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.