Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Your Referral Should Not Be A Bribe November 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 12:10 pm

A reward for a referral should be an element of surprise, not a bribe.  If your business is good enough, there will be natural recommendations – if you have to bribe your customers & make the process more than one step…you loose the credibility in which good recommendations are given.

I am not saying that your customers shouldn’t be aware that there are perks when friends take you up on your recommendations, just don’t make it more steps than “did anyone recommend you to visit us today sir?”

Example 1:
We have all seen the DirecTV ads that your friends are worth $100 each when you give your account info to your friend, your friend is then suppsed to tell the person on the other end of the phone that they were recommended by Dick & Jane who then are rewarded the cash.  Ick.  Who does that? Who solicits their friends like that?
Why doesn’t DirecTV just ask the new customer if anyone recommended them and THEN DirecTV rewards the person with a credit and a thank you note on their bill.  I don’t know what the success rate of DTV’s new campaign is, but I can tell you that their reputation for antiquated marketing ideas is being noticed in my circles (when it comes to making their current customers feel “special”…and yes, I expect to feel special as your customer).
And just a side note, I am in L-O-V-E with my DirecTV.  They have taken care of me more than once via Twitter & I spread the love to anyone who asks if we are happy.

Example 2:
My dentist – Dr. Higginson at Lighthouse Dental in Eagle.  I love this guy…he has a nickname in our house…Dr. Happy.  He makes you feel so good about having a root canal!  They sent out in the mail a really nice newsletter that had some great information on it as to what they were up to in the office & outside in their personal lives as well, I really enjoyed it (of course my head was spinning…this should be a blog too!).  They enclosed a referral card that I have to sign (you can print one as well from their website) and then give to a friend who has to be responsible for giving it to the front when signing in.
Again, why can’t you just ask the question: “Did anyone refer you today sir?”  This actually happened to me a few years back.  On a follow up root canal visit, Dr. Higginson made a point to tell me that he had at least 4 people come in from my work & volunteer that they heard Lighthouse Dental was the place to go.  He adjusted my bill right then & there and said “Thank you so much, it means a lot to us.”  I didn’t need the incentive of a movie or dinner to give the recommendation, I did it because he is good and I wanted to tell people about it.

Can this be tracked just by asking and not having official cards? I am not a programmer, but my guess is that there is referral software out there that would keep track of how referred who & when.  Or I think Excel would work just fine.

Lesson Learned:
Don’t beg and don’t make your customers beg to others. You have a great business, great customer service, great people and something  I don’t want to live with out.  Reward with surprise and not expected outcomes.


#FollowFriday in +140 Characters March 6, 2009

In the spirit of #FollowFriday on Twitter, I would like to introduce you to five Tweeple that always catch my eye and why I think you might enjoy following them.  #FollowFriday is nice & all, but I like to hear from people why they think they are so great…here are my Tweeps!

@TacAnderson Tac introduced me to Twitter.  He is also the first person, outside of my husband, that I told I was pregnant with the twins.  He jumped up and gave me a great big hug—if you can hug, you can be my friend.  Oh, and he’s frickin’ brilliant.  He knows every new product, every cool kid knows him, follows him & wants to be him.  The thing is – he isn’t arrogant about his notority in the world of social media.  He is cool as a cucumber & genuine to the core.  And he doens’t owe me a coffee at all for this.  🙂

@MikeBoss Disclaimer: I set up Mike’s original Twitter account while we were at MPC Computers together.  Mike took the love of telling stories about food, his Middle East travels & his cats and turned that into relationships with computer and education publications that got MPC Computers off the “black ball list” (btw: that is not my quote, it is someone that was higher up the MPC food chain than me).  He didn’t have to buy the inside front cover to get a story or a quote from the publisher, he gave them content & value through stories, insights and heart felt comrodery with people.

@SaulColt  Saul is the Head of Magic (and self proclaimed Mayor or Twitter) at FreshBooks and he holds that position close to his heart & does it damn well!  My favorite part of following Saul on Twitter is that he is FUNNY!  His little insights about the cabbies he encounters, the food he is eating & the house he just lost make me laugh…and he responds back – kudos!  

@DirecTV  If you have DirecTV you MUST follow them.  They don’t tweet out that much but when they do it is valuable info…like when they offer free HBO!  Quick story: Our signal went out one night and my husband was on hold wiht them for 45 minutes (on that thing-a-ma-jiggy called a “phone”).  I had just started following them & gave it a crack – with in 8 minutes our signal was back!  

@SteveAMiller  My favorite part of his bio is his first line: Kelly’s Dad.  Won my heart right there.  Steve has given me advice during my most recent lay off & we have actually had a REAL phone call.  He has many years behind him in consulting in the marketing world and shares his knowledge & tidbits well….and he has a great band (jk-not THAT Steve Miller).