Loyalty and Referral Programs

Do referral programs create loyalty? No, I don’t think they do.

I was invited by my coach to create a referral program for our raving fans to refer their friends and colleagues to us. I made a couple of phone calls, thinking that the job would be easy peasy, and I was quite surprised by the responses I received.

Every customer I called was not as excited as my coach had suggested they might be. In essence, they told me that they were already referring me, and that they didn’t need a reward for it.

One customer was mildly offended.

I had thought that offering a formal reward system for my raving fans might invite their loyalty and gratitude. I already had their loyalty and gratitude for our fantastic attention and service. Continuing attention and good service was all they required.

Loyalty cannot be bought, it can only be earned in the day-to-day processes of a business (or a personal relationship for that matter).

Therefore rewards programs are not loyalty earners, but something else again, and that is a post for another day.

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