Referrals: The Secret to Building a Sustainable Business (Part 2 of 3)
Asking customers for feedback during these uncertain economic times can help to maintain strong, trust-based relationships with your customers.
Using a well-structured feedback tool to understand what your customers need in a relationship helps you to do two things. First, it can help identify opportunities to add value to the customer relationship, as well as, build stronger referral relationships with centers of influence. Leverage customer feedback in two ways – reinforcing existing relationships and attracting new strategic partners.
Three Tips to Reinforce Existing Relationships:
- Demonstrate your value – If you receive high satisfaction ratings from your customers, share this with your centers of influence.
- Provide reciprocal referrals – If you learn that the customer is dissatisfied with other providers or professionals, it’s an opportunity to approach the customer with a referral to one of your centers of influence who can better meet the customer’s needs.
- Partner on customer feedback to identify mutual referrals – Many providers or sales professionals partner with an allied provider or sales professional when gathering client feedback. While each survey is confidential and geared toward their individual businesses, both look for opportunities for the other.
Three Tips to Attract New Referral Sources:
- Find new centers of influence – When a customer indicates a high level of satisfaction with another trusted advisor, that advisor may be someone with whom you can network to develop a mutually beneficial referral relationship, with the permission of the customer.
- Contact the newly identified professional to introduce yourself and share highlights of the customer’s positive comments. Discuss each other’s goals and determine if a fit exists.
- Share the results of your customer feedback study and determine how you might work together.
In these trying economic times, maintaining and expanding your business is extremely challenging. Using customer feedback can be a key part of an advisor’s strategy for building and nurturing relationships with centers of influence.
Many call center employees fail to take advantage of the opportunities referrals provide. Our next post will address the common reasons why this is prevalent and several ideas to overcome these challenges. Check back on Monday for more information. Until then, we hope you identify at least 3 new referral opportunities today.