Why Coworking Operators Should Offer Referral Programs And How To Do It

Referrals provide instant credibility and can bring in more loyal workspace customers
  • Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful marketing tool a business can have.
  • Referrals provide businesses with instant credibility and lead to more loyal customers. 
  • Asking for referrals can be done in person, by email, or through different campaigns.

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool a business can have. People enjoy sharing their experiences, both good ones and bad ones. Social media, to a certain extent, has facilitated word of mouth; people share with their networks their experience with a brand or product and they also write reviews.

Truth is, word of mouth works. Referrals work; and they can be highly profitable for small and large businesses, including coworking and flexible workspace operators. They work because they offer instant credibility.

According to Harvard Business Review “customers obtained through referrals are both more loyal and more valuable than other customers.” These customers are more likely to stay with a business and can generate more profit. Referrals also strengthen the loyalty of the client that referred someone else.

Happy clients lead to new and more happy clients.

However, asking for referrals is a sort of art. You have to know whom to ask, when to ask, what to ask, and how to ask it. Luckily, there are various ways to tackle referrals and several platforms that can make the process easier.

How to ask coworking members for referral

  1. Identify your “best”. These are the people that are the most engaged with your community, that have been your members for a long time, or that actively tell you how much they enjoy and have benefited from the space.
  2. Ask them. It can be as simple as that. Reach out to your members in person or by email and ask them to recommend your space with friends, family, or their business network.
  3. Make it easy. Include a link for referrals on your website and social media profiles. Ask them to write a testimonial for your website or any other marketing content, create an email, text or link they can easily share.
  4. Offer incentives. It doesn’t have to be a free month of coworking, but you can give members discounts, extra meeting room hours, or the like  in exchange for a referral.
  5. Create a Google My Business page. There are various benefits to creating a Google My Business page, among them is that it makes it easy for people to leave reviews about your workspace. Here’s how to ask members to write a Google review.
  6. Thank people for their referrals. Be sure you are able to identify the members that are referring people to your workspace and thank them. A simple gesture like an email or handwritten note is enough to show them you appreciate their help.
  7. Give members a reason to want to refer you. To get referrals, you need to deliver on your brand promise. Remind members why your workspace is awesome, give them something good to talk about, and remind them of all the services you offer.
  8. Create content. Share valuable content with your members that they can easily share with their networks. This can be a blog, a pamphlet, a newsletter, or an infographic.
  9. Know what you’re asking for. Are you looking for more shared workspace members? Or do you need to fill a private office? Or do you just want to rent your meeting room to external guests? These are important questions you need to ask to get the right referral.
  10. Give referrals. Recommend your members to one another and to your wider network. If you help your members grow their business, they will be more inclined to help you grow yours.
  11. Stay in touch. Don’t wait until you are desperate to ask for referrals, which means you should always keep in touch with your members so that when you ask for a referral, it’s not “out of the blue”.

Customer referrals are a cost-effective way to get new, loyal workspace members. It’s about turning your members into advocates and promoters; to do this you need to truly add value to your members and offer them something that they won’t find anywhere else.

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