Referrals and word of mouth can be a huge source of new customers for your janitorial business. If you provide an amazing service and treat people well, they often can happen on their own… but not always!
In this article, we will go over some ideas for increasing your chance of creating more referrals for your business.
1. Create incentives with a referral program
You’ve probably seen other businesses do something like this before: refer a friend and get a discount off your next purchase. There are many ways to structure a program. You could offer a percentage off and give the new customer a discount as well if they sign up. You could offer a gift card for the referrer. You could also have a commission-based program where the more people referred means the rewards get better.
There are two major things to consider when building such a program.
The size of the reward(s)
Administering the program so that it is fair for you and fair for customers
The size of the reward should be based on your financials: how much does it usually cost you to acquire a new customer, and how much is that customer worth to your business over time? The rewards should never exceed the lifetime value of the customer, and ideally, they should be equal to or less than the usual cost to acquire.
Administering the program should be done by software so that you’re not on the hook for keeping paper records and dealing with claims of referrals with little or no proof.
2. Get reviews and display them!
Whether you use incentives or not, in this day and age people are on the hunt for reviews more than ever. Your janitorial business should have a system for both collecting and displaying your reviews online.
If that system isn’t available for you right now, you can start the process by inviting your most loyal, happy customers to have a quick feedback chat. Ask them what you might be able to do to improve your service (you can learn a lot from this!) and also ask what they love about working with you.
Be sure to write this down or record it. Ask their permission to use their statement as a review. Most people are happy to have you write the review for them so long as they can approve it before you post it publicly.
3. Promoting reviews and referral programs
Once you either have a referral program and/or a collection of strong reviews, don’t be afraid to get them out there in the world. Here are some ideas for promoting both.
Promoting your cleaning business’ referral program
Link to the program in your email signature. Every email becomes a small but subtle advertisement!
Promote or link to the program on your invoices and estimates. This can also be somewhat subtle. The idea is to let your current customers and prospects know that you have the program without sticking it under their nose.
Mention the program in scheduling confirmations. This works especially well if you use an automated system to send confirmation texts or emails. Customers almost always pay attention to messages related to scheduling, so it’s a good time to talk about the program. Of course, be sure you know how to turn off any automatic mentions for customers that may be unhappy or in the middle of a dispute!
Promoting your cleaning business’ reviews
Put them front and center on your website. Prospective customers always want to know what others thought about your service. Don’t make it hard for them to find this information!
Also, use a third-party review site. Of course, many people are savvy these days and don’t always trust that the reviews are real. Third-party review sites add a layer of trust to the legitimacy of your reviews.
Occasionally use them as social media content. A beautiful picture accompanied by the text from a good review can make for a regularly recurring piece of social media. Just don’t overdo it!
4. The tried and tested traditional way: the ask
With all these digital tools and tricks, it can be easy to forget that there’s a very simple and straightforward method: the ask. If you know a certain customer was happy with your work, before the relationship concludes, be sure to directly ask them if they know anyone who might be able to use your janitorial services. The worst they can say is no, but if they were truly pleased with the experience, they shouldn’t have any problem letting their contacts know.
Sometimes the simple ask is all they need to realize that they can do something to help.