Customer reference programs are built to share positive user stories with potential customers. Why? 25% of purchases are made based on word of mouth and positive testimonials. Customer reference programs are one way of gathering these positive testimonials. In this blog we would like to share some tips for your own customer reference program.
- Evaluate your companies mission and decide what your reference program should look like. What are the USP’s you want to focus on? How do you translate these USP’s to content? What are the targets and how do you define the success of the program? Define the processes you are going to use to find and recruit customers into the program.
- Spend time with your sales teams to understand what references they think they need, what references they think to recruit and discuss how exactly you are going to recruit these clients.
- Build a relationship with your customer. Take time to explain exactly how the program works and how it benefits them as well. Listen carefully, ask questions and be open to critical notes.
- Give your customers a timeframe. What is the duration and intensity of the program? Ensure your customer is aware of the necessary time and energy that needs to be put into the program. Make sure your references are presented in various ways. Use video’s, short PDF files, blogs and whitepapers.
- Create a personality for your program. How are you going to present your program internally and externally? The word ‘reference’ might scare a potential customer away, making it sound friendly makes the program more attractive.
- Ensure your budget is dynamic. As the program evolves, program goals and required resources change.
- Be aware of and respect the time companies dedicate to participating is a customer reference program. Use it wisely! Make sure you have a way to thank them for their help and do not lose sight of the ‘what’s in it for them’ aspect.
- Last but not least – respect your customers privacy. Never give out customer information without their consent.
Are you curious what a customer reference program can do for your company? I would love to join you for a cup of coffee and discuss this.