The playground dynamics of our childhoods have carried over into the business world. It can be a little chaotic: companies prospect to customers, create social media campaigns, and hope to get the attention of decision makers. In a lot of ways, they face the same challenges as a child trying to start a game on the playground. But in any setting, there are still only two main motivators for building interest:
- You’ve established a solid awareness of your offerings and benefits, causing decision makers to automatically overlook other options.
- You have a relationship with a decision maker or someone they trust who can spread awareness of your offerings and vouch for your ability to deliver value.
One organization that understands the challenges of the first motivator is Playworks. Playworks is a nonprofit organization that helps all kids get in the game at recess, through services that increase inclusive, fun, and active play in elementary schools in partnership with principals and teachers.
“We had difficulty getting the attention of potential partners to hear our value proposition,” says Tonya Antonucci, CMO at Playworks. “Principals are busy and don’t have the time to respond to potential partners or vendors. And teachers get so many emails a day they don’t have time to answer them all. Capturing even a small amount of their time was a challenge.”
This is a common issue for many companies that aren’t household names and that use traditional open channels, like email, where they must compete for mindshare.
And with a mission-driven nonprofit like Playworks, the stakes were higher than just growing the business. The harder it was to reach new schools and help them understand their value proposition, the more children missed out on the joy of experiencing safe and healthy play, free from bullying or exclusion.
That leaves the second motivator, a.k.a. referrals or referral program software.
Red-rover, red-rover send more customer referral partnerships over
You’ve heard the expression, seeing is believing. That phrase is at the core of the second motivator.
Tonya noted that, “Principals trust other principals. We’ve found that if school principals are referred to us by peers, they see the immense value of the program and are more than happy to share that value. When we go into the conversation through different channels, we don’t see the same amount of engagement. Principals need a trusted recommendation to see Playworks as a real solution for their schools.”
Cutting through the noise to get noticed is often the biggest challenge in creating new customer partnerships. But through a personal referral a brand gains the ability to cut out channel noise altogether. Playworks observed how referrals could harness the power of customer relationships to capture dramatically more mindshare. This inspired their decision to take referrals to the next level with referral program software.
“We know that principals respond to emails from other principals or teachers,” says Tonya. “A teacher or principal reaching out to share their story is much more meaningful. Because of this, we believe this referral program is going to be successful for us.”
Playworks’ belief in placing in the relationship at the center of their customer partnership outreach made referrals a natural extension of their current strategy. The power of referral program software is its ability to create a trusted and quality interaction from first contact and extended the lifetime value of customer partnership with the business.
“We believe that referrals are a great way for principals and teachers to become part of a movement for play and raise awareness about the difference a Playworks recess makes at their school,” stated Tonya. “With our new referral program, not only do Playworks advocates get to share the power of play with other educators, they also get to share in tangible benefits as well.”
The Playworks referral program, which launches February 23, will give teachers and principals the opportunity to help others implement safe and healthy play in schools and will thank them for their support with a discount off their next service. Furthermore, teachers and principals can help their referrals get in the game with other offers from Playworks.
This type of incentive structure not only increases interest but also shows gratitude to customer for continuing to grow the partnership. Referral program software increases customer partnership by offering added value.
“We know that some teachers or principals might start off referred to our free tools and resources,” says Tonya. “If they then need a higher level of support we will then have the opportunity to engage with them around our professional training services, namely Playworks Pro. We want to have an ongoing relationship with schools we serve. This referral program software is part of that.”
To see if you could increase your mindshare and customer acquisition like Playworks is with referral program software, try the quiz, Are referrals a fit?