Moving referral programs are a great way to generate a stream of new business and nurture relationships with previous customers. This article will explain what a moving referral program looks like, how it works, and best practices to help you make the most of your customer referrals. Let’s dive in and see how you can build your customer base through turning previous customers into advocates.

What is a moving referral program?

A moving referral program is a streamlined way to reward your previous clients for referring their friends, family members, or co-workers to your moving company.

Programs like these are a win-win-win: you get new business, your old customers get rewarded for sending new customers your way, and new customers get rewarded for choosing to work with you. These programs also allow you to better track the referrals coming from existing clients, so you know how much business comes from referrals. 

Tracking this information can be time-consuming, so the best moving referral programs automate the tracking of referrals. They are not manual programs where people give their friends’ names and you must keep track on your own, but a digital system that can keep all of this information organized and easily accessible. 

piece of cake moving referral program

Why do you need a moving referral program?

Wondering why you should start a moving referral program? Here are some of our favorite referral program benefits:

Word of mouth is powerful

People usually don’t need moving services very often, so you’re not likely to see a large volume of repeat customers in a given year. You need a reliable way of consistently finding new clients.  

Referrals create an acquisition channel by leveraging happy existing clients.

Word of mouth goes a long way. People spend lots of time researching options before they decide which mover to hire, but people highly trust what their friends recommend. In fact, most consumers trust the recommendation of a friend or family member more than nearly all other forms of advertising. If someone recommends your services to a friend, the person who received the recommendation is more likely to hire you for their move. 

Referral programs cost a lot less than ads

Referral programs are less expensive than other forms of advertising and marketing. They are also low risk, as you aren’t spending blindly, hoping to get results like you would with traditional ads. Instead, you only pay for referrals when they result in sales. And unlike most other marketing efforts, referral programs let you easily track every referral your customers make, so you always know how your program is performing.

Referral software for movers [Free Tools]

These referral tools for movers are a free and easy way to help you start your referral program.

Free Tools + Services:

Want a fully automated referral program for your moving business? Run your referral program with us at Referral Rock. Find out how we can build your program with you (and tailor it to your unique needs)

Are you ready for a moving referral program?

Even with these benefits, not every moving company is ready to run a successful referral program. You’ll need the following essentials in place before you launch a moving referral program for the program to be a success:

  • A healthy base of happy customers who love your work – ideally, some of them should already be recommending your services without prompting
  • A customer experience worth recommending
  • A high level of customer satisfaction, including high ratings from customer reviews 
  • A website to send referred leads to

Moving referral program best practices

How to run a successful moving referral program? We’ve got you covered. In order for your referral program to be successful, follow these best practices. 

1. Select your rewards carefully

In order for your customers to participate in your program, you have to provide a compelling answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” Double-sided rewards (rewards for both the referrer and friend) motivate frequent referrals and motivate the referred friends to employ you for moving services.

Rewards for the referring customer (or advocate) should have nothing to do with your business, since they probably won’t need to make their next move anytime soon. But since moving assistance is a relatively large purchase, the reward should reflect the value of the purchase your advocate drove.

Cash referral fees (also referral commissions), gift cards to other businesses, gift baskets, and travel- or event-based rewards are great options for the advocate. You might consider a tiered structure where rewards increase in value the more successful referrals someone makes. This encourages clients to refer business to you not once, but many times. 

Rewards for the referred friend, on the other hand, should be directly tied back to your company to encourage the friend to hire you. Discounts on your services, credits toward the move, cash back after the move is paid for, and free or discounted added services are great rewards for newly referred clients. 

clutter rewards

Many moving companies give a larger reward for local moves and a smaller reward for long-distance moves, since they require more time and resources.

2. Run your program with referral software

The right referral software streamlines your program creation process and automates all aspects of program management. Thanks to the referral links it generates, referral software lets you track exactly where each referral came from and instantly issue rewards for successful referrals. It also collects program data that you can use to measure success and refine your program for optimum results on an ongoing basis. 

Referral Rock software offers best-in-class referral tracking, sharing, and engagement experiences, with concierge onboarding – no developers required.

3. Make the sharing process seamless

In order to encourage your customers to take advantage of your referral program, you need to make it as easy as possible. Customers should be able to access the program and share with friends in just a few clicks.  And once they’re on the program page, streamline things as much as you can:

  • Create an enticing headline that states exactly what customers should do (share) and what’s in it for them (the reward).
  • Concisely explain the program (and what must be done for the rewards to be earned) in a few steps. 
  • Include an easy-to-find call to action button to get customers sharing, and direct customers to an FAQ page if they have other questions. 
  • Give multiple options for sharing, based on the ways that customers naturally share things they love with friends, such as email, social media, or a referral link that customers can copy and share anywhere. 

moving referral program 3 steps

4. Encourage social media referrals

Social media is where your customers naturally share things they love with many friends at once. It’s also where people look to their community for recommendations when they need to hire a service provider they can trust. So, it makes sense to include social media sharing options in your moving referral program, since one social share will potentially get your business in front of thousands of relevant eyes.

5. Design a simple referral form

Referral program forms tend to ask for a lot of contact information, but too many questions can get overwhelming quickly.

Only ask for the info you need to track who the referral came from and contact the new lead.

Consider one of these simple lead form combinations:

  • Referrer name, phone number, and email; lead name, phone number, and email
  • Referrer name and email; lead name, phone number, and email
  • Referrer name and email, lead name and email

You can ask for a lead’s mailing address later, such as when you give them a free quote. No need to ask the referrer to give their friend’s address.

6. Ask for referrals at the right times

One of the best ways to get referrals is to ask directly, since you’re providing a service and assisting them in person. When asking your clients to sign up for your referral program, timing is everything. 

Ask customers for referrals when you know they’re happiest and you are top of mind, like when:

  • You’ve completed a move
  • You’ve received a positive review from them on Yelp (or another review site)
  • You’ve received a positive social media comment from them
  • They give you great in-person feedback
  • You know they were satisfied, and you’re sending the invoice for the completed move
  • It’s the one-year or two-year anniversary of their move date, and you know that move went well
  • You know they’ve already recommended you outside of your referral program

7. Promote your program in lots of places

Even with all the efforts you put in to design an awesome referral program, it won’t gain any traction if you don’t promote it properly. People need to know about your program for it to generate new sales!

Promote your program:

  • On your website (place a hero image or banner where it’s easy to find, and/or buttons in the top and bottom menus)
  • In conversations with clients, when you know a customer is satisfied
  • In personal referral emails sent to your most satisfied customers
  • In mass emails focused on your program, sent to all customers
  • In news/update emails, confirmation emails, invoices, and other emails unrelated to your referral program
  • Through social media posts
  • In email signatures and social media bios

perfect moving facebook post

8. Send the lead a personal note from the referrer

The welcome message the referred friend receives through your program is often their first impression of your moving business. Ideally, the message should be written by the referrer, and explain why the referrer is recommending you to their peer. 

But you can also prompt the referrer with ideas to include in the message, or even include an editable message template as a starting point that they could send as-is. 

Be sure to show the rewards that their peer has sent them, and include an eye-catching CTA above the fold to entice the friend to take action.

9. Thank customers for referrals

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Thanking customers for the referrals they’ve made encourages them to make more referrals in the future and nurtures the relationship they have with your company. So, send a personal thank you note (preferably handwritten) whenever someone’s referral results in a new customer. You might also post a public thank you for the referral on your social media page.

10. Tell other businesses about your program

Don’t forget your other source of referral business – your fellow businesses in your area! Oftentimes, moving services get lots of referrals from related, non-competing businesses, like real estate agents (realtors), storage facilities, property managers at apartment complexes, and others. So, it’s a good idea to tell businesses like these about your program. That way, referrals that come from their employees can get tracked as well. 

You might consider setting up a more formal referral partner program for businesses like these, in addition to your customer referral program. 

bellhop moving referral program

Wrapping up

The moving industry can be very competitive, but nothing inspires trust in a business more than the recommendation of a friend or family member. A moving referral program that rewards both your old customers and your new ones generates the trust that can set your moving company apart from the rest.