Referral Rebates?

Has anyone here ever tried doing referral rebates? I have an idea of maybe printing out cardstock cards w/ “Referral Rebate” on it encouraging customers to refer and offering an incentive like 20% off the next service or whatever. Anyone tried this?

I’ve tried it with cash, coupons, grand prizes to the person who refers the most…I’ve not tried gift cards yet. Nothing worked great. Funny thing is the last couple years I stopped doing any kind of promotion and I’m getting alot more referrals now. Probably just a numbers game as were growing every year. I’m thinking about doing a charity thing this year, where a percentage of every referred ticket goes into a pot, and then whoever referred the most gets to decide which charity the pot goes to, or we might donate our services in that amount.

I once heard that if you want referrals you can’t just have good service and happy customers (that’s par for the course), you have to exceed expectations and make people your promoters.

I find this to be true too. Really, when you go above and beyond, people will sing your praises and become your biggest promoters!

We’ve never really known how to do a good referral program. We follow up with our customers to make sure their expectations were met or exceeded. Personalized thank you cards are sent out each week to the previous week’s customers. We send all of our customers and leads something cool in the mail about 10 times a year. All of this is adding up to be really huge for us as far as customer retention and referrals.

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Remain genuine, professional, do a good job, meet/exceed expectations and referrals will come. You won’t need a referral program. Your customers will be glad to recommend your services without an incentive.
Of course this all builds in time the longer you’re in business.

All great responses, guys. Thanks!!