5 Stages of a Referral Program_L

We know that referrals are an essential part of any business and I’m sure you can agree that they are the best leads with a higher close ratio. But are you getting the best of your referrals?

Do you have an established referral program in place? How are you nurturing and growing your referral program? How do you handle referrals once you receive them? Are your referrals collected, tracked and rewarded properly?

Download FREE eBook: "The Guide to a Better Referral Program for Your Company"

We listed below, the different referral program stages and the reasons you should thrive for the best option in the market.

Stage 1: Poorly Tracked Referral Program

At this stage, referrals are not frequent and formally registered: sales reps write them in pieces of paper or just mention them in conversations, with no real record or tracking tool. 

What are you losing at this stage? If there is no process to promote and collect the referrals, they are frequently lost or forgotten. Sales teams don’t always get credit for that (since there is no way to track it) and customers don’t get a reward for their efforts.

Stage 2: Poorly Structured Referral Program

You work with a simple tool, like an excel spreadsheet, and you rely on the sales rep to follow up on it.

Read More about: "How to Engage Sales Reps With Your Referral Program?"

What are you losing at this stage? We know sales reps have a lot on their plate so they may not follow up with the frequency that your business needs. Referrals are lost on this stage too! Prospects get frustrated if they are not contacted within a few days and you lose business opportunities. Besides, you can’t guarantee that customers receive any reward and your efforts are fruitless.

Stage 3: Poorly Integrated Referral Program

You enter the referral in your CRM, the sales rep follows up and manually track what happens after that. Rewards are gift card or checks, but it’s your job sending them and verify if the customers received them.

What are you losing at this stage? At this stage, you may have some level of control, but the process is difficult so you can’t take the best advantage of it! You still have to push the sales reps to follow up in the system and it’s your responsibility to be sure the customer gets his/her reward, and this takes time and effort.

Stage 4: Poorly Communicated Referral Program

Your customers can submit referrals through your website and you track them via a web form. These referrals are being sent to your CRM, but still, a very manual process and difficult to you keep your customers informed about your referral program and communicate with them. 

What are you losing at this stage? You have more control over what you are getting from referrals but still rely on people accessing a web page, which can make the process more difficult and decrease the percentage of engagement.

Stage 5: Completely Automated and Integrated Referral Program with a Referral Software

For the customers, an automated and mobile friendly referral program makes their life much easier since they can submit referrals through a mobile app and also a webpage (according to comScore, people spend 50% of their digital time with smartphone apps versus 34% on a desktop), increasing their chances of referring friends and family. The referral app is more than only a referral tool, it’s a communication tool: your company can send the Advocates messages, emails, push notifications and keep them up to date with their referrals. 

For the companies, the platform optimizes the referral collection and track everything on a dashboard. You can set up automatic rewards and add bonus amounts for additional efforts. Regarding the reward payment, you can provide the customer with plenty of options such as bank transfer, PayPal, virtual debit card and Gift Card.  

Read More about: "Why Is Branded App Marketing so Important?"

Besides, an open API allows you to integrate the referral program with your CRM, giving you complete connectivity with your business!

The automated process gives you more time to run the business, make more customers happy and encourage them to send you more referrals! 

Download FREE eBook: "Building a Successful Mobile App for your Referral Program"

With GetTheReferral, we can help you get to the best level! We combine an integrated dashboard that manages your referrals and communications, with an engaging, branded referral app that makes it easier for your customers to actively refer you, and be rewarded quickly for their effort.

Call us today to learn more about how our complete referral software can help you drive more referral business, reduce your cost per acquisition and improve your bottom line.