Comfortech preview: Surprisingly simple way to get more word-of-mouth referrals

June 29, 2016
If you want your happy customers to refer you to other people, you have to stop doing the same old thing You should strive to create a customer who is astounded by the service they receive Referral customers are the best, most profitable kinds of customers

It’s a well-known principle in business that a word-of-mouth referral is one of the most valuable customers you can get.

The reason is you buy most of your customers: you spend money and time to advertise to your market, trying to lock your brand in their minds and trying to convince them to call you when they need your service.

But when a customer comes to you through a referral, it cost you nothing because you didn’t have to spend the money and time to convince them — they were convinced by word-of-mouth from a trusted friend. That referral from the friend does all the convincing, so the customer usually is ready to buy from you as soon as they call.

Many service business owners know this, but what they don’t know is how to get more word-of-mouth referrals. They’re so valuable yet they seem so elusive.

Fortunately, there’s a surprisingly simple way to get word-of-mouth referrals and builds off something you are already doing anyway.

Think about a time that you bought something recently — perhaps a dinner at a restaurant or a car from a dealership. Regardless of the purchase, you probably went into the store, decided on what you wanted, and completed the transaction. Did you tell anyone about that experience? (Probably not.) What would have made you tell someone about that experience?

Let’s say you went to a restaurant. If it’s like most restaurants that people go to, perhaps you were seated on time, your food arrived in the way that you ordered, and you ate and paid your bill and left. Nothing out of the ordinary.

But what if went differently? What if you got to the restaurant and they enthusiastically greeted you, perhaps by name because they recognized you from when you were there a few months ago. They worked so hard to seat you and make you feel comfortable, and the chef came out to greet you and let you taste a couple of samples before you ordered. Then the manager came by and thanked you for coming, gave you a complimentary dessert, and handed you coupons to come back again, personally inviting you to call the manager to make a reservation if you ever wanted one.

Which restaurant experience would you remember? And more importantly (for the restaurant), which one would you tell someone about?

If you want your happy customers to refer you to other people, you have to stop doing the same old thing that they can get from any other service business. You have to stop being forgettable. You have to stop delivering “only” what they were expecting. If you do that, you’re no better than the “same old” restaurant experience that was mentioned earlier.

Instead, you need to delight, amaze, wow, and “shock” your customers by giving them an experience that they will never forget.

Most service business owners strive to serve a satisfied customer, but satisfied customers are merely satisfied.  Instead, you should strive to create a customer who is so astounded by the service they received, that they rush to the phone, call all their friends, and say “you won’t believe what just happened.”

The way to do that is to list out all the steps that you currently use when serving your customer (I call this a “Framework for Service”) and then look for ways to serve your customers at the highest level over and over again. And when you think that you’re doing too much, you’ve actually just started and you should continue building in more service. Add so much amazing service — beyond what you think is reasonable.

The true test will be how many customers come to you through referrals. Keep increasing the level of service you provide to your customers, and the amount that you amaze them on every visit, until you grow so busy from referrals that you can’t take on any more customers. That’s when you know you’re doing enough.

Referral customers are the best, most profitable kinds of customers. You don’t buy them, but you can earn them by astounding your customers.

Mike Agugliaro, is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit

About the Author

Mike Agugliaro | Founder

Mike Agugliaro is a Business Warrior on a mission to change the lives and businesses of service business owners. Mike and his business partner started and grew a struggling home service company into a multi-million dollar empire before selling the company in 2017. Today Mike is an author, speaker, and mentor; and he's the co-founder of CEO Warrior, a high level coaching and training organization for home service businesses. Learn more about Mike and CEO Warrior at

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