Fishing can be a simple process, and almost everyone knows the concept behind it. But while you may know the basics of fishing, unless you’re an avid fisher you won’t understand the details that will take you from a beginner to an experienced pro (like a referral program). For instance, what tackle or lure will attract the fish you’re trying to catch? What time of day and at what location are certain types of fish more likely to bite? Should you introduce any special bait into the mix? To determine these sort of things you will need someone’s help. You need training.

Similar to fishing, a referral program can be easy to use when you’re given the proper guidance on how to bait your own hook. But unless the referral program you’re considering offers professional training on the finer details of the program that will engage different internal roles to promote, manage, and use the program, you won’t find it easy to reel in referrals.

What referral program training should include

When businesses research different referral programs, they often over-look the in-depth training that the referral host provides. But training is an essential tool to ensure your team members value the entirety of the program and its mechanics. After all, these are the team members promoting and facilitating the success of the referral program on a daily basis.  Comprehensive training ensures that each person that interacts with the program understands their role and feels comfortable working within the referral program to capture any new referrals and manage pre-existing ones.

As one of the many specialists at Amplifinity who provides advanced training to clients, I’ve seen how training assists and supports the following roles generally assigned to a referral program.

There are three consistent roles that a referral program host should train client’s employees on.

1. Brand Admin: This is usually someone either in a marketing or executive management role who takes ownership of the referral program and has full access to monitor its success. This individual is provided with advanced training that includes, but not limited to the following tasks:

  • Creating and managing the dashboard and widgets
  • Editing or publishing creative content
  • Adding new users to the referral program
  • Adding new advocates or searching for pre-existing accounts
  • Building and exporting reports
  • And much more

2. Content Admin: This individual usually is in command of the digital or content marketing or creative spotlight.  Prior to the referral program launch, they are the ones who need to integrate your content, CSS and Html into a testing environment. They also receive extensive training to ensure the content they are incorporating is not only successfully implemented into the system but are also appropriately aligned within the requirements of the referral program.

3. Sales Associate: This employee is usually the one who will assimilate themselves into the referral process as they provide daily support to maintain customer satisfaction. For that reason alone, training is essential for these individuals to feel comfortable with completing the following tasks within the referral program and their CRM:

  • Reviewing pertinent data within dashboards/widget shortcuts
  • Qualifying a referral lead,
  • Inviting clients and partners to participate in the program,
  • Reviewing advocate profiles and corresponding referral data
  • To alleviate the pressure of learning a new referral program, make sure to get basic training to these team members to ensure they feel equipped when assisting their customers.

Recently, I was asked to provide training for a new employee who was promoted to a management position and required Brand Admin access. Even though I had previously provided training for this client, the new manager requested a one-on-one training from me.

At the beginning of the training the manager had some uncertainties about using a few of the program’s features (as most of us do when learning something new). But, once I began demonstrating the various facets of how to optimize the platform’s user friendly features it quickly became clear to me that the manager’s feelings were no longer unsure.  Instead they were now excited to begin using the program’s tools on a more frequent basis. By the end of the training the manager sincerely expressed how grateful she was to receive one-on-one training.

If a referral program host doesn’t offer training for each designated role, than you might have trouble fully promoting the functionality of your referral program, not only to your team members but to your customers. Even if training is offered upon receiving your referral program, but not supported down the road, it will leave your future employees left to struggle instead of embracing the technology, while in-turn, making your referral program inefficient.

Find out how other companies have succeeded and gained continuously supports by exploring  the Success Stories page to discover what aspects of referral training and program functionality drove victory home for these companies.