10 ways to get more referrals for your construction business
Deep down you know it’s true. That referrals are important for your construction business. As powerful as they are, these mentions help you in getting new business or finding and keeping loyal customers.
To put it into perspective:
According to a Nielsen report, 92 percent of the 28,000 respondents believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. In other words, clients trust referrals. When prospects hear positive reviews about a product or service from someone they trust, it impacts their purchasing decision.
But there’s a problem.
Many enterprises struggle with generating referrals consistently. Firms want to extract more value from their customer base but they don’t know how.
Worry no more. In this article, we will reveal some techniques you can use to get more referrals for your construction business.
First, let’s get started with...
How Referral Marketing Works
Referrals are bound to happen naturally if you have a delightful customer experience. But that’s not enough. You can still squeeze more value from referral marketing by being intentional about it.
Here’s why it works:
Tapping into your customers’ social circles allows you to expand your sphere of influence.
Referrer prospects are like warm leads because they know and trust the referrer.
A referrer’s endorsement is a convincing piece of social proof. The mention provides a vote of confidence.
Next, let’s find out how referral marketing works:
First, pinpoint strategic individuals in your space such as existing customers, business contacts or friends.
Second, nurture those relationships, delighting them when you can.
Finally, make the referral request.
Now that you know how referral marketing works. Let’s now take a closer look at the tips you can use to get more referrals for your construction business. Shall we?
Proven Tactics to Get More Referrals
For effective referral marketing, you need to encourage current customers to talk about your company. You want prospective clients to hear positive things about your business. Here’s how to do it:
#1. Ask at the right time
For the majority, it seems sensible to ask for a referral at the end of a project. But what if it’s not the opportune time?
The downside is that at this time the client is thinking about the money they owe you. And if it’s an organization, the contact person can forward the invoice email to the accounting department without even reading it.
Instead, try asking for referrals at different times. The goal is to find an opportunity when the customer is charmed with your work. For instance, if a project involves multiple stages, you can ask for a referral after successfully completing the first stage. Alternatively, you can ask a referral from a repeat customer when they come to inquire about a second project.
#2. Make it simple to make a referral
It’s possible to miss out on referrals when customers aren’t aware that you’re looking for them. To avoid missing out on potential business, you can do this:
Include a line in your email signature that you’re interested in referrals.
Include information about referrals in your business card.
If you send personalized greeting cards to customers, express your gratitude and ask for referrals.
Don’t overdo it by including it in every correspondence. It only screams how desperate you are.
#3. Go the extra mile
Word of mouth works like magic when it comes to getting referrals for your construction business. And just like loyalty, it doesn’t come cheap. You have to earn it.
You can go the extra mile by sharing your customers’ content on social media, or quoting them in your blog content. In other words, be a worthwhile resource to your clients. You will have laid the foundation on why they should tell their networks about the admirable work you do.
#4. Give customers a reason to talk about your company
If you want your clients to make referrals, make their experience shareable. A story is powerful when shared by your customer and a prospect will be keen to listen. To achieve that, innovate your customer experience. Go the extra mile in a way that keeps your business on top of your customers’ minds.
Here are some ways to make your customer experience remarkable:
Understand where your customer hangs out and what keeps them awake at night.
Aim to understand what success looks like to them.
Match the solutions you offer with the answers they seek to their problems.
Identify areas to delight the customer.
Show up consistently.
And just like that, your customers are motivated to talk about your business.
#5. Share your content and resources
Did you know that B2B buyers consume an average of 13 pieces of content before making a purchase?
Similarly, before your existing leads turned into customers, they consumed your resources such as blog posts, videos, emails, and ebooks.
That said, there's a need to strategically distribute your content to increase the chances it gets seen by qualified prospects. For instance, you can include a ‘Share this with a Friend’ link in your resources.
#6. Utilize different channels for advocacy
Sometimes your customers may be reluctant when you ask for referrals. And being persistent could damage the relationship. In such a scenario, you need to step back and give them space.
Over time, you can reach out with a different offer to spread the word about your company without actually referring someone. The objective is to ask the clients what they’re comfortable sharing. For instance, you can ask the customer to write a review, submit a testimonial, or even use them as a case study.
The above actions require less effort but they can still help drive potential new leads to your business. And the best part?
It keeps the relationship with your customers intact.
#7. Establish a customer loyalty program
Referrals will most likely come from your loyal customers. You can recognize their efforts by implementing a customer loyalty program that rewards them for spreading the word about your construction business.
The program could be points-based or even include a premium membership. Ultimately, the goal of this initiative is to make the customers feel valued and they will help you in return.
#8. Give a referral
You get what you give. You can pay forward by referring businesses you believe in and people will be inclined to return the favour. Also, your customers may feel like they’re being fairly compensated for the details they shared (the referral).
A word of caution:
Understand that the relationship with your customer is on the line whenever you refer them somewhere else. You need to ensure that you’re referring them to an enterprise that’s as reputable as yours or they will forever blame you for any mishaps they encounter.
#9. Implement a reward program
People hate working for free. You’re asking customers to hunt down business for you without direct benefits other than a feel-good factor that they have helped. Likewise, people get busy with their own work because there are no incentives to make a referral effort.
To curb this, you can implement a reward program. It’s a mechanism to encourage your customers to scour their network for a great referral. You can offer rewards such as freebies, discounts, hard cash or even gift cards.
Lastly, in addition to showing gratitude to clients who give referrals, a reward program is also a chance to express your creativity.
#10. Act on customer feedback
You can only accumulate more referrals if you prove yourself worthy of mentions. You have to ensure that you’re meeting and exceeding the desires and anticipations of your current customers. To achieve that, you need to frequently collect and act on their feedback.
Online tools such as SurveyMonkey come in handy when carrying out client satisfaction surveys. Also, you’re able to keep tabs on what you business is doing right and the improvements needed. All in all, conducting a survey helps you get a sense of what it takes to get more referrals from your customers.
Note: Always remember that a customer who is satisfied may not refer you, but they can continue to be a client. On the other hand, delighting buyers can turn them into raving fans that do the marketing for you.
Start Getting Referral Business Now
As you have seen above, referrals are key for construction companies of all sizes. It’s all about using your clients as marketers for your business.
The goal is to provide the best possible service and offer your customers value. It’s the only way they will help spread the world out there about your business.
No, getting these mentions isn’t rocket science. It only takes commitment. And when done right, you will have the problem every company craves:
An overflow of new business.
Are you ready to take your construction business to the next level?