Is this the perfect referral solution?

Conversational commerce is about bringing the best practises of physical, in store experiences online. One of the most powerful of these types of experiences, is the immense power of a referral. Nielsen research shows that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. And beyond that, they are four times more likely to buy something when referred by a friend. Let's look at how you can leverage this power online by using the SMOC platform.

Is this the perfect referral solution?
September 30, 2020
Jógvan Brimheim Gunnarsson

The perfect in-store customer relationship

Why do your best customers - regardless of age, the amount they spend, location, time spent in your store, whatever - keep coming back? Why do they tell their friends about you? Why do they stick with you even when they can get basically the same thing you provide to your market, both cheaper, faster and easier from someone else? They do this since your approach appeals to them. That is the personal approach you put into how you do the things you do, regarding your business. What you bring to the market aligns with their own values and feelings.  


Imagine someone who enjoys a more personal shopping experience, that ends up traveling for over an hour to visit a specific shop. There this lovely shopkeeper always tells this someone (the customer) it like it is. Throughout the experience the shopkeeper asks questions, listens and tries to understand the desired outcome of the customer. The shopkeeper informs, motivates and engages the individual, in such a way that he or she ends up buying products they love. The customer goes through all these steps, even though he or she could have bought the exact same items online, or at the shop next door, and for a reduced price. But he/she gladly does this every time the person is on the lookout for what that specific shop offers. And he/she loves to tell his or her friends, family and coworkers about the experience. This type of story hopefully resonates, and shows you the power of a great referral story. 


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The perfect online customer relationship

So how can businesses like yours leverage this to engage the people you want, and grow your businesses? You do that by actually talking to and engaging with people online, like you would face to face. How is this possible to bring those types of personal interactions related to your customers needs online? With an easy to use automated chatbot tool, that is fueled by an ever evolving artificial intelligence core, that learns more about your customers every day. That’s where SMOC.AI comes in. 


A practical example of this is setting up a referral campaign that rewards your customers and the friends they bring along. This could be to your physical store where you are to exclusively invite your VIP customers, for an early launch of a new product series. Perhaps it could be to bring them along to subscribe to a service you love and use daily such as switching phone operators so that both your customers and their friends get extra free gigabytes each month. And in all of these examples, you reward everyone involved in these referral processes. 


What types of rewards you want to offer, is completely up to you. You can reward them with special offers related to your own products or services. Alternatively, you can offer them rewards from other related or non-related vendors. This could be vouchers for a nearby coffee house, parking minutes to the nearest parking structure to your shop, or something that is not at a local level at all. Think of an offer code to the Apple store, because you want to align your business with the same values as Apple. Maybe they can cash in their reward for climate positive days, to align to their own personal mission around climate change. Alternatively something like a virtual mastercard that can be used wherever they like online. However you want to reward them, you can!




Examples of conversational commerce with SMOC

So let’s look at how this would actually work. In the cases mentioned above you could send out an email or text message to your most loyal customers, and make them visit a specific landing page. Here they will be met by a SMOC chatbot that is set up to initiate a friendly and welcoming conversation with the visitor. This chatbot is by design infused with your business's personality and tone of voice, so that it fulfills its welcoming purpose. From the get-go the bot specifies the purpose of asking for the visitors attention, wanting to start the dialogue, and what's in it for all parties. 


Let’s look at potential chat openers to the existing customers, for each of the examples above.

  1. Make your customers referrer their friends along to a VIP event in your physical store. Here the opening message of the chatbot could be something like this:

    “Hi! Want to experience and shop the latest products from [Insert brand name here] early, at our exclusive pre launch party next week? 🛍 Invite your friends by sharing the link below, and all of you will be put on the list, as soon as your friends sign up.”

  2. Make them subscribe to a service, like a phone operator. Here is an example of how the start of the chatbot conversation could like this in that instance:

    “Hello! Want more free gigabytes from your monthly phone plan? 📲 And at the same time give the same amount of free gigabytes to your friends? Share the link below with your friends, and all of you get 2 gigabytes extra each month, when they register with [Insert brand name here]!”


In both these cases the link that is sent to their friends, will bring them to a similar landing page that contains another SMOC chatbot. These are to continue the same friendly tone and approach as the one described earlier. And here is how these intro messages for the chatbots could look like:


  1. “Hi there! Your friend wants to bring you along to an exclusive pre launch event for [Brand name here] next week 🛍 For you the both of you to be put on the list, you just have to fill in the fields in the chat below 😊”

  2. “Want to join your friend on the quest for more free gigabytes each month? 📲 Sign up for the same monthly plan from [Brand name here] as them, and both of you get 2 gigabytes extra for free. Just follow the instructions below and we will take care of the rest!”


But what happens next you might ask? After the goals have been met, in these examples; that the friends in question have signed up, the SMOC platform triggers some different actions. Firstly it can animate a burst of confetti or a bunch of hearts, right in the chatbot itself. This is to congratulate the brand new lead, and instil a sense of fulfillment. While this is happening the original customer who initiated the referral process, also gets notified that their friend followed through on their recommendation. And for you, the business owner, you get all the relevant information about these referral processes, fed right into your email inbox or CRM (Customer relationship management system).


Throughout these interactions, from the initial customers to their friends’, the main goal is to - like our slogan says - reward attention. In a way that brings your in person approach to customer interaction, online. With the frame of something as personal as a friendly chat window. All while you as a business owner get extremely valuable insights, actionable ROI numbers, and most importantly of all; happy long term customers. If this sounds interesting we would love to hear from you, and help you to test out a free trial of our SMOC platform. You can do so by clicking here, or the button below.

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Nielsen Research

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