Building referrals that work for you

Hey there!

My name is Krystal Shuga and I own Empower Her Studios in Rockford IL. My focus is portraits and classes to empower women. I have worked in customer service and sales since I was 18 so I am happy to share my knowledge on building a referral system and retention so your clients can't help but tell others about you.

I have learned some things along the way and others have just become things I noticed worked. Let me know if you have any questions in the group as well.

If you think about the things you buy and what has brought you to your purchase what comes to mind? Why do you hire someone or purchase a product?

Word of mouth creates over $6 trillion in consumer spending and brands that create an emotional connection with their service to consumer have a 3x more likely chance to create a sale.

So what does this mean for your business?

Client relationships matter!

How you treat your client and the extra special touches matter when it comes to your referral system. Every detail you use to make connection and create an emotional experience can be the difference between selling photos and just an experience.

Below I will list ways you can create a better experience and help build referrals. Use what works for you and think about ways to create a better connection to have your clients telling all their friends about you. Think about the things that drive you to purchase something.

How do you feel before your purchase?

Who told you about the product and how did they describe it?

Did you already have knowledge of what to expect and did that help you make a decision?

Simple ways to create a better experience

1. Have multiple connections with your client prior to their session. Phone call, in person consult, check ins and emails will help build a relationship before the service has even taken place helping to create a friendship and lessen the chance of cancellation.

2.Don't talk just about prices. Yes this is part but find out their interest, send them a questionnaire or ask things on the phone to get to know them. Let them talk and you listen. Get excited when they are and build the connection. Your prices should be part of the conversation if you want but not the conversation. Go out for coffee and take time for your appointment so they don't feel rushed out as well. Let them feel like a priority.

3.Learn what their love language is and use it to serve them better. This is something I believe is a great way to build an emotional attachment to your service for a client. Each person receives love and value in a different way and find out theirs and use it to help bring your experience beyond what they expect. Take the quiz yourself as well and see how you experience love and those around you and the shift in interaction that can happen when you love someone using this:)

The 5 Love Language Quiz

4.Serve your client when meeting with them. When I say serve I mean in all the love you can give them, as you will see so much of your retention comes in the way you treat someone. I am a busy mother, entrepreneur and wife and the thought of someone diving solely into what I need at a moment sounds pretty amazing and I would tell all my friends about my experience because of how it made me feel. Bring her drink to them and pour it, help her with her outfit or hair and be attentive, ask if they need water and have it ready. What would make you feel special when you go somewhere? Bring that into your experience.

5.Keep in contact after there session. Send an email of even better a thank you note in the mail of how much fun you had a make it personal. Did you have something funny happy or love one of their outfits? Let them know. Email right after the session and then keep in contact up to their ordering session to keep the feelings fresh in their head.

6.Prep prep prep! Most of my clients already know what they want to purchase way before their ordering session so this makes it so much easier and social at their ordering session because all that is left is picking their favorite images. If you have not prepped them on price ranges or prices this is what can kill a referral or even your sale. Keep the experience fun and easy, prep ahead of time so their ordering session can be again a time to reflect, laugh and get your amazing order in.

7. Keep in touch after their order, a couple ways to keep those points of contact.

Send them another thank you note for their order and your cards with an incentive for their friends or them

Send cards on their birthday, anniversary, new house, new engagement and holidays. Doesn't have to be detailed written out but reminder you still think of them.

Make sure to excite them and encourage them to add their friends to your group or page. Forward emails to their friends to share contest or newsletters. Keep things personal as well as business so they don't feel you are trying to hard sell their friends.

Have a client party once. twice or whenever to keep connection with past clients. Holiday party, paint party or just lunch to priority clients. Think about making them feel special, important and valued and how that will reflect your business and how much they recommend you.

Send thank you cards for referrals as well!

Remember strong referrals come from word of mouth created by building relationships that your clients can't help but tell others about their experience. I hope this can help spark some new ideas for you and your business.

Krystal Shuga

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Created with images by Quân Nguyễn - "untitled image" • Lucas Benjamin - "untitled image"

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