For hotel guests or restaurant diners the sooner you ask for referrals after they have stayed or visited, the better. This is the time they are likely to be most positive about what you delivered.
The way you ask for referrals is key. If you ask: “Do you know anyone who might be interested in receiving details of our promotions?” you are likely to get “No” or at best “I’ll think about it.”
But if you ask a specific question, for example:
“Who else do you know who is celebrating [their birthday, wedding anniversary, retirement …] in the next few months and may be interested in our [all-inclusive weekend breaks, wine promotion…]?
Creating a simple referral form that you include with the bill can encourage existing guests to make referrals. Make this prominent, and offer incentives for them to give you names.
Maintain relationships with your customers, even if the likelihood of more business with them is limited. They are more likely to refer you to friends, colleagues or others if they have had recent communication from you. Even if a guest only stays with you once they have a network of friends and colleagues who may also be your ideal guests. The lifetime value of one guest can be their connections to other guests, too.
On Monday we’ll go on to look at what you can do the reward those who give you referrals to encourage them to do it again, and again.
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