In Ratchet+Wrench’s August issue, we take a look at the steps required to develop a robust rewards and referral program for your customer base. However, as Rose Quasney, co-owner of Auto Sense Auto Repair and Tire Center can attest, sometimes rewarding a referring customer can involve a simple gesture, like sending out a thank you card complete with a gift card to a local restaurant.
Whenever a customer has a service done at Auto Sense, his or her repair order form asks how they heard about the shop. From there, Rose Quasney, co-owner of the shop, looks over each repair order the next day to find out how the customer heard about the shop. The primary sources of referrals are usually Google, advertisements or even a next-door neighbor.
From there, after finding the referring customer, she’ll talk to him or her and send a thank-you card, which often includes a $10 gift card to a local chain or independent restaurant. If it’s another local business who made a referral, she’ll follow the same process.
The gift cards given out generally depend on the season. In the summer months, Quasney gives out gift cards to a local old-fashioned ice cream shop, Brewsters, or to Rita’s Italian Ice. During the holiday season, Quasney’s go-to gift is a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card complete with a unique holiday cover.
Quasney says she doesn’t see this as much anymore, but for customers who go above and beyond and refer around 8-10 other customers per year, Quasney drops by and gives them a $50 gift card to a nice restaurant near where they live.
“You always have to think about your customers,” Quasney says. “I always tell people, you’re really nothing without them. Appreciation is something you should be able to give willingly.”