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  #21  
Old 04-08-2009, 08:30 PM
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S.I. S.I. is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: west
Posts: 323
Incentives are no brainers. People refer good services anyway, if it is brought up in conversation, but not normally at the top of their 'to do' list. If you offer them some type of reward for doing this then it is something that sits in their mind ready to be brought up for any reason at all.

On top of that the 'cost' (if you can really call it that) of a customer incentive program is minimal if you consider the 'true cost' of acquiring customers through other forms. It is no risk advertising. Your customer gets the incentive only if the referred completes the criteria ...... contract, X amount of services completed and paid for, etc. Once that is done then the first customer gets the incentive. You could spend thousands on other forms of advertising and not get a single new customer. Worse yet you could get 10 non-paying customers.

Good work gets referrals, good work plus incentives gets more referrals, not rewarding your customers for putting money in your pocket could cost you some business.

I do recommend that you thoroughly examine any programs before you put them into action. Be sure to follow through with any plan that you advertise to customers. I personally do gift certificates, as I feel people hire my service to get away from doing work, so they appreciate a night of not having to work in the kitchen as well. I've considered even running a contest with my customers. Maybe give away a BBQ or something similar for the most referrals in a season. That may lead to some shoddy customers though.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2009, 08:54 PM
Baywatch Baywatch is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: somewhere
Posts: 37
I think everyone is correct with their comments.

I did a referral program up until a few years ago and then I did away with it. Turns out I get just as many if not more referrals now (from many of the same people that gave referrals when I was giving free cuttings for referrals).

My interpretation to this is that if you do good work and your clients like you they will refer you to their friends, family, and neighbors. This is whether you butter them up with a free cutting or some other incentive or not. When I stopped giving out free cuttings I began simply calling the client that referred me and personally thanking them for the referral and letting them know how much I appreciate it.

I remember learning in a business class in college that there was actually a study that they did with respect to incentives and compensation and what makes people respond the best. Out ranking pay and kickbacks was recognition. Sometimes an honest and appreciative "Thanks You" will mean more to the client than a free cutting.

This is just my $.02 and want I have discovered.
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