressing through the sales funnel. If you don’t give them feedback on the referral process, or thank them when a deal closes, they won’t want to refer their friends again. Your referral software should offer a convenient way to keep them up-to-date, whether it be through automated email updates or a login function. If your program is integrated with your CRM these status updates should be automatically sent to customers.
4. Ways to nurture customers before and after a referral is submitted
It’s important to build relationships with your customers if you want to consistently receive high-quality referrals.
Before customers even think about referring a friend, your program should educate them on the referral process, including:
- Why referrals are important to your business
- Who your ideal customer is (their position, industry, challenges, etc.)
- How customers should submit a referral
After a customer sends a referral your way, it’s important to nurture that relationship further by recognizing the customer and consistently engaging them so they continue to submit new referrals.
While some referral program software solutions can facilitate parts of the nurturing process, integrating your referral solution with an advocate marketing platform allows for the most flexibility when it comes to deeply and consistently engaging customers before and after a referral submission.
5. An automated rewards process
Customers should be thanked and rewarded after a referral is submitted or becomes a new customer so they feel appreciated—and therefore motivated—to refer again in the future. The software you choose should be able to facilitate automatic reward fulfillment. This is usually limited to generic, standard rewards that are given once a deal closes.
It should be noted that as customers submit more referrals, they may not be enticed by giftcards or discounts. This is why software solutions that offers a points reward system can be more effective. With this functionality, customers can redeem points they’ve accumulated to choose their own rewards. Offering different point values based on the quality and frequency of submissions can drive customers to submit quality referrals on a regular basis.
6. Customer service and support
You may want to prioritize a business that offers a high level of customer service and support as you develop and launch your program (depending on how much technical expertise you have in-house). They must be able to answer any technical questions or roadblocks you might have. Ideally, they should also help you create an effective strategy for your program based on your business needs and industry.
You’ve narrowed down your referral software program wish list…now what?
A good referral program software solution should offer all (or many) of the features and benefits listed above. Once you’ve decided on your must-haves, you’re ready to build a referral marketing strategy that will fill your pipeline with quality-leads.