Cranky on the Web (August 25-29)

In the Trenches: Handling ReferralsQuickbooks Small Business Blog
Referrals are very important to our business, so we want to make sure we’re handling them right.


7 Responses to Cranky on the Web (August 25-29)

  1. Ron says:

    You’ve yet to hear any complaints because credits have not yet expired, or even come close. When you get the credit it’s easy to think “yes, I’ll use this within 6 months”, and you’re happy. Then 5 months pass, and you haven’t had an occasion to use the credit, and you start getting stressed. Or you just write it off. Some reward programs I write off at the very start — Best Buy and CVS are two examples that come to mind — I know from experience that trying to use my rewards before they expire is just not worth the stress. So it’s great that referral credits are transferable, but giving a credit and then taking it away can make people like your business less than not giving a credit in the first place (and it doesn’t matter that people knew about the expiration all along). I think this is what Delta made their miles never expire.

    • CF says:

      Ron – Points taken, but of course, we’ll adjust if anyone complains. We’ll do what’s right if someone really has an issue – we’re not too big for that. But one correction – these are no longer credits. It’s simply a coupon for a future discount.

      • Ron says:

        Coupon, credit, doesn’t matter. If people expect to be able to use it, they’ll be disappointed when they can’t. I remember driving with two little kids who were eager for pizza, looking for a Pizza Hut that would accept a coupon. After two places said it was not valid at their location I gave up and took the kids to an independent (and better) pizza place. Never stepped in a Pizza Hut since. In your case, perhaps people are less likely to develop an expectation if you call it a coupon rather than a credit. Or not.

        • CF says:

          Ron – We’re not looking to make this difficult for anyone. It’s now very clear when we give someone that coupon that it’s good for 6 months. If that becomes a legitimate issue at some point, we’ll deal with it on a case by case basis. Of course, if we get a big uproar internally, then we’ll revisit the policy entirely. But I don’t think we’re going to see that.

  2. David SF eastbay says:

    That makes good sense to let people give their coupon to someone else so you could get a new client, but still have a chance of serving the old client again later on.

  3. Steve Kalman says:

    As you know, I’m a long time, loyal client. I didn’t know of the change in referral structure, so if there are more like me then that might by why you don’t have any complaints.

    I tell lot of people about your service and encourage them to use it. Maybe some do, but I don’t know about it. It is almost certain that they don’t mention my name on first contact unless you ask them how they found you (do you ask? it might be a good idea if you don’t)

    A few have made contact and earned me credits, which are nice but not a big deal for me. Since I tend to buy credits in advance in bulk, at least I do get to use them. If changing to a coupon is something that I have to remember, then I’ll probably lose its value. Have you thought about whether sticking wiht credits for those of us who buy in advance would still be a good idea>

    • CF says:

      Steve – We didn’t make an announcement about the referral change, but it’s been in place for nearly 3 months now.

      On the first point, we do ask everyone who referred them. We’ll send an email to the referrer as soon as that person signs up with the details.

      There are a handful of people like you who purchase credits today and do referrals. We’re more than happy to look at alternate ways to handle this for you and those like you. We can discuss this directly next time it comes up.

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