The Definitive Guide To Customer Referrals And 7 Ways To Increase Them

The Definitive Guide To Customer Referrals And 7 Ways To Increase Them

Posted by Joel Platini on 01 February 2021 in Referral Marketing


As a WooCommerce store owner, you might’ve already known how influential your Customer Referrals are. Customer Referral campaign can help you acquire new customers at low expense, increase your sales and revenue without breaking a sweat.

A fun fact, 86% of customers are expecting a Customer referral campaign from a WooCommerce store so that they can refer their friends and earn a Customer referral bonus.

But do you know how to ask customers for Referrals and when to ask them? That’s why we created this Customer Referral guide to show you how to properly do it.

Not only that, but we’ve also listed some creative ways to increase Referrals in your WooCommerce store. Alright, let’s get to it!

What is Customer Referrals?

Customer Referral is one of the most effective marketing tools where eCommerce businesses use their existing customers to acquire new customers through Word of mouth marketing.

A Referral from a satisfied customer gives rise to more loyal customers, that is why Customer Referrals are used predominantly in customer acquisition.

There are various ways to get Customer Referrals in your eCommerce store which we’ll discuss in the sections below.

What makes Customer Referrals unique?

Customer Referrals can help you grow your business and boost your sales & revenue but there is more to it than we expect.

Let us list out some of the reasons that make Customer Referrals special,

  • Referrals from customers have a higher conversion rate, says 72% of marketers.
  • Referred customers have a high lifetime value.
  • Customer Referrals influence more loyal customers.
  • Referred customers are more valuable.
  • Customer Referrals are rated as the 2nd highest lead source by Marketers.
  • Customer Referrals increase your store’s credibility.
  • Customer Referrals cost you very little.
  • Referrals increase your sales closing rates.
  • Customer Referrals will help you to scrutinize yourself.

So, hope now you understand why Customer Referral is unique. Alright enough with the introduction, let’s discuss how to get them.

How to get Customer Referrals in your WooCommerce store?

Yes, Customer Referrals are cool, but getting referrals from customers needs some stratetegic planning.

Here are some tactics that can help you get Customer Referrals in your WooCommerce store.

Satisfy your customers

This is Referrals 101, if your customers are not happy with your WooCommerce store then they are not going to refer their friends to your store.

This is why it is crucial to keep your customers happy and satisfied in every possible way.

But, how do I know if my customers are not happy with my service?

Simple, look for indicators that show their dissatisfaction,

  • A customer used to purchase regularly but now he/she is not actively shopping at your WooCommerce store.
  • He/She used to interact with the store constantly but now the interaction is gone.

These are just a few indicators that might reveal their dissatisfaction with your WooCommerce store. If you can’t find these indicators then just go ahead and ask them directly.

You can set a questionnaire like this and get to know how satisfied your customers are with your product/service.

You can see the question listed here ‘ Would you recommend our product to your colleagues’, there you go, if their answer is ‘Yes’ then you’ll get your Referrals.

If they say ‘No’, try fixing their pain points and you’ll be good to go.

But always remember, a satisfied customer will bring in referrals organically to your WooCommerce store.

Don’t be shy, ask them

Sometimes, a customer might need a nudge or a push to refer their friends to your WooCommerce store.

If your WooCommerce store is new and if you can easily point out your loyal customers then you can directly ask them instead of waiting for them to do it themselves.

Will it only work for new stores?

Not exactly if you’re constantly monitoring your customer’s performance in your store then you’ll know who your potential referrers are.

Now you can simply ask them to refer their friends to your WooCommerce store through emails or popups.

See, if your target is to get referrals only from specific customers then you can tailor your popup or email only to them.  

But if your target is to get referrals from almost every active customer then you must run a Customer Referral campaign, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

But don’t be too pushy while asking them, use the right time and ask them casually and leave it up to them to decide.

Run a Loyalty program

If there is any chance of a customer referring your WooCommerce store to their friends then it will be from a loyal customer.

But you’ve got to set the platform for them, motivate them to take an initiative. Asking them will work, but they are your loyal customer and they deserve more.

That is why you must run a loyalty program in your store.

Acknowledge your customer’s loyalty and reward them with gifts, offers, subscriptions or memberships.

Reports say that loyalty programs can increase your customer engagement and turn your loyal customers into WOM champions

This is why a loyalty program is essential to get customer referrals. You are not only rewarding them for loyalty but also encouraging your customers to refer their friends.

Like we said earlier, keep your customers happy, they’ll bring in referrals organically.

Loyalty programs have many benefits, so don’t miss out on them.

Treat your customers as partners

Another effective way to get customer referrals is by making your existing customers feel special.

Treat them as your partners, increase your engagement with them and let them know how much you value their presence in your store.This will help you build a long-term relationship with them.

Share your customer’s stories, showcase them on your website and promote them on your social media. These are the ways you can use to make your customers feel special.

This will make them feel that they are not just a customer but a part of your brand and that’s customer success.When you develop a bond like this, your customers will automatically spread the word and they’ll accept any ideas that you pitch to them.

They’ll actively participate in your contests, webinars, Referral programs and more without asking any questions. That’s the benefit you’ll get for treating them as your partners.

Create a Customer Referral campaign

Lastly, if you want to get Referrals then the easiest way to do it is by creating a Referral program in your WooCommerce store.

As we mentioned earlier, if you want referrals from all the customers in your store and not just the specific one then run a Referral program.

Also, make sure you offer incentives to your customers to motivate them to bring in more Referrals to your WooCommerce store.

Also, make sure you reward your Referrals too, they are new to your store so offering a Customer referral bonus right away will make them develop trust in your WooCommerce store and they’ll start referring too.

Loyal customers might already be wanting to refer their friends and the Referral program will provide them a platform and make it easier.

Also, a Referral program is one of the best ways to build the credibility of your WooCommerce store.

Alright, these are the ways you can get Referrals from your customers. In the end, it is your effort that’ll make it possible, so keep working and you’ll reap its benefits.

When is the right time to get Customer Referrals?

Now you know how to get customer referrals in your WooCommerce store. As you know we’ve listed ‘asking the customers’ as one of the ways to get Referrals.

The problem is, you cannot be asking them all the time, you need to wait for the pristine moment, which we’ll discuss below.

When the customer is happy

You should probably keep this as your default moment to ask for Referrals. Customers will listen to any request from you when they are happy.

But, how can I find when my customer is happy?

Simple, make sure you have a Referral request popup waiting for them when they make a purchase or give you a positive rating.

Especially, while purchasing. Because that is when the customer is going to be the happiest. So, asking them to refer their friends will have a positive impact on them, they’ll do it at least to earn the discount.

Or you can also ask them when they gave you a positive review and are pleased with your service.

You helped solve their pain points

A customer would’ve shared his/her frustration, so you went the extra mile and solved their issue for them by delivering the product you promised them.

This is also the best time to ask for Referrals because now they trust you, they know that you care for their presence.

So, go ahead and request them to bring their friends to your WooCommerce store and earn an exclusive Customer referral bonus. But avoid this step if your relationship is new.

This moment is more favorable for your long time loyal customers and it will also increase your credibility.

Engagement is good

Yes, run a contest, survey or send out emails and see how your customers respond to it.

Your customers will only interact with you when they are satisfied, so if they engage with you reach out to them.

That is a perfect time to ask them to be your brand advocates and bring in more customers to your WooCommerce store. This is also a great way to engage with your loyal customers better.

Customer requests you

Sometimes, the opportunity will just knock at your door.

If your engagement with your customers is good then they’ll ask you for a favor. They might reach out to you for discounts, coupons. Free-trials, free shipping and more.

You can make use of this opportunity and request your customers to refer their friends and earn the Customer referral bonus they want.

So, you are not only getting a referral but also giving your customer what they need, this increases your customer loyalty too.

Alright, if you are not running a Customer Referral campaign and only looking for Referrals from specific customers then these are the right time to ask for it.

There are still some direct and indirect ways to ask for Referrals which you can find here. Just don’t be too pushy and you’ll be fine.

Creative ways to Increase Customer Referrals

So far we’ve seen how to get customer referrals and when to get them but at some point in your Referral campaign, you might feel this is not enough.

So, here are some creative ways to increase Customer Referral rates.

Provide amazing Customer service

If you want to increase Referrals, then the changes must start happening to you.

Every customer loves to be engaged with, they want their problems to be solved instantly and the only way to do this is by providing amazing customer support.

It increases your customer loyalty and your store’s credibility, here are 3 tips to build amazing customer service.

Responsive - Don’t let your customers wait too long for an answer or support. It must be your utmost priority and the queries must be responded to instantly and sorted out. That’ll make an impression.

Sincere - Customer service can be judged on the way you respond to your customer. Be polite and answer sincerely to make them happy, if you break their experience, you might lose some valuable Referrals.

Consistent - Interact with your customers and solve their queries on a regular basis. Provide a constant engagement with your customers to give them memorable customer service.

Make your customers feel happy and satisfied with your customer support and they’ll organically bring Referrals to your WooCommerce store.

Offer double-sided incentives

If you are running a Customer Referral campaign in your WooCommerce store and wondering why you are getting minimal Referrals, then you might’ve to change your incentives strategy.

Start offering double-sided Referrals, a Referral reward for both the Referral and the advocate.

So far, your goal might’ve been to increase your customer retention rate. So you were offering a Customer referral bonus only to your advocates.

But offering double-sided rewards will motivate your Referrals because they receive a reward right after making their first purchase. This will encourage them to refer their friends too.

With a double-sided Customer referral bonus, you can turn your new customers/Referrals into advocates/Referrers instantly.

That is why many eCommerce stores have started offering double-sided incentives, it can double your Customer Referral rates.

Easy Referral process

Most WooCommerce store owners don’t realize the difference a streamlined Referral process can make. It is one of the creative ways to increase customer referrals.

They wonder why their Referral rates are low, but forget to realize that the problem is right in front of their eyes, Complex Referring process.

Customers will take part in your program only if it takes 2 or 3 clicks to refer their friends. If your program redirects to 2 or 3 pages then they’ll probably abandon your program for eternity.

That is why it is crucial to have an easy Referring process to increase Referrals.

Here is a Referral program example, Dropbox has an easy Referring process.

All a customer has to do is type his friend’s email address and click send. The invite will reach his friends.

You can see there are also more ways to refer your friends, all it’ll take is just a couple of clicks. So, make your Referral process easy.

Offer more to the friend than advocate

Reports say that the Referred customers are more likely to Refer their friends to your WooCommerce store.

Even Though they are new to your store, these Referred customers have seen how your program worlds, they’ve experienced it, they’ve earned rewards, so they’ll definitely refer their friends to your store.

Use this logic as leverage and offer more to your Referrals than your advocate and increase Referrals in your WooCommerce store

Referred customers tend to be more loyal to your store and their average lifetime value was 16% higher than non-referred customers.

So, make good use of your Referred customers, offer more to them and encourage them to become referrers themselves and increase Referrals.

Promote your Referral program

This is something that happens to eCommerce stores more commonly, not realizing how much do customers know about your Referral program.

This actually happens, you might be wondering why your Referral rates are low. But you won’t realize that not many people actually know that you're running a Customer Referral campaign

That is why it is necessary to promote your Referral program across all the channels that your WooCommerce store has a presence.

Send Referral emails, Display your program on your website, create a separate landing page so new customers can know what your program is about.

Share it on your social media, use popups on your website. This might seem strange but it has actually happened for many stores before.

If you don’t properly expose your program, your referral rate will not increase. So, promote it well and reap its benefits.

Build and personalize your customer relationships

Another creative way to increase customer referrals is by building a proper relationship with your customers.

Personalize your relationship with customers, send a birthday greeting, ask why aren’t purchasing if it’s been a while, offer personalized discounts, etc. This will show how much you care about them.

Personalization is not limited just to including your customer name in your emails, it is a way of helping them out.

For example, if your customer has purchased a Camera from your WooCommerce store, start recommending eBooks, so that they can learn about photography, and suggest informative seminars they can attend.

If they purchase a shoe, suggest fashion products that’ll go well with the shoe and tell them how the product can change their lifestyle.

This is how you build and personalize your relationship with your customers. Personalization increases engagement which in turn helps you to increase Referrals.

Offer your gratitude

Customers love to be appreciated, remember they are going out of their way to bring new customers to your WooCommerce store. So, they deserve a thank you.

Show your gratitude to your customers that referred their friends. You don't have to do something big, just a little appreciation email will work wonders for you.

This appreciation is an acknowledgment of what they've done for you. When you build engagements like these, your referrals will keep on coming to your WooCommerce store.

So, don't leave them hanging, say a Thank you and encourage them to bring in more referrals to your WooCommerce store.

Wrapping up

Customer Referrals are crucial, it can increase your customer base, foster customer loyalty and increase your retention rate. But many store owners find it hard to get these customer referrals. Well, this article was crafted to guide merchants on how to get customer referrals easily.

We’ve also shown you the right time to ask for referrals in your WooCommerce store and the creative ways to increase customer referrals. Follow these tips and you’ll achieve instant success in your eCommerce referral program.


Author Bio

Joel Platini is a Content Writer and Graphic Designer with an immaculate experience in writing keyword enriched content for eCommerce websites. Familiar with WooCommerce plugins he has written how-to guides with elegance and finesse.