Car Wash - Spring 2014 - (Page 95)

marketingminute Rally those referrers! Why praise from friends" is worth its weight in gold BY ANNIE TSAI 92 PERCENT OF CONSUMERS TRUST RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOVE ALL OTHER TYPES OF ADVERTISEMENTS. PICTURE THIS: AFTER a long day's work, you sink onto the couch and turn on the television. As you flip through the channels, you see a commercial for a new local restaurant. Later, as you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you see that a friend has checked in at that same restaurant, posted a picture of his meal, and captioned it, "Delicious! Can't wait to come back." Which is more likely to make you reserve a table: the commercial or your friend's endorsement? If you're like most people, you're much more likely to be influenced by your friends' recommendations (even if they're "just" online friends) than by ads. In fact, a recent Nielsen report reveals that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other types of advertisements. And they're four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend. Here's the takeaway for businesspeople: Referrals are a huge, sparkly, tied-up-witha-bow gift - and if you aren't already working to harness and maximize their power, it's past time you started. Businesses are so busy focusing their energy on acquiring new customers that they often neglect one of their most valuable resources: active referrers. Though this may be a small percentage of your overall customer segment, setting up a basic program to support them and encourage their activity is well worth your time and resources. In fact, if your company is delivering value to your customers, you probably already have active referrers - even if you aren't aware of them. These people are posting positive reviews about your business all over the social media landscape and bragging on you to their friends simply because they love what you offer and/or how well you treat them - in other words, because you've earned their loyalty. Harnessing that loyalty is a no-brainer. And here's the thing: These active referrers often don't expect or even want incentives for referring others. Sure, you can offer incentives, but don't think you have to break the bank in order to get referrals from current customers. In fact, I advise that before you spend the time designing a referral program based on monetary rewards, test out how willing your customers are to simply help spread the word. If you're ready to harness the power of active referrers, read on for seven of my tips on designing offers that continue to nurture your most valuable customers: Be an equal-opportunity rewarder. Reward the referrer and the referee. This should be an easy modification if you already have a new customer acquisition deal in place. Even if you don't have a formal offer that rewards the existing customer for bringing in new business, find a way to say thank you. Put a note on that person's account to give them a little something the next time they come in. The gift could be as small as a coupon for purchase, a small freebie or a gift card for future service. Don't stop playing after you score the first goal. Provide an incentive to get the referred customer back a second time as a part of the referral program. It's the same as when you're designing deal site promotions or any other new customer acquisition program. Building in a strategy that incentivizes that new customer to return a second time provides you with additional leeway and a captive audience. New customer acquisition through your referral channel is no exception to this rule. SPRING 2014 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG | 95 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2014

Letter From the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Look Out! Self-Driving Cars Heading Your Way
On the Road, but Still Online
Finding Your Way Through the Mobile Landscape
Take a Tour
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Car Wash Industry Celebrates Centennial Milestone
ICA 2013 Annual Report
Getting to the Point of Biometrics
Fighting for Innovation
Take It From Tech: Entrepreneurial Lessons Courtesy of Google
You Don’t Have to Fail
100 Years
The Innovator’s DNA
Emerging Russian Car Wash Industry Faces Challenges
Rise to the Top
Does a Company Really Need to Innovate?
Watersavers Program Reaches Out During Drought
Blast From the Past
Download It!
Marketing Minute
Ask Champ
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Member

Car Wash - Spring 2014