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Often, the best exposure small businesses can receive is through word-of-mouth recommendations from current customers to their personal acquaintances.


It takes time and dedication to build a business up to a referable standard, so it’s important to be patient and be dedicated to this process.


Here are some tips on how to boost your chances of receiving more referrals through word-of-mouth marketing, as well as other methods you can use to increase the number of successful referrals you receive.


Before we delve in, remember you can always talk to the marketing team at REM to get help with digital marketing.



1. Exceptional customer service

Creating a positive customer experience is the foundation for referrals, and that starts with quality customer service. The impact you and your employees leave could easily influence whether a customer refers your business to other people.


Examples of exceptional customer service include the following:


Being friendly and polite

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of providing good customer service is being friendly and polite. Delivering efficient and effective service with a smile and respect towards each customer will go a long way. Pay close attention to people’s individual needs and be a reliable resource when they have questions. Always remain as calm, collected and understanding as possible, even when a customer may appear to be dissatisfied or frustrated.


Showcasing knowledge about the products or services you’re offering

You should be well-versed and extremely knowledgeable about the products and services you provide. This means being able to answer any questions customers may have, providing thorough breakdowns and explanations of any important features or advantages, and being readily able to troubleshoot any potential problems.


Being prompt in your responses and correspondence

If a customer reaches out to you, whether it’s through email, over social media, a phone call, etc. with a comment, question, or concern, you should do your best to be as prompt as possible with a response that addresses their line of communication accordingly. Timeliness in responses will always factor into a customer’s perception of your business, and speedy communication is more likely to result in leaving a positive impact, especially if it’s about a time sensitive issue or request.


2. Be accessible to your customers

Allowing your customers to become familiar with you personally is an excellent way to build more tangible connections and increases the likelihood of people referring your business to others.


A personable relationship that’s built on a mutual connection has a stronger chance of resulting in increased customer engagement and furthering your reach to outside clients.


While you don’t want to come across as too familiar or personal, especially right off the bat, building a friendly rapport with customers will often encourage them to continue doing business with you. Creating those connections makes people feel special and shows a genuine appreciation for their customer support. Becoming known as a welcoming and considerate business is a great way to encourage more referrals.


A few ways to boost your familiarity with your customers:


Ask questions

Asking your customers general, simple questions is probably one of the easiest ways to get to know them without being too pushy or overbearing. It shows that you’re interested in getting to know them without prying too much and can help give you a sense of how you can best serve them as a business. 


Engage individually with people on social media

Social media can be an excellent tool to provide insights into what your customers like, what their buying habits are, etc., but it can also be a way for you to interact with them in spaces that aren’t face-to-face or over the phone. Responding to and liking comments on posts, messaging customers when appropriate and having an active presence on your platforms, is an added and consistent way to encourage a friendly relationship with your customer base. It also provides a positive reference point for new customers to look to when scrolling through your business’ social media pages. 


Utilize surveys

Conducting surveys is a simple way to receive direct feedback from customers about your services, products and overall standing as a business. It’s a great way to get an understanding of their wants and needs and can help you improve your effectiveness when interacting with and serving your customers. And remember, the better you are at getting to truly know your customers, the more likely it is that they will refer you.


3. Capitalize on online reviews

Online reviews are a great way for people to share their experience with your business on a personal level. If you can build up a sizeable number of positive reviews, they can serve as a means to refer people to your business. Often, potential customers will now turn to online reviews and read through them first before deciding to select a particular business for their services.


Using reviews, both good and negative, to your advantage will ultimately work in your favour. Responding to reviews individually, especially the bad ones, can be a way to show people that you’re willing to work towards improving. Engaging with negativity in a respectful manner and showing genuine appreciation for feedback is a very effective method in demonstrating your professionalism. An ongoing and visible pursuit of growth as a company to your customers is an admirable trait as a business and something that many people will highly value and respect.


Managing your Google My Business page can be a time-consuming task to take on. REM can help manage your online reputation while optimising your site for search engines (SEO). We can help you get noticed online.


4. Aim high

It’s important for you to set yourself apart from other businesses in whatever ways you can. It’s not always enough to have a superior product - the service you provide and the dedication you show to your customers is what can make people choose your business over others and ultimately refer you to others in the process. As mentioned in point one, always strive to deliver exceptional customer service. Even the smallest examples of effort and care can make someone feel like you’re going above and beyond for them, and ultimately increase the chances of them recommending your business.


5. Curating more referrals

Getting to know the people who are referring you and showing your gratitude for their support of your business is necessary for securing multiple referrals.


7. Create a referral program 

Referral programs can be very effective in incentivizing your customers to refer your business. There are a variety of marketing solutions that can be used for referral programs. If you’ve gotten your business to a point where you’re already receiving word of mouth referrals, a system to invite and actively track this process can provide an additional reason for people to share your business with others.


Finding the right software for your business to use can help make it easier for you to manage and distribute rewards and can help simplify the process for people to refer you. Ensure that you know what you’re allowed to offer in the form of incentives, as you may have to find and implement creative, non-monetary methods to incentivize your referrals.



Taking the time to establish a great reputation is a great goal. Once you’ve reached this stage with a good product/service, excellent customer service, and community involvement it’s time to leverage that reputation.


Speak with our marketing team at REM and see how we can help you capitalise on the good will you’ve worked so hard to earn.


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