Referral partnerships are an excellent marketing strategy for moving companies looking to expand their reach and broaden their market. The benefits can be far-reaching as partnering with other businesses that complement your services can bring you new customers, open up new referral sources, and strengthen your reputation. In this blog post, we’ll explore how your moving company can establish quality referral partnerships.
Reach Out to Relevant Businesses
When you’re considering expanding your referral network, make a list of potential businesses and individuals that complement the services your moving business offers. Include their name, company, title, email address, physical address, and phone number, as well as a summary of how the relationship could be mutually beneficial. These potential referral partners could include real estate agents and realtors, property management companies, managers at storage facilities, administration at long-term care or aging facilities, interior designers, home builders, property managers of apartment complexes, or furniture store workers. Sometimes you can even get referrals from other movers.
Once you have your list of potential partners, research their reputation, customer base, social media, and business practices. You want to prioritize partners whose values align with your company’s and that serve similar target customers.
If you are a moving company that serves your community, get to know your neighbors. Pack your business cards and attend industry events, local business mixers, and trade shows to meet potential partners in person. Be personable, approachable, and transparent in your interactions. Accessibility is key. While in-person is always ideal when meeting new people, you can also reach potential referral partners via email or phone for an initial introduction and to present your company’s proposal.
Next, you’ll want to be clear about your value proposition. What can you offer these potential referral partners? Outline the benefits of the partnership and explain how your company’s services can enhance their customer experience and add value to their business. Be sure to highlight the top qualities you bring to the table. Create a landing page on your website to promote your referral program and attract those who may want to develop a partnership program with you.
Building Your Referral Program
Now that you have your list, started networking, and have a few potential partners that are interested in sharing referrals, it’s time to make the program more structured. Be sure to document the program so you can use it as a reference and make changes when appropriate. Start with outlining the terms and benefits of the partnership. Then, include any details such as referral fees, co-marketing efforts, and any exclusive offers for referred customers. Creating a document will help you manage the details and help you create guidelines for what you are doing. This minimizes confusion and will bring clarity to new referral partners as they enter into a relationship with your company. This document can then turn into a referral form that you can share with your potential partners to easily capture their information.
Your referral program may include education about your moving services, processes, and customer service expectations. This will help your referral partners know when to refer customers to your moving company. Depending on your budget, you may want to provide informative materials or host an event to better educate and inform potential referral partners about your services.
Add Incentives for Your Customers
While referral fees (either a fixed amount or a percentage of the total job value) are a more common incentive to offer, there are other ways to entice potential referral partners. Your moving company can offer exclusive discounts to the customers referred to by your referral partner. Gift cards for popular local restaurants and businesses can be a great way to say thank you for successful referrals and exceptional online reviews. You can also host events for your referral partners where they can network with other partners, learn more about trends in the moving industry, and feel a sense of community. Offering to co-create digital marketing materials such as graphics or online content that include your referral partner’s branding can enhance their exposure while also promoting your services. Make this content easily downloadable for printing purposes and online, so your partners will be more likely to share.
Your incentive offerings should align with the preferences and needs of your referral partners, so be sure to get their feedback whenever possible. The goal is to create a growth-focused, mutually beneficial arrangement where both your moving company and your referral partners benefit from the relationship.
Ask for Reviews
As a moving company, your number one goal should be to build a credible and reputable business full of happy customers. Your online reputation is critical in this process. Positive reviews attract new customers and build trust. And your customers who write these reviews and share their positive experiences with their friends and family are your best source of referrals. Asking for reviews may not always be comfortable, but they are a necessity.
According to BrightLocal, 98 percent of people read reviews of local businesses. This means customers are doing their research and are looking online to learn more about how others have experienced your moving business.
One of the best ways to gain more referrals is to ask for reviews from your current customers. The best time to do this is right after a move when they are satisfied with your services. You want your customers to write a positive review about their experience while it’s fresh on their minds.
There are many ways you can go about asking for reviews. Automating this process will make this part of your everyday workflow. Oncue allows you to send automated emails after a move is completed to thank customers for their business and ask for their feedback. This can also be done by sending automated SMS reminders to customers a few days after their move, with a link to leave a review. With Oncue, you can request, track, and share reviews on Google, Facebook, and your moving company website by using the Oncue review widget. Remember to personalize all your communications using your customer’s name and include any references about their move for a more personalized touch.
Your moving company can also use a review management tool that integrates with a customer relationship management (CRM) or booking system. This will change the way you ask for reviews as this tool will automatically trigger review requests based on completed moves. It will also help you monitor review sites and schedule all review requests in one central location.
Another helpful way to collect reviews is using QR Codes and NFC tags. Add these to moving documentation or invoices, making it convenient for customers to scan, be directed to the review page, and then leave their feedback. For customers, it’s all about convenience. No one wants to spend time clicking various links to find the review page. Make it as easy as possible, as they are doing you a favor!
Remember, when asking for reviews it is important to follow up but always be respectful and non-intrusive. Positive reviews are a result of consistently delivering exceptional services and building strong relationships with your customers.
Approach Influencers About Referrals
When it comes to working with influencers, be strategic. Start with identifying what influencers you’d like to approach. Make sure they have a strong online presence and that they align with your moving company’s target audience and values. You also want to be sure they have a genuine interest in the moving & storage industry.
It’s important to engage with the influencers online so you can slowly build a relationship. Like, comment, and share their content if it’s relevant to your audience to build a connection. Be personable and make sure your outreach includes their name and is customized to them and the content they create. Share why you believe a referral partnership could be mutually beneficial for them and their audience. Be transparent and explain what the influencer will gain from the partnership. This could include referral fees, exclusive offers for their audience, exposure through your marketing channels, or content collaborations.
According to Referral Rock, one idea to attract influencers is to start in your local area. Try asking them if your moving company can help them with a move in exchange for a referral. Take it a step further by asking if you can get a video testimonial. If you are approaching a blogger, you can also ask them to create content about their move experience. It doesn’t hurt to ask! But always be flexible and willing to do what resonates with them. If your moving company provides services for long-distance moves, this strategy can work, too.
While it’s important to follow up, don’t be pushy. Offer a few suggestions and see how they respond. Stay engaged in the process and always keep the relationship positive no matter the outcome. Working with influencers may present challenges, but keeping the door open to future collaborations should always be a possibility. A “no” now, doesn’t necessarily mean a “no” in the future.
There are many ways to establish referral partnerships for your moving company. It’s important to experiment and be open to different ways this might best resonate with your company. Referral partnerships can come from many sources, so stay open to how you can consistently grow your moving company’s customer base and reputation. Start with leveraging those customers who are already happy with your services and build your growth from there.
To learn more about how Oncue can help you automate your moving company services, book a demo.