A happy customer is a valuable marketing opportunity. Unfortunately the folks businesses usually hear from are the unhappy customers. The challenge is to motivate happy customers to spread the word about your pet business. Here are five great ways to get more customer referrals.

Get Happy Customers

The first thing you need to get customer referrals is a happy customer.That requires:

A quality product or service
A quality customer service experience
Satisfaction with the buying process

The next step is to motivate your happy customers to spread the word. That often requires motivation. You have to reward customers for their referrals.

Offer Incentives

One great way to motivate referrals, particularly in this new limited budget economy, is to offer customers a coupon or a percentage off their next purchase in exchange for a referral. Money is a powerful motivator and if customers are truly satisfied with your service they’ll be more than happy to spread the word about your business. The extra cash serves as a reminder and a way to show your appreciation for their contribution

Recruit Affiliates

Another idea commonly used by all sized businesses in every industry is to pay your customers for a percentage of their referral sale. This is called affiliate marketing. It’s another money motivated type program whereby a customer receives payment for referrals. These programs are family easy to set up and manage with affiliate marketing software programs. Additionally, you can base your payment system on a number of options ranging from payment for referred name only, click through or payment for sales.

Offer a Referral Bonus

Offering a bonus for on the spot referrals can work for some industries. For example, if your pet business has a newsletter once someone has become a subscriber you can ask them for five names and email addresses. If those referrals are provided they’ll receive a coupon, discount, product, or instantly downloadable book or video. Of course make sure the book or video is something they’d be interested in and motivated to obtain.

Speak up

It’s okay to ask a happy customer for a referral. Via email, snail mail or even on the phone “Would you know someone who could benefit from my products or services?” is a straightforward and easy approach to broadening your customer base. The answer will either be “yes”, “no”, or “I’ll think about it and let you know”.

Referral marketing begins and ends by providing a positive and memorable customer experience. Once you’ve set the groundwork creating and communicating a referral marketing strategy is much easier. People will be happy to spread the word about your wonderful pet business!