Anthony Milia

Milia Marketing

Maximizing Growth Through Customer ReferralsDid you know that the global countertop market is projected to reach a staggering $167.77 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0%, according to Fortune Business Insights? The demand for gorgeous and durable countertops is rising, presenting an opportunity and a challenge for countertop shops to stand out in this thriving industry.

In this competitive industry, where choices are almost endless in terms of countertop choice and the choice of who to buy from, the key to sustainable growth as a countertop manufacturer or dealer is in the hands of satisfied customers. 

Think about it: there are thousands of countertop shops in the country, so why should anyone buy from your shop? Where’s your proof that your products can stand the test of time? Should they just take your word for it or are you showing them through past customers that you have what it takes to satisfy their needs?

Let’s find out how customer referrals can boost your business growth.

Understanding the Psychology and Power of Referrals

According to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising report, referrals are the most trusted form of advertising, with personal recommendations ranking highest in trustworthiness.

Imagine transforming every satisfied customer into an advocate, bringing in new business with a simple recommendation. That’s arguably the most cost-effective form of marketing. In actual sense, all you need to do is provide excellent services. But how’s that possible?

It’s simple; people are more likely to trust recommendations from others who have bought a product or service, especially with cost-intensive products like countertops that require a lot of consideration to buy.

People rely on recommendations and referrals for many reasons, including:

  • Social Proof (Validation through Others): Social proof plays a significant role in influencing behavior. A study by Exploding Topics revealed that 92% of consumers feel hesitant to buy when there are no customer reviews available. When prospects see that others have successfully used and endorsed a product or service, it provides validation and reassurance that the choice is good.

  • Authenticity and Real-World Experience (Firsthand Testimonials): Recommendations from actual users promote authenticity. Customers who have bought and used a product or service can provide firsthand testimonials, sharing their genuine experiences and insights.

  • Reduced Marketing Bias (Unbiased Opinions): Consumers are aware that marketing and advertising messages are often biased to promote a product. Recommendations from other users are perceived as more impartial and unbiased, as they stem from personal experiences rather than promotional motives.

  • Risk Reduction (Mitigating Uncertainty): Buying countertops involves inherent uncertainties. Recommendations from other buyers help mitigate this uncertainty by providing insights into what to expect, reducing the perceived risk associated with the purchase.

  • Peer Influence: When homeowners see others within their social circles endorsing a product or service, it creates a sense of conformity and makes the recommended option more attractive.

  • Personal Connection (Human Element): Recommendations from real people add a human element to the decision-making process. This personal touch fosters a connection between the recommender and the potential buyer.

Side Note: Referrals and testimonials don’t have to be all positive and rosy. It is easy to see through a lie or something that looks like it when you’re about to spend your hard-earned money. Honesty will always win the day.

While it’s crucial to ensure that most of the word that gets out about your countertop business is positive, potential customers can relate more to your business when they read some personal biases from customers who may not have been too pleased with your service.

What are the Benefits of Customer Referrals to Your Countertop Shop?

The benefits of infusing a customer referral culture into your marketing strategy are numerous. It cuts across how your customers see you to how much revenue you can make in the long run. 

A study by Annex Cloud revealed that referred customers have a 37% higher customer retention rate compared to customers from other channels. Below is a list of several other benefits you’ll enjoy through a successful referral program.

  • Trust and Credibility

  • Cost-Effective Marketing

  • Repeat Business and Loyalty

  • Expanded Customer Base

  • Feedback and Improvement

  • Human Connection in a Digital Age

  • Competitive Edge

  • Measurable Impact

When you consider the fact that more than 83% of consumers are willing to refer others after a good experience with a product or service, you’ll wonder why only 29% do. The reason, according to Dale Carnegie, is simply because only 11% of salespeople ask for them.

This offers some pretty convincing evidence that very few countertop fabricators and dealers are taking advantage of this age-old gold mine. By leveraging customer referrals now, you can be among the very few countertop sellers enjoying these mouthwatering benefits.

How Do You Build a Referral- Friendly Countertop Business?

If you’re already thinking about incorporating referrals into your countertop business, one question you’ll have is, “How do I get started?” It is simple. Maybe not easy, but it’s really a simple process.

1. Deliver Outstanding Products and Services

Nothing sells better than a good product. If you want to encourage customer referrals, you must consistently deliver high-quality products or services that meet or exceed customer expectations. When customers are satisfied with their experience, they are more likely to recommend your business to others.

Nicholas Idoko Technologies, sharing a case study of how referrals have been one of the main sources of repeat customers stated that one of the tactics they used to encourage referrals was delivering a unique approach to solving industry-related pain points in software development.

The small startup that started with a handful of employees quickly gained traction and began to win the hearts of clients who then began to refer the brand. Once the referrals started kicking in, the company recorded revenue growth, an increase in customer base, and a cost-effective method of winning new customers.

2. Prioritize Exceptional Customer Service

“Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others.” – Richard Branson

Providing exceptional customer service is key to building strong customer relationships and generating referrals. This involves going above and beyond to address customer concerns promptly, being responsive to their needs, and consistently exceeding their expectations.

3. Create Memorable Experiences

Strive to create positive and memorable experiences for your customers. This can be accomplished through personalized interactions, special promotions, or unexpected gestures of appreciation. When customers have a memorable experience, they are more likely to share it with others.

4. Build Strong Relationships

Forge personal connections with your customers by engaging with them on a deeper level. This can involve remembering their preferences, addressing them by name, and demonstrating genuine care and interest. Building strong relationships encourages customers to become advocates for your business.

5. Ask for Feedback and Reviews

It never hurts to ask for feedback. Actively seek feedback from your customers to demonstrate that their opinions are valued. Positive reviews and testimonials serve as powerful referral tools. Make it easy for customers to share their experiences on review platforms and social media, as these reviews can influence potential customers.

This strategy was implemented by one of Ohio’s leading countertop fabricators. The referral system uses a subtle approach where the company leaves a handwritten card on the homeowner’s new countertop after a remodeling job or countertop fabrication project. 

Within 48 hours, the countertop fabricator follows up with a call or text and a direct link to their Google Business Profile, urging the customer to leave a testimonial with their experience working with them. This strategy has proven successful and is helping the countertop fabricator spread the word fast.

6. Implement a Referral Program

Design a structured referral program that incentivizes both the referrer and the new customer. Consider offering discounts, exclusive offers, or loyalty points as rewards. Ensure that the program is easy to understand and participate in to encourage customer participation.

Several home improvement companies like Newpro, James Barton, American Home Design, and many others utilize the referral program strategy to boost their customer bases and revenue year after year.

7. Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms

Create shareable content on social media that encourages customers to tag friends or share your posts. Engage with your audience, respond to comments and messages, and use social platforms to amplify your referral message and reach a wider audience.

Referrals don’t have to be backed by money, happy customers are always happy to spread the word. Sometimes, they do so to help their family and friends enjoy what they’re enjoying from you. Social media makes it super-easy for them to share these stories.

8. Express Gratitude

Show appreciation to customers who refer others to your business. Consider sending personalized thank-you notes, offering exclusive perks, or acknowledging them publicly. Expressing gratitude reinforces positive behavior and encourages further referrals.

9. Monitor and Optimize Your Program

Regularly evaluate the performance of your referral program. Gather feedback from participants, track results, and make adjustments as needed to optimize its effectiveness. Continuously improving your program ensures that it remains relevant and impactful.

Maximizing business growth through customer referrals for countertop shops is not just a strategic endeavor; it’s a commitment to building lasting relationships and creating a positive ripple effect within your community. 

The journey involves providing exceptional products and services, cultivating a referral-friendly culture within the company, and seamlessly integrating referral programs into a comprehensive marketing strategy.

The true value of referrals extends beyond mere transactions; it’s about trust, authenticity, and shared satisfaction that transforms a one-time customer into a loyal supporter. 

In the end, the success of your countertop shop is intricately woven into its relationships—with customers, team members, and the wider community.

Visit to learn more about how Milia Marketing helps countertop shops around the U.S. get better performance out of their marketing efforts and a measurable return on investment for their marketing dollars.