Most likely, you have had customers refer you to an acquaintance. Many businesses thrive solely on referrals. Customers will refer you when they trust you, have had a good experience doing business with you and are satisfied with the product or service that they purchased.

Today’s referrals extend to online reviews as well. Recently, I had a fantastic experience renting a Uhaul from a separate provider to move a few things across town. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to return the Uhaul in time for the next scheduled renter that the company had because I wouldn’t have a ride until after work hours. I let the woman know and she offered to give me a ride home (and assured me that they give rides often).

My experience there was great… no added cost for returning the Uhaul late and a free ride home, when I was going to get a cab. During the ride home she casually mentioned online reviews. Well guess who went online later that day to write a positive review.. this girl!

Sometimes, simply a good customer experience will make a customer want to refer you to someone else. However, you also probably have many customers who are just as happy but have not referred you to anyone. Many times, people just simply don’t think to do this or don’t know how.

Here are some tips to turn your customers into super fans and referral generators:

Follow up with your customers

Although your customers may love doing business with you, you are not top of their mind at other times. Stay in touch with e-mail to just check in or tell them happy anniversary, birthday, etc… (using a software to auto-generate any of these emails can save you a lot of time).

Create a referral plan

If you aren’t sure who your most satisfied customers are, start with asking them. Send out a survey or simple email asking them how their experience has been doing business with you. Then focus on asking the clients who seem the most satisfied for referrals and offer an incentive for doing so.

Be generous with information

Make sure your top customers have all of the information they would need to give to referrals. Give them your business cards. They should also be receiving educational information about your industry. An automated drip email campaign can work great for sending informative tips so that they are knowledgeable about your business.

Referrals work both ways

Use your clients for business and refer business to them when you can. Creating a referral relationship that benefits both parties is a great way to ensure referrals in the future.