From Brad Clements of B&B Music Lessons

Brad Clements

Brad Clements

Brad recently wrote…

Progressive Office has been such a big part of B&B’s success to date. Your early guidance on SEO creation and web site management has proven very effective. Actually, that’s a big understatement. Over time Bhag has created so much relevant content on our site, per your guidance, that the internet has been the primary driver of our business for the last 5 years. Without your good tutelage on SEO strategy our business would have failed and we wouldn’t be having this conversation today. So now that we have a baseline, we are adding more internal marketing to the mix. Our greatest source of growth will come from our existing customer base. How are we doing that?

My referral plan is really starting to work now for B&B. I started following this guy, http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/, about 3 years ago. I have spent only $250 or so on his stuff and it has been awesome! I’ve read two of his books and taken his online course on referrals in a focused way and it is really starting to pay off now.  The key is to educate the customers right from the beginning so they know what is expected of them. If you don’t teach them to make referrals then only the most hyped customers will do your bidding for you. But now I know that you have to create a system that teaches them how to make referrals and show them that you expect them to make referrals. I had some fear about this originally, but now I’m over that and have created a deep referral system that includes lots of automation. It’s as if I’ve created an automatic marketing system that self perpetuates.
This year Stu we are up about 30%. The number of referred customers  has exploded from 7% of all customers to 17% of current active customers. I believe one of the keys to this success is educating customers on what you expect them to do. Then you make it super easy for them to do it by creating tools. In this case I have created emails, cards, a web form and reward payments to jump start referrals.

The biggest lesson for me regarding referrals has been to overcome the fear of directly asking customers for them. So now I am over that and I see that telling customers what to do is a perfectly acceptable tactic for business. If you don’t ask them or don’t tell them what to do directly you will not get the results you want. One advantage our business has over other businesses is that our customers have a recurring monthly experience, weekly really. This gives me lots of opportunities to communicate with them about what I want. We start this process right from the start with customer welcome kit that we’ve been using for years now. But now the messaging on that has been improved with a more specific goal in mind; to get people talking. It’s almost as if our business has morphed into a marketing firm. Everything I think about now and all of our processes I consider to be marketing activities. Ultimately, customer service is a marketing activity, if you’re doing it right.