It seems like since the dawn of marketing that referral programs have been around. After all, we know that a friend's recommendation is the strongest marketing message a business can generate. And your customers are likely to talk about the service they experienced at your business anyway, so why not reward them for referring a new customer to you?
Here are some of the biggest benefits that we've found from referral marketing programs:
Use Employees Time More Effectively - the beauty of a referral program is that your staff isn't forced to make cold calls to prospective customers. This means that your employees can spend more time focusing on your current customers and ensuring that they are satisfied enough to recommend your business to a friend of theirs.
Increase Number of Satisfied Customers - Referral Programs are a little like paying it forward, because it allows you to build your level of satisfied customers by promoting satisfied customers. In other words, the sales cycle moves itself as more satisfied customers refer other satisfied customers to your practice.
Minimize Costs - Referral programs do not require a lot of capital to get started. This makes it really easy to come up with a program, because the program doesn't have to be advertised externally, which means you won't be paying for an ad to be in the local newspaper and can use those savings to reward referred customers.
And, the best part is that there is data to back up the benefits of referral programs!
A study conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, on referral programs and customer value which followed the customer referral program of a German bank that paid customers 25 euro for bringing in a new customer, was released in July 2010. According to Professor Van den Bulte, this is the first ever study published on the financial evaluation of customer referral programs. The study found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than normal customers. Referred customers had a higher contribution margin, a higher retention rate and were more valuable in both the short and long run.On whether customer referral programs are worth the cost, the study mentioned - "Our findings are important news for practitioners considering deploying customer referral programs in their own firm. Assuaging prior skepticism, we document a positive value differential, both in the short term and long term, between customers acquired through a referral program and other customers. Importantly, this value differential is larger than the referral fee. Hence, referral programs can indeed pay off."
At VisionWeb, we also offer a referral program for current VisionWeb customer's' enrolled in our electronic claim filing service. Do you know of a practice that could benefit from VisionWeb's insurance transaction processing service? Send them our way! If they enroll in our insurance services, we will give you a $100 credit*! Send as many referrals as you want, there is no limit to the number of credits you can earn! Click here to start referring! We'll reach out to your referrals and let them know that you recommended them for our insurance services. If any your referrals decide to enroll in our services, we will give you a $100 credit for each enrollment!
Want to give the referral form to a colleague in person? Download and print the referral form here and give it to your colleague when you tell them about VisionWeb. All they need to do is return the form when they enroll with us. Just like that, you get a $100 credit. It's that easy!
* Some restrictions apply. Click here for a full list of restrictions.