Project Communication Experts

The Power of Referrals

The Critical Role of Engaged Customers

A while ago, I had the privilege of attending Forrest Performance Group’s Human Performance Unleashed Event. For any company looking for the absolute best sales and management training out there, I would highly recommend Jason and his group at FPG.

One of the guest speakers at the event was Bill Cates, aka The Referral Coach. Among his many insights, Bill showed a slide courtesy of research conducted by Julie Littlechild, of Absolute Engagement.

Julie classified customers into one of four categories: disgruntled, complacent, satisfied, and engaged. Only 15% of customers considered themselves engaged, with 39% satisfied and 30% complacent. If all you’re asking your customers is how they feel about your service on a scale of 1-10, there’s surprisingly little difference between engaged, satisfied, and complacent customers, with 82%, 76%, and 65% of customers in those categories giving a score of 8 or higher.

Here is the shocking finding, of those 15% who felt engaged, 98% had provided a referral in the past 12 months! Compare that to only 20% of customers in the satisfied and complacent categories who had provided a referral in the last 12 months.

Can you imagine what doubling or tripling the percentage of your customers who are engaged with your business would do for your referrals?

The critical question for you, is how engaged are your customers? Is it a function of them reaching out to you for an update? Are you sure your employees are keeping everyone up to date on a regular basis? Is customer feedback not only solicited, but responded to in a timely manner? Are your employees accessible to your customer?

The answer to more referral business seems to be clear – create more engagement with your current customers.

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