As a business owner, you know about the undeniable power of word of mouth. It is much easier to turn a qualified referral into a new customer than it is to try to sell your services by marketing to the masses.

With 92% of people making purchasing decisions based on the opinions of family and friends, it’s no surprise that many businesses are looking for effective ways to increase customer satisfaction rates and boost subsequent referrals.

One of the most powerful ways is to give back to the community that supports you. As part of a video series on creative referral marketing techniques that I created for Grange Insurance Association and its network of independent agents, I cited examples of agencies that are doing well by doing good. Their lessons are applicable to all types of business.

Doing Well by Doing Good

One insurance agency picks a new non-profit from the community to partner with every quarter. Every time its agents get a referral to quote a line of insurance, the business automatically gives $10 to that non-profit.

The agency promotes its community partnerships in its newsletter and through its social media channels. Clients appreciate it, too. The agency is getting more referrals by giving back to the community than when it gave the $10 directly to the person making the referral. It’s a great example of doing something that makes a difference—and making people feel that they are contributing, too.

Another agency partnered with its local schools after polling clients to find out what they cared about the most. Now, if you go the agency’s website and click under ‘referral program’ you see a page full of logos from parent-teacher associations that automatically get $10 for every referral that they make. Why is this so effective? Because it provides the PTAs and their supporters with tremendous incentive to promote the agency via word of mouth.

You can learn more about these tactics and more in the following video:

So stop and think for a moment. What do you care about? What do your customers care about? Chances are good that when these two things come together you have a wonderful way to give back to the community while generating valuable referrals.