Do your embroidery customers know the full scope of what you offer? I'm sure you have customers only too happy to give a referral, but are only aware of the services you have given THEM!The solution is to give them the big-picture view of your company and what you offer. If you are like most, you offer screen printing, digital printing, embroidery, promo-items and more. I've had customers say, "do you do screen printing?" and I'm like...of course, how could you not know that! but unfortunately they don't.
Do your customer know you want to grow your business?
If you think it's tacky to ask for referrals, you really have the wrong mind set and it's completely untrue. When you ask for referrals, most customers are thrilled that you thought so highly of them and basically asked them to share in the growth of your business. Don't be embarrassed or shy about it, you'll be astounded at the reaction. But if it's something you have a hard time doing in person, try planting a "quiet seed" with a note instead.
Do you reward referrals?
You have to acknowledge any referral from a customer with a gift, a free product or extra products on their next order. Its an honest appreciation and recognition for those people who are helping you. They've taken the time to do you a favor and you need to have a system in place to reward any referral, even if it turns out to be the worst prospect you've ever seen. People appreciate rewards, and you'll keep getting referrals.
Bottom line: By devoting time to creating a referral program and using your marketing resources in creating an extensive referral network, you'll see the pay-off compounding year after year.