Word of mouth referrals and recommendations are the best forms of marketing, with 92% of people relying on the opinions of their friends and family to help make purchasing decisions.
If you’re a salon, spa or clinic owner or manager, getting referrals is great for business, and the more referrals you get the more clientele you get.
So here are eight of the best ways to get more referrals for your business!
1. Create a referral programme
Creating a referral programme is the obvious first step to getting more referrals. It opens up the opportunity to ask your clients to refer your business to their network, and puts clear processes in place for your clients and staff to follow.
To get started with a referral programme for your salon, spa or clinic, ask yourself:
- How can your clients make referrals?
- How will you capture information about the referrer?
- Will you offer the referrer and new client a reward?
- How will you market your referral programme?
2. Promote your referral programme
Whatever programme or process you have in place to get referrals, it’s essential to ensure everyone knows about it. Create a plan for marketing your referral programme and spreading the word.
Here are some ideas for promoting your referral programme:
- Include information about your referral programme on your website.
- Send an email using MailChimp, or text message using your salon or spa software, to all your clients asking them to refer, or about how your referral programme works. This could be an annual campaign, and you could also mention the referral programme in your automated follow up communications after their appointment.
- Use your social media accounts to promote referrals.
- Tell your clients about it in person. If you have a client who’s ecstatic about their experience with you – ask them to tell their friends and family about it.
- If you have any referral cards or posters, display these at your stations, in treatment rooms or at the counter where clients pay. It could spark a conversation, giving you the opportunity to promote your referral programme.
3. Reward the referrer and new client
If you want clients to refer and new clients to come to your salon, spa or clinic, you may need to reward them. While you will likely get referrals from your loyal regulars regardless of whether you offer a reward or not, having a referral programme with some kind of reward will encourage more people to make the effort, driving more referrals for your business.
For the referrer, it will incentivise them to promote your business. For the new client it may be the push they need to come and visit you for the first time. It’s also a nice way to make them feel special and valued, and get their first visit to your salon, spa or clinic off to the right start.
4. Track where your referrals come from
Tracking your referrals is an important part of the process and is essential to getting more. By learning where they’re coming from you can start to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
For example, if you’re getting more referrals from your current clients than from the social media advertising of your promotion, perhaps you should focus your budget and time on telling your clients about the programme.
Being able to analyse the results of your referral programme will enable you to focus your limited time and budget towards the avenues that work best for your business, which can result in more referrals!
To effectively track and report on referrals, you can use Kitomba Salon and Spa Software. Use the ‘Referred by’ field in the Kitomba and Kitomba 1 Client Card to capture this information, and report on it.
5. Partner with local businesses
Partnering with a complementary business is an easy way to get more referrals. It gives you access to a group of clients in your target market, which you may otherwise be unable to reach.
Start by deciding which businesses in your area are targeting the same clients, but provide different products or services than you do, and have the same service quality and expectations as you (this is key to a successful partnership).
Next, you’ll need to decide on your referral offer and how you think it’ll work. Once you know what your offer will be and how you can create a win-win partnership, it’s time to approach the potential partners with your concept and explain how it’ll be mutually beneficial for you both. Be sure to think about promoting this partnership, too.
6. Exceed client expectations
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to get referrals. However, it often comes from loyalty and that’s something you have to earn. If you want to get your clients raving about you, you’re really going to have to wow them.
Sit down with your team and brainstorm some ways you can do this. By implementing some improvements that exceed your clients expectations, you can increase your client loyalty which can lead to an increase in client referrals. Often the little things can make a big difference.
7. Make it easy
This is a simple one, but it’s easy to overlook. Too often we can miss out on referrals because we’ve just made it too hard for people to do it.
Here’s how to make your referral programme as easy and simple for clients as possible:
- Ensure the referral process is easy to understand.
- Make the details easily accessible and concise.
- Make it simple for your clients to refer (one or two steps should be the maximum).
8. Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback on your services or products may not get you instant referrals, but it’ll work towards getting you more over time. By talking to your current clients about what they like and don’t like about your service, you can get a good sense of how you could improve.
This can take your service from satisfying customers to dazzling them, turning them into fans that refer new clients to you!
Start increasing your referrals today!
We hope using one or two of these strategies helps you to increase your referrals and grow your business.
If you want more tips for increasing bookings and client loyalty, check out these articles:
- 5 ways to create an exceptional client experience
- The recipe for happy clients
- What salon and spa owners need to know about client loyalty
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 18 April 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.