Reference Customers

Joshua Maberry
Joshua Maberry Member Posts: 8 Seeker
Has anyone here developed a reference customer program?  If yes I have a few questions.
  • What process do you use for sales to request a reference?
  • What, if anything, do you give to your customers for being a part of the program?
    • gift card
    • discounts
    • etc.
Appreciate any guidance on what has worked/not worked for you.


  • Nicolas Thatcher
    Nicolas Thatcher Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020

    Hey Joshua,

    We first segment our customers and isolate the ones that are using our product most frequently and who has been a customer for at least 1 year. The objective is to have at least one reference within each industry you serve and bonus points if you can get one each of SMB, Mid-Market, and Enterprise.

    I'll then simply update our CRM to flag them as references. I always incentivize with Gift Cards because giving discounts for this can get complicated, depending on the contract type and term. 

  • Jon Triggs
    Jon Triggs Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020
    We worked out which of our customers were most influential in a specific segment and we've gone to extra lengths to form exceedingly deep relationships with them - even deeper than with other groups of customers - almost a partnership.

    In many instances this can manifest in simple practical terms like helping them with specific things that come up in conversation (expediting new feature requests for example) and in return they're always on standby to gladly act as a reference when we ask on behalf of sales.

    By going the extra mile for this select group of customers we've achieved 'money can't buy' loyalty at minimal expenditure. Plus, the space we're in discounts and gift cards are kind of frowned upon, so it works well.
  • gurd3v
    gurd3v Member Posts: 70 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited August 2020
    Hi Joshua, 

    We ask customers identified as a promoter to refer any colleagues they have they think would benefit from our software. We also have a link for them to submit a referral in our email signature and in return we offer a credit. But this goes hand in hand with how your sales and marketing team operates. Here's what I mean.

    Our marketing and sales team generates interest for a demo at a high rate and closes deals quickly. That said, we found that if we get a qualified lead (for us, any small private medical practice), we have a very good chance at demoing and closing that lead. All we need is their name, email address and phone number.

    With this in mind, we created a model where if a customer referred a colleague or friend to us that qualified, we would extend a small credit to their monthly bill. This model works for us because our sales and marketing machine can support it. 

    Let's say your sales team has a longer deal cycle or a lesser lead to demo conversion rate. You might have to change the economics of the credit to the customer or put more qualifiers in place for the customer to earn the credit (i.e. not just contact info, but customer showing up for demo).

    Hope this helps.

  • Nicolas Thatcher
    Nicolas Thatcher Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020

    Another options that is in the same vein as your referral program is one that my wife's company uses- Alyce ( They use it to book Zoom meetings with prospective customers and in return, the person gets a cool gift of their choice.

    This solution would be more suitable for larger companies since the pricing is a bit high for companies with smaller budgets for marketing.