Dear Rachel,

How do I recognize my customers for submitting referrals? I’m not sure what the best reward would be.

-Caring But Confused

Dear Caring,

There are lots of ways to recognize your customers for giving you referrals.

Obviously, there are product discounts or upgrades, special support status, other perks or branded swag, and small presents or gift cards.

However, sometimes these gifts can feel a bit underwhelming considering how special referrals are (from a customer standpoint). As my good friend Fred Reichheld, creator of the NPS system and author of The Ultimate Question 2.0, says: “A recommendation is a sacred thing. Most people consider their reputation to be their legacy. If they feel so good about an organization that they are willing to stake their reputation on it, that company has touched their life.”

With that said, there are definitely some ways to make your customers feel appreciated for recommending you to their peers—but you’ll need to get really personal.

1. Know them so well it melts their heart

First, consider donating to a charity of their choice. You can ask them what charities they support in a survey, then surprise them.

2. Let them choose their own rewards

Give customers points that can be cashed in for prizes of their choosing. The key is making sure you have a variety of rewards that will cater to their interests.

But I don’t just mean offering a variety of gift cards. You know what your customers will appreciate more? Opportunities for professional development, or the VIP treatment— like an invitation to exclusive product training or testing, speaking opportunities at your next event or access to your C-suite. They’ll also appreciate being recognized in front of their peers, so find ways to give them some love on your website or social media.

If you take the time to truly understand your top customers—and what really makes them happy—they’ll be more likely to send referrals your way.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a big spender to make your customers feel loved. A special thank you card or email will work like a charm, too.

Learn more about the art of referral matchmaking by watching some of my other videos or visiting my resources page.

ask rachel: the referral relationship coachRachel-Headshot-icon





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