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Referral Marketing Idea

BrutusBrutus subscriber Posts: 2
edited February 2008 in Marketing

I feel that as long as you offer a professional service and quality work that people are generally satisfied with service providers, in my case, window cleaners. They don`t go raving to the neighborhood but they`re satisfied. We get mostly all 5 out of 5 ratings on our surveys (which go to all customers with our invoice and a self-addressed stamped envelope).
I have struck a deal with a local carwash to get $19 carwash gift certs for $8. They would be custom printed gift certs. I`d like to give them to all of my residential customers. A way to say thanx but moreover a way to impress them and make them remember us. I think it would be somethign that might make talk about us to friends and family.
"Enjoy the view from your car too" courtesy of Albemarle Window Cleaning and Express Carwash.
Is it worth the $8 per customer?  FYI: my average job is approx $400 with about $140 profit (35%) but ranges from $100 *(not ideal customer) to $1,000 (ideal customer)
Any thoughts?
Jim Harshaw
Albemarle Window Cleaning
Charlottesville, VA


  • LiveWiseLiveWise subscriber Posts: 5
    Great ideas!!!  I think the Car wash is awesome!  This will keep your name in the mind of your customer and the customer always loves value--getting more than what they paid for.  Car washes are great.  I know of a business that would give customers lottery tickets/scratch tickets and say something along "Thanks a million--I hope you win a million."  Another business gave out some movie tickets.  I know one that gave out $20 gift certificates to resturants.  All these keep the customer happy and talking.
    If you are looking to make your business grow, try offering a discount with referrals--One time 10% discount with the referral of 1 customer, etc.  You set it up to benefit both you and the customer. 
    Good Luck!
    LiveWise2/4/2008 12:01 AM
  • BrutusBrutus subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input.  I`m excited about the idea.  I`m also concerned about the financial investment and whether it will pay off.  It will be about $15/day average.  It will be hard to measure other than measuring the number of referral customers that I get. 
    Certainly I have ideal customers that are wealthy and have large homes.  Should I set a limit such as $200+ customers will get the gift certs?  Or do I just give them to everyone?
    Another thought, do I build this cost into my price?
    Thanks again!
  • KevDevKevDev subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    FWIW, my thought would be to give the certificates only to the higher-end customers, or perhaps randomly. Giving them or sending them unexpectedly would make the gesture stand out more than sending them immediately after you wash their windows.
    And it really isn`t a gift certificate if you just add the cost into your price, is it? Instead, consider it part of your marketing budget.
    Good luck!
  • BizAtTheBeachBizAtTheBeach subscriber Posts: 0
    I think it`s a great idea.  You will want to test and control who you give them to, but just about everybody would appreciate the gesture of being rewarded for being your customer.  This will breed loyalty and create a unique opportunity for your clients to talk to others about it.
  • BusinesswithcentsBusinesswithcents subscriber Posts: 2
    Brutus, I think that the car wash gift certificates are a great idea. If I had one piece of advise to give, I would not stop there.  I have developed a quarterly plan that I recommend to any service provider.  My background is in commercial heating and cooling, but the plan is specifically developed for service providers.  Here is a link to an article that I wrote, please let me know what you think.  Wish you the best.  
    (edited for formatting only, not content)
    Joel2/11/2008 4:18 PM
  • BrutusBrutus subscriber Posts: 2
    Great stuff.  You have all successfully validated my idea!  If only my wife would do the same!
    Best to you all.
  • nolimits2wealthnolimits2wealth subscriber Posts: 1
    Maybe just reward those who send your surveys back, hey unless you get 100% return & Then stating `Thankyou for your Feedback on my business` then offer it again on a repeat client basis.
  • BrutusBrutus subscriber Posts: 2
    By the way, Anthony, I like your idea of the quarterly contact with your customer base in a newsletter format.  I think I`ll do something like this!
  • WickedWicked subscriber Posts: 2
    Excellent idea. In my opinion, I would send the gift certs to your customers 2 to 4 weeks after you perform your service. This is a good amount of time to remind them of the excellent service you provided. Besides, this give you a good lead time to purchase your gift certificates after you already made the profits (as opposed to buying them beforehand)
  • rusmanrusman subscriber Posts: 7
    Your idea and all these suggestions are great! I would certainly remember you.
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