How Construction Companies Can Get More Referrals

referralWe all love getting referrals. Referrals tend to have shorter sales cycles and often are less price sensitive than leads obtained from other channels.

However, for most construction companies, referrals don’t happen consistently enough to meet our financial goals. It is also hard to make plans and projections based on revenues from referrals since we can’t really control if and when they will happen.

There are things we can do to improve our chances of being referred. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in getting referrals is asking for them on a consistent basis. Some people don’t feel comfortable asking for referrals. Others just forget to ask because it’s not part of their system or work plan. Most of us can improve in the area of asking for referrals.

The key is to have a process in place to ask for a referral and/or testimonial after every project. One of the easiest ways to do this to combine the process of asking for referrals with a results review or customer satisfaction survey. There are several ways you can do this – here is one example:

  1. First, send out a one question survey, similar to the Net Promoter Score question, asking “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, how likely are you to refer us to others?
  2. Anyone who answers with a 7 or below should receive a follow up call as soon as possible. The call should come from the construction company owner or upper management. The purpose of the call is to find out what went wrong, what can be done to correct any issues, and what the next steps (if any) should be.
  3. Anyone who responds with an 8 or about should also be contacted. The purpose of this call is to 1) thank the customer and 2) ask them if they would be willing to provide you with a referral or testimonial.

With this system in place, you will not only receive referrals and testimonials more consistently, you will also be able to identify and rectify any customer service issues that would prevent people from referring you to others.

Other tips

The system outlined above needs to happen consistently. One way to insure this is to either 1) automate the process and/or 2) assign responsibility for managing the system to someone in the office rather than someone who works in the field.

If you do have receive feedback of a 7 or below, make sure that after you take action to address the customers issues that you ask them the Net Promoter score again. It is very common for someone who had a problem that was addressed to give much stronger referrals and testimonials than customers who did not report any issues.

Don’t think you have to wait until the end of the project to ask for feedback. If your projects tend to last 1 year or more, there is nothing wrong with asking for feedback 30 or 60 days into the project. This can be a great way to head off any issues before they become large problems.

Do you have a favorite tip for getting more referrals? Leave a comment below.