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Even in today’s highly digital world, word of mouth continues to be the one of most effective way to get new business. Here are some statistics that underscore the influence of word of mouth:

  • 74% of 2500 consumers who bought products in the auto, beauty and smartphone category identify word-of-mouth as a major influencer in their purchasing decision. (Ogilvy, Google, TNS)
  • 84% of respondents globally in an online survey say word of mouth recommendations are the most influential (Nielsen)
  • 58% of respondents in a survey conducted among consumers in UK, US, Australia and Singapore share positive experiences and seek advice from friends and family when they talk about brands on social media (SDL)

If leads from referrals are few and far between, start asking for them. It’s surprising how few people do considering satisfied clients would most likely be delighted to give you a referral. Plus referrals are a powerful way to validate your great service. No matter what you say about your massage therapies or skin treatments; it’s always more credible when someone else is talking you up.

Here are some things to keep in mind to feel more comfortable about asking for referrals and get the results you want.

Provide outstanding service: That should seem obvious but outstanding service often involves going the extra mile. Clients expect that you will provide a relief-giving massage or an outstanding skin treatment or you are knowledgeable about home care. What impresses them is when you ask for feedback, show flexibility in rescheduling an appointment or providing counsel on nutrition or exercise.

Be certain clients are satisfied: Clients complain but still come back. You want to ask for referrals from clients that are absolutely sold on your spa or massage business. Their enthusiasm about your business is what drives others to seek you out.

Ask in your email marketing:  Include a message in your email communications with clients – a newsletter or occasional email marketing – indicating you would welcome referrals.

Incent customers for referrals

While some clients may be happy to provide referrals, you can thank them and encourage others with some incentives, such as a product sample or even the choice of an item for free from your retail offerings. Also everyone loves a discount. Some of your clients may be very enthusiastic about referrals if you tie them to a discount for a treatment. You might even want to establish a rewards type of program so that after a certain number of rewards, a client gets a free treatment of their choice. You can use your social channels to let clients know about your referral rewards program.

Let your clients help build out your word of mouth marketing. Make sure there are rewards for both of you.