Focus on making your customers happy
There is a urban myth in marketing that the right time to ask your users for a referral is... any time. But if you are running a referral program for your business, you might want to be deliberate about the timing because by doing so you can massively increase the odds that your customer will refer a friend.
If you have a SaaS business, some of your customers are still trialing the product and others have probably been with you for years. If you run an ecommerce, you probably have people who have only bought from you once (perhaps 3 years ago) and people who buy something ever month.
The bottom line is: not all your customers are created equal.
Some customers love your product more than others. They get more value out of it. The love your brand. They trust you. It doesn't take a marketing genius to understand that these people, your happy customers, are MUCH more likely to refer a friend.
What defines a "happy" customer depends on your business, but here's some examples:
- people who have answered an NPS survey and have given at least 8
- people who engaged with customer support and have left a positive review
- people who have left a positive review on Capterra or similar
- people who activate a specific feature that you know only happy engaged customers use
- people who have upgraded their account to a yearly plan
- people who have opened 60%+ of your newsletters in the last year
- people who have been a repeating customer for X months (e.g: 12)
Your might be different but whatever it is, find your trigger. You should use this trigger (or triggers, you might have more than one) to determine if your customer is happy and only then tell them about your referral program.
This might mean fewer people who join your referral program but much higher engagement and ultimately more long term referrals.