How to perfect digital humanism within referral marketing

The digital marketing revolution has been in full swing for quite a while now. But while many have been focusing on the technological side of it, the digital revolution is surprisingly not defined by technology, but by people. No matter what marketing technology you’re using, it is trying to deliver you one or more of four things.

  1. Insight into buyer behavior
  2. Engagement/interest in your business
  3. Increased lead generation
  4. Management of relationships

However, despite how much technology is focused on buyer insight and relationships, very few prioritize the many facets of customers’ organic journey before and after purchase. Instead a good portion of technology opts for the most convenient, trackable and accurate solution for the business without truly putting the ease of the customer first.

But even though many different marketing technologies may not be putting the customers’ journey before the convenience of automation, they have increasingly tried to balance the benefits of automating interaction with the desire for a personalized approach. This balance of technological convenience and people is an attempt at what Gartner calls digital humanism. However, digital humanism is considered its most powerful when our shared humanity is not a secondary consideration, but as Daryl Plummer, vice president, chief of research and Gartner Fellow says, “A good humanistic design would place the desires and needs of humans ahead of the most convenient or most accurate solution.” In fact, Plummer has found that “By 2017, 40 percent of organizations will place humanistic-based approaches and architectures at the center of their solution designs. They will accomplish this by introducing processes designed to observe human behavior, rather than specify requirements.”

Even referral marketing – an initiative that epitomizes digital humanism by observing or complying with the natural exchange between customers or partners and their peers, often falls into this trap. This happens when businesses overlook the part of the referral process that comes naturally to customer and partners making referral.  I am course referring to the organic interactions and conversations that occurs between a business and their customers or partners when suggesting a referral verbally.

The verbal referral is referral marketing’s origin story. Originally, referrals all took place verbally. But when referral marketing programs developed, many overlooked this natural interaction that takes place between a customer or partner and salesperson because it wasn’t part of their convenient and trackable buyer journey.

So how do you correct that?

Well . . . by instituting trackable verbal referrals.

Verbal referrals increase referral marketing’s success

No matter the industry, customer success and sales teams have many points of interaction with customers after a sale. Whether it’s regular check-ins, success counseling, a product having a specific success, a customer reaching out with a question, or a user event, with the further development of a customer relationship you have an opportune time for them to refer someone to you either though the natural flow of conversation or by prompt. But for many referral marketing programs, this leads to directing the referring customer to create or login to an account and refer digitally for the referral to be entered into the lead flow. However, by doing this the salesperson or customer success agent is requesting customers to abandon the referral method that has come naturally rather than adapting their referral process to observe a customer’s preference to refer verbally.  And the same goes for partners.

With the added steps required to refer to accommodate lead flow, how likely is it for an advocate to follow through on their referral?

By incorporating trackable verbal referrals into a referral marketing program you can perfect digital humanism within your referral marketing initiative and increase the number of referrals your referral program generates.

How does verbal referrals work?

Let’s take a look at how Sandy Salesperson goes about using verbal referrals within referral software.

As part of a regular check-in, Sandy Salesperson is talking to Andy Advocate over the phone to see if there’s anything extra he needs and how the products and services are working for him and his business. Andy brings up that he knows someone named Penny who is looking for this exact kind of service. While Sandy is on the phone with Andy she can add Penny Prospect as a new lead within the CRM. Sandy sets the lead source as referral program and selects Andy from the CRM contacts as the advocate. If Andy is not a contact in the CRM, Sandy Salesperson can then create a contact record for Andy.

If Andy hasn’t yet registered for the referral program, an account will be created connecting the referral of Penny Prospect to Andy Advocate. An invitation will then be sent to Andy prompting him to fill out the required information and giving him access to his personal homepage where he can keep track of his referral status and continue to refer.

If Andy has already registered as a referral advocate, the referral of Penny Prospect will automatically be connected to his account for him to keep track of.

If Sandy had not been able to create a trackable verbal referral for Andy, there’s a large chance he would have never put forth the extra effort to go back later and refer. And Sandy Salesperson would have received one less high-quality lead that could help make her quota and increase revenue.

Discover how a referral software that puts digital humanism at the front and center of its functionality generates unmatched ROI. Try the ROI calculator now!

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