There’s no denying that the world has changed drastically. Grocery shopping is going digital, AI is everywhere and the cloud is no longer fluffy vapour floating in the sky. That said, some things haven’t changed at all, like the power of customer referrals.
While the marketing strategy is by no means new, it has proven itself time and time again to be one of the easiest and most effective strategies to increase move-ins and your return on investment. Simply encouraging your customers to put in a good word for you doesn’t cost a cent and can bring in favourable enquiries that lead to long-term tenants.
Unfortunately, using the magic word is not enough to get your customers to refer you to others, you need a full-proof referral programme. Although there’s no real science to referrals, there are a few proven ways to get your customers to recommend you without investing a tonne of effort or money. Here’s how.
1. Offer a month of free self storage
Even if you deliver the most outstanding customer service, people rarely do anything for free these days, they need an incentive. While you can offer other rewards like a gift card to the packaging store, a free month of self storage is guaranteed to get their attention. Self storage tenants typically stay for 6 months or more, so this referral system is a smart and low-cost way to get more customers.
2. Run a referral competition
If you’re worried about digging into your budget too much with incentives, why not run a competition that offers one amazing prize or discount instead of dozens? The competition could simply encourage customers to make a post to their social media profile revealing what they love most about your facility and tag a friend that needs self storage. This simple referral strategy is also a great way to increase your brand awareness online.
3. Reward everyone involved
No one likes to be excluded, especially when it’s a great deal. If you offer both the existing customer and the person they have referred a deal they can’t turn down, you’ll double the odds of signing on a new tenant and keeping your existing one! This is a great way to show everyone involved that their support and loyalty is appreciated, encouraging them to refer your facility to others in the future.
4. Make it easy
Referring a friend or relative shouldn’t be difficult. If there are multiple steps involved, it won’t seem worth it for your customers. Whether sending an email or promoting a competition on social media, make sure there is an easy-to-follow link that allows your customers to refer someone in a few seconds. The instructions should be clear and concise and remind customers of the amazing incentives available if they complete the referral form.
5. Promote your programme
Now that you’ve nailed your referral programme, you need to promote it. Social media is a great business tool where world-of-the-mouth advertising travels fast. You can use these platforms to share your incentives, ask for positive customer feedback or highlight 5-star reviews. All these tactics help you create a strong reputation online and remind customers why they chose you and why others should too.
At Digital First, we have a dedicated team specialising in the self storage industry. Whether you’re looking to increase your review rating or build a strong social media presence, we offer a range of services designed to help brands stand out and succeed. Contact us today to find out more or get a free online audit today.