Amplifinity Announces Automated Referral Solution for the Telecommunications Industry

Telecommunications companies focused on customer service are using referral software to generate organic growth from satisfied customers.

Ann Arbor, Mich., January 28, 2016  — Large telecommunications businesses are household names, which makes it difficult for smaller companies to compete. While some telecoms may not be able to outspend their larger rivals, they can offer a more personalized experience. The challenge is to get the attention of new customers who are looking for exceptional customer service. Telecom companies like RingCentral, Jive, and Charter Spectrum are successfully using customer referrals to help spread the word.

Today, Amplifinity is announcing a new telecommunications industry solution based on its industry leading SaaS (software as a service) platform. The solution offers telecommunications businesses the capability to cut through the marketing “noise” with a referral automation platform to address the need to attract and acquire new customers. Studies have shown that one-to-one referrals from a trusted source, like happy customers, immediately increases the trust level that a new customer has with telecommunications provider. The Wharton Business School discovered the lifetime value of a referred customer is 16 times higher than a non-referred customer.

 

Amplifinity features that drive telecommunication success:

 

  • Better customer engagement: Amplifinity’s platform can help improve customer relations while growing revenue. Amplifinity provides sales enablement features that help sales and customer success teams stay involved and informed in the referral process. Access to customer advocate data enhances each interaction and improves customer engagement by enabling company representatives to recognize and thank customers that make referrals.
  • Mobile Access: Customers often refer during interactions with friends and family. By enabling the ability to refer from a mobile device, advocates can refer at the moment the opportunity arises.
  • Reward Choice:  Consumers will be motivated to refer for many reasons.  By offering the consumer the ability to select from different rewards types that are tailored to a customer’s preference, more referrals will naturally occur. Some popular rewards are bill credits, gift cards, and charitable contributions.
  • Advocate Nurture: The Amplifinity solution automatically sends customers proactive and informative messages that help nurture the referral process. In addition, advocates are always able to login to their customer account and see the status of every referral they’ve made.
  • Salesforce Integration: For companies already using Salesforce as their CRM, Amplifinity is fully integrated, so referrals can automatically become leads for the sales team. Amplifinity offers a fully integrated and certified managed referral application available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

 

“Referral programs are a very effective way for telecommunications providers to acquire customers and drive growth,” said Amplifinity’s CEO Larry Angeli. “Your happy customers will readily refer you to their network. This is a win-win for businesses focusing on delivering differentiated value with customer service.”

 

About Amplifinity

Amplifinity’s referral amplification software turns customer, employee and partner advocacy into revenue. Our platform provides complete referral tracking and management with 100% accuracy so none are missed. Enterprises like ADP and DirecTV trust Amplifinity to enable high-quality acquisition while providing an engaging, fully-branded experience for their advocates. www.Amplifinity.com

 

 

SMB Telecoms become tele-competitive with referral software

A revolution is taking place. One that might have very similar roots as the all-so-famous Revolutionary War. But what does this mean?  Well, in many areas of the country and the world, large telecommunication conglomerates have the monopoly on their telecom industry. Customers have only a few choices in their television, Internet, email, or phone service provider. In any way that matters, these telecommunication companies are essentially king.

So how are small and medium sized telecom businesses and newer technology driven technology driven telecoms supposed to convince customers to riot and switch over to them? Well, as you yourself may have experienced or heard from others, smaller customers don’t always feel well-cared for by the kings, and while they might provide great prices at first (this usually changes later),  many people have become frustrated and disenchanted with their unapologetic treatment of customers.

This alienation of customers leaves an opening for SMB telecoms. While SMB Telecoms  might not be able to match the pricing of the telecom kings, you can provide something that people and business are ready to revolt for, a personalized customer experience.

How RingCentral personalized their customer experience

RingCentral delivers cloud business communication solutions with a relationship focused sales approach. The success of their business depends on keeping every interaction extremely personalized. In their blog, RingCentral’s Sales Organization: Building Success by Building Relationships, they emphasize how building a relationship with customers is a necessary part of their business model.

To keep to this relationship focused approach, from the first phone call RingCentral starts their interaction on a positive note, which they believe can make all the difference in fostering a fruitful relationship. If your sales team demonstrates how they care for their potential customers and understand their pain points you can start to establish a relationship that builds to a sale.

For RingCentral this often pays off when pursuing a company that has more than one location. RingCentral noted that the previous fostered relationship then opens the doors for a client to test out their product in one location, and when it succeeds, the company often revolts against the previous telecom technology and fully implements RingCentral’s technology instead.

RingCentral claims that this success is “a direct result of our relationship-building efforts.”

And because RingCentral had proof of the power of a relationship focused sales approach they understood what the next step was to their approach – referrals. With small and medium sized telecom business increasingly focused on customer relationships, why not grow your business through mass personalization by incentivizing the customers who already know how valuable your product is? RingCentral thought along the same lines, and that’s why they implemented Amplifinity’s referral software to make their customers their best sales force.

The next step to relationship building sales – referrals

Referral software is the next weapon to spur the masses in the customer relationship revolution. Referral software mobilizes the customers you already have by incentivizing them to become advocates for your service or product. By empowering referrals with referral software you extend the trust between an advocate and their network of family and friends to include your business. The result of this is a drastic increase in your quantity of quality leads.

In fact, with referral software:

  • Customers are 400% more likely to buy (Nielsen)
  • Leads convert 4X better than marketing leads (emarketer)
  • LTV increases by 16% (Harvard Business Review)
  • Conversion rate from referral to purchase is 36% (Amplifinity)
  • Churn decreases by 18% (Marketing Business Review)

Discover your personal referral program ROI with the ROI calculator now!

CTA_ROI_calculator_v1

Questions? Email me at JEdmondson@amplifinity.com

Is your referral program empowering marketers with effortless execution? Part 4

Referral features fashioned for user friendliness

Technology is an imperative part of your business. But have you checked lately to see if you’re still in control of your marketing technology or if it has taken control of you?

Too often, indispensable marketing technology isn’t made friendly to its administrators. How many times have you had to call IT or a help hotline in order to manage, change, or update one of your marketing programs? Unfortunately, referral marketing programs aren’t excluded from this oversight and still often overlooks the need to develop features that empower marketers to easily manage and optimize referrals.

Previously, in part 1, part 2, and part 3 we discussed what advocates, prospects, and sales teams want from a referral program. Recently, I got the chance to also gain insight into what marketers want from their referral program.

At a marketing conference, Mark the marketer emphasized what marketers really want and need from a referral program to make it a success.

“As administrators we want to be able to have automated communication, easily manage the program and see how a lead progresses to become an opportunity.”

With Mark the marketer’s insight to lead the charge, 10 referral marketing features were developed to create advanced administrative user friendliness.

8 must-have marketing referral features to fulfill salespeople’s desires

1. Program control made simple – No marketer wants wait to change, update, and manage content, promotional and the system. But with many marketing technologies that is exactly what they have to do. If you make your marketers wait for IT to make changes to the referral you could be causing your marketers to miss out on valuable referral opportunities. Give your marketers what they want by adding features that make managing the referral program a breeze.

A referral feature that fulfills this want: Content Management

2. Optimization tools – Marketers know that referral programs need an individualized touch for your specific demographic, and that’s why they want optimization to that allow them to optimize your referral program to be the best it can be. With the right optimization tools you give your marketers the power to ensure your programs success.

Features that fulfill this want: A/B Test-Emails A/B Test-Program Design  Promotional Touchpoint Management and Tracking

Reporting and Analysis Suite  Pre-launch testing environment

3. The ability to specialize your content – Ever marketer needs the ability to run special promotions and offers that prompt referrals to become customers. Satisfy the desire of your marketers by providing feature that enable your referral platform to support different content and work flows for special promotions, offers, and events.

A feature that fulfills this want: Multi-Design

4. A program that has recognizable – Your marketers know that your brand image and logo carry weight with you customers. And with so many scams and hacks on the internet today, making sure your program rings true and authentic to your brand is of the utmost importance. Grant your marketers what they truly want by giving your referral program the ability to match your brands look and feel and convince advocates and prospects to engage in the referral process.

A feature that fulfills this want: Domain and Email White Labeling

5. Impeccable insight – Ignorance isn’t profitable. Your marketers don’t want your referral program to operate out ignorance, instead they want insight. By delivering marketers features that offers in-depth insight into your advocates performance and information, you not only cover another one of their desires, but create a profitable and intelligent referral program.

And with these 8 management and optimization features that ensures effortless execution for marketers, we complete all 4 of the user experiences for your referral program and create a fully inclusive referral experience.

After all, referrals are the highest action value a customer, employee, or partner can undertake for your business, so why not create a 360° referral program experienced amped up to deliver extremely advantageous results?

As every user experience performs at its maximum capability the success of your referral program will increase immensely and deliver ROI that far surpasses traditional marketing methods.
Get started building the right referral program with features that appeal to every user. Checkout A Blueprint for Investing in Referral Marketing, and begin you bright referral future today.

referral marketing

 

Questions? Email me at JEdmondson@amplifinity.com

Organic acquisition is great, but can it be done at scale?

Why referral marketing is the best channel for organic acquisition

Organic acquisition – kind of an oxymoron. Executives see the word “organic” and they think “free”.  Marketers see the word “organic” and think “a helluva lot of work”. Both know that it is the highest quality, but achieving it at scale has largely been a pipe dream.

The problem is that organic acquisition has always been a ‘Field of Dreams’ exercise. If you build it, they will come. And if you nail organic search with the right content, that does occasionally happen. I highly recommend that you keep up the great work in SEO, but the world of organic acquisition just got bigger!

Accel Partners, has created a unique visualization of the marketing technology space at Growthverse.com. Each circle is a subcategory and the size of the circle represents how many technologies are available.

growthverse

Zooming in on Organic Acquisition, you’ll note that SEO is now joined by SOCIAL and INFLUENCER/ REFERRAL MARKETING. In fact, both categories are larger than SEO. What this means, is that there are new ways to go to market for organic acquisition of new business.

growthverse2

A Breakdown of Organic Acquisition Technologies

Looking at these three subcategories of Organic Acquisition, it is clear that there are some interesting new ways for marketers to take more control over how they leverage organic marketing to drive demand.

SEO: This one is pretty well understood. There are technologies out there that help you win the Google search game by pointing out opportunities to optimize your content and get more traffic. This is a very valuable effort for marketing to focus on as organic traffic converts higher than other types of traffic.

SOCIAL: If you think about it, social media has given us additional search engines. In fact, after Google, YouTube is the second most used search engine. That’s why it makes sense that there are tools that can help you optimize the content you post on social sites in order to drive the most engagement and click through to your website.

INFLUENCER/ REFERRAL MARKETING: This category is the fastest growing of the three and for good reason. Technology that can help you to connect with your influencers or advocates in a personal way, at scale, is very appealing. In fact, it gives marketers control over organic acquisition for the first time ever!

In both B2C and B2B companies, they are establishing programs for customers, employees and even partners to advocate on behalf of their brand. The most valuable to those responsible for customer acquisition is referral marketing. The opportunity to have advocates drive a steady stream of new business into your pipe without having to use traditional paid channels is a very exciting prospect.

Now, take a moment to revisit what you are doing to optimize your organic acquisition efforts. Lead generation and customer acquisition marketers may be missing opportunities to drive high quality demand with an organic price tag that executives covet. Discover if referral marketing is the right organic acquisition channel to generate leads for your business by calculating how much growth revenue your business can achieve with an ROI calculator.

Best referral program

Care to continue the conversation? Tweet me at @Trishawinter

Originally published in Customer Think

Prompt your prospects’ referral passion: Part 2

Deliver referral features that inspire them to want you.

Lately, you’ve been singing the same old marketing song. Specifically:

I want you to want me

I need you to need me . . .

                                                                                                                  (Cheap Trick)

But I have to say, it’s starting to sound a little desperate. And if you keep carrying on this way you’re just going hear those six little word over and over again, “You’re not my type . . . of business.” It’s time to change tactics. Instead of having your referral program ask the prospect to want you, imbue your referral program with feature that inspire passion for your services and products and motivate them to become customers.

And while you already uncovered what advocates want in part 1, you must now ask the question, what do your prospects want from your referral program?

Well, that’s a good question. Luckily, Penny the prospect gave me the inside scoop at dinner one night.

“We want the buying process to be easy and simple,” said Penny. Your prospects don’t want hidden gimmicks or fine print, but a buying process that rewards them.

From that insight, 3 prospect referral desires were locked onto and 5 referral features were developed to elevate and ignite your prospects passion for your business.

3 prospect referral desires and the features that fulfill them

  1. A deal too good to pass up – What prompts a prospect’s passion is what prompts any customer, a good deal. Prospects want to feel like they have tricked the “system” or obtained a deal of an exclusive nature. By making sure that prospects as well as advocates are rewarded, you add another incentive besides that of their family, friend, acquaintance, or professional network endorsement of you.

 

A feature that fulfills this want: Double-Sided Rewards

 

  1. A personalized buying experience – While your prospect knows who referred them and has a pre-established relationship with them, most of the time they need more than just the referral to become a customer. Prospects want to be able to discuss with their advocate why they should buy from your business. The prospect might want this to happen over email, in person, verbally, through social media, or even through text. Your referral program needs to be equipped to handle every type of referral interaction. This keeps the dialogue going and builds up to the conversion from prospect to customer.

 

Features that fulfill this want: Empowerment Tools   Prospect Nurturing

 

  1. A simple and easy buying process – Prospects don’t want to have to make the extra effort to buy your product, and they won’t. Give your prospects the buying process they want by making it easy to complete and individualized to the prospects preferred method to purchase.

 

Features that fulfill this want: Supported Prospect Purchase via Brick-and-Mortar or Phone Call  Prospect Buy Flow   Prospect Lead Submission

These prospect prompting features will not only invigorate potential referrals, but as an added benefit, your advocates as well. By fashioning features that encourage prospects to become successful referrals it becomes easier for advocates to achieve a rewarding referral. But while prospects and advocates are very important to motivate and reward, don’t forget who builds those relationships and manages your referral program, your sales team and marketers.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this 4 part blog that will focus on what referral features your sales team craves and requires to enflame their closes rates.  And don’t miss part 1 to learn about the desires of your referral advocates.

Customer referrals

 

 

Best referral program

Interested in furthering the discussion? Email me at JEdmondson@amplifinity.com

Clear gaming smoke from your referral program

In running referral programs, you’ll want to assure that the referrals you receive are legitimate and honestly put forth.   While no software system can fully anticipate the vagaries of human behavior, there are many things a referral software system can do to minimize gaming.  Let’s look at the types of gaming and then take a three-pronged approach to address the problem.

Observed Gaming Behavior

Gaming of referral programs is generally driven by three different personas:  Sales Reps, Advocates, and Prospects.  Here are a few examples:

Sales Rep Referral Gaming

Sales reps have inside knowledge of deals, which gives them the opportunity to find ways to reap a referral reward in addition to their normal commission.  They may:

  • Ask a friend to refer a deal that they have already worked and is close to closing, then split the reward with the friend after the deal closes.
  • Pose as a customer to register themselves as advocates, thus setting themselves up to receive a reward for their own commissioned sale.

Advocate Referral Gaming

While loyal brand advocates tend to adhere to the intent of a referral program, less loyal advocates, or non-customers who sign up as advocates, may choose to maximize reward revenue via less-than-admirable means.  They may:

  • Attempt to do a self-referral to gain a reward for something they were already planning to buy.
  • Ask a friend to accept a referral for a service that has a trial period, suggesting that the friend cancel the service after reward payment but before the trial period expires.  
  • Do email blasts to a large, primarily non-qualified audience.  While not inherently fraudulent, this behavior can generate unhappy customers who find that the referred product is not a good fit. For product sales, this generates ill will; for service sales, this creates churn and unprofitable customers.

Prospect Referral Gaming

Prospect gaming is rare, but in some cases prospects who wish to game the system will look for loopholes in the referral offer.  For example, if the prospect receives a reward for signing up for a service, she may cancel the service after reward receipt but before service payment.

Amplifinity’ Answers to Gaming

The recommendations that follow are based upon Amplifinity’s experience in supporting millions of referrals that have driven nearly two billion dollars of new business.  We’ve learned that successful referral programs address gaming on three fronts to guide the user away from gaming opportunities, block gaming activity, and report on gaming activity that cannot be blocked.  Here are some guidelines, as embodied in our platform and our successful referral program configurations, to help you design a referral program that drives genuine referrals.

Guide Behavior

Start by constructing your referral program to minimize the opportunity for fraud:

  • Use Single Sign-On (SSO) to assure that advocates are legitimate customers, employees, or partners.  This helps to eliminate sales rep gaming that relies on a friend to make referrals for deals already in the works.
  • Similarly, if the customer does not use SSO, validate new advocate registrations against a list of known legitimate customers, employees, or partners.
  • Use a validation upon registration to gain assurance that an advocate is using his or her own email address.
  • For concern about sales reps that pose as customers to make referrals, consider registration of advocates by invitation only.  For example, the Amplifinity platform will import your list of eligible customers, employees, or partners and then invite them into the program.  In this scenario, only invited individuals can become advocates, preventing sales reps from posing as customers.
  • Select reward types that balance strong incentive value with discouraging fraud.  As an example, sales reps will not ask their friends to refer accounts already in the sales cycle if the reward is a bill credit, which the sales rep will never see.
  • Use reward retention periods.  To prevent advocate and prospect gaming by service cancellation, configure the retention period to be longer that the service cancellation period.
  • Amplifinity also recommends that brands make rewards revocable (in terms and conditions) to allow brand to take action if fraud determined after reward payment.

Block Behavior

Prevent actions that make it easy for users to game the system:

  • Prevent self-referrals by blocking referrals to an advocate’s own name and email address.
  • Prevent multiple rewards for the same referral by blocking an advocate’s duplicate email referrals to a prospect.
  • Prevent multiple rewards for duplicate referrals to a single prospect from multiple advocates.
  • Do not reward referrals that are entered after the sale is closed.
  • Block mass emails by limiting the number of referral emails an advocate can send in a single day.  Valuable referrals are made by advocates who thoughtfully select their advocates.

Flag Behavior

Even with programs that guide advocates well and block gaming behaviors, it is important to be vigilant for other types of gaming. Comprehensive reporting helps identify referral actions that don’t fit expected or historical usage and uncovers potential fraudulent activity, such as:

  • Shorter-than-usual referral-to-close cycles
  • High number of referrals in a short period of time
  • High number of successful referrals in a short period of time
  • If the brand is observing and of these potential bad activities, withhold reward payment for a brand-defined number of days to enable time for investigation of the flagged activities.

 

No More Referal Program GamingIn working with our customers, we’ve found that our referral platform capabilities and operational recommendations described above dovetail cleanly into the referral experience of advocates making genuine, legitimate referrals.  At the same time, this approach frustrates the efforts of would-be referral gamers.  This enables our customers to maximize referral success while minimizing the impact of gaming.

Questions? Email me at LBloom@amplifinity.com

SaaS referral automation