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Learn About Referrals

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Attention, Trailblazer!

Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. This module is designed for Lightning Experience.

You can learn about switching between interfaces, enabling Lightning Experience, and more in the Lightning Experience Basics module here on Trailhead.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain why referrals are important.
  • Track a referral through its lifecycle.
  • Compare a lead and a referral.

It Starts with a Customer Need

If you earned the Financial Services Cloud Basics badge, you may remember Matt the admin. Matt has been working to set up Financial Services Cloud for the wealth management and retail banking branches at Cumulus Bank.

It’s a big job, because Cumulus Bank is shifting its business practices to put customer needs at the center of everything they do. They have a lot of work ahead to transform themselves into a customer-centric institution across all their lines of business. But they’re ready to get moving.

Intelligent need-based referrals and scoring are a great way to start. Referrals help you discover and capture customer needs so you can work to meet them. A customer expresses a need—for a mortgage, retirement planning, or a new credit card. A referral captures this need so the financial institution doesn’t lose it. Financial Services Cloud tracks it until the financial institution meets the customer’s need.

  • Who creates a referral? Salesforce makes it easy for anyone to create a referral. Coworkers in your department, colleagues in a different line of the business, partners, and even customers can create referrals. Wherever the customer has contact with your business, someone can create a referral to help them.
  • What goes in it? Your business decides what information is required in a referral. Naturally, it includes whatever need the customer expressed. It also may include details such as customer name, employer, and phone number.
  • Why are referrals important? Referrals keep customers happy and your business growing. Because they’re so important, Salesforce helps you track referrals carefully from creation to close.

Referrals Build Loyalty

Referrals help you meet more customer needs. And meeting customer needs enhances customer loyalty. How valuable is that loyalty? A Salesforce report found that when a financial institution meets a customer’s need with one new product, that customer stays for 166% longer. Finding a new customer costs several times more than keeping an existing one. More needs met plus increased customer loyalty equals a happy company.

But referral management at Cumulus Bank isn’t working well right now. Currently, they’re at the industry average, which means that they don’t follow up on 63% of their leads. Matt sees a lot of opportunity in that 63%. His first step is to use Financial Services Cloud so Cumulus can track its referrals and make sure that someone is following up on them.

The advisors and retail bankers have limited time, so Matt wants to help them prioritize the referrals, too. He uses Einstein Lead Scoring. Einstein Lead Scoring identifies how likely a referral is to convert. Once a referral is scored, Matt’s advisors and retail bankers can decide which customers to engage with first.

Let’s look at an example of a cross-line-of-business referral to see what Matt plans to set up.

Ryan is a financial advisor at Cumulus. While he’s talking to his client, Kiara, he discovers that Kiara is looking to buy a house and needs a mortgage.

Kiara standing next to her dream house

Ryan analyzes the situation.
  • Customer need: Mortgage.
  • Problem: Ryan can’t help directly, because wealth management doesn’t provide mortgages.
  • Solution: Create a referral. Ryan knows that Bob, a top mortgage broker in the retail banking branch, always takes good care of his clients. So Ryan creates a referral and sends it on to Bob.
Ryan feels pretty good, because he’s helped several people—and his employer.
  • He’s helped Cumulus, because Kiara is more likely to get her mortgage there and stay on as a long-term customer. Increased customer loyalty? Check.
  • Ryan has helped Bob, who has a solid mortgage referral to follow up on. Customer need captured and ready to be addressed? Check.
  • Most important, Ryan has helped his client, Kiara, by passing her to someone who can meet her needs. Happy customer? The best outcome of all.

Lifecycle of a Referral

Financial Services Cloud tracks each referral from creation to close or conversion. Along the way, it helps you to be more productive by automatically routing and prioritizing the highest-quality referrals from your best referrers (a referrer is someone who creates a referral).

What steps does a referral go through on its journey from customer need expressed to customer need met?

GIF showing the high-level referral process: Create, Assign, Accept, Prioritize, Convert, and Track and analyze.

Let’s view each step of the process in more detail.

Step in the referral flow How to complete the step Example
Create referral To meet a customer need, someone creates a referral. Ryan in wealth management creates a referral for a client interested in getting a mortgage.
Assign referral Salesforce automatically notifies the referral recipient via email, thanks to routing rules the admin set up based on expressed interest, city, state, or other factors. The mortgage referral goes to Bob in the mortgage department in retail banking.
Accept referral The recipient of the referral accepts, rejects, or reassigns it. Bob accepts the referral.
Prioritize referral The recipient prioritizes the referral based on its Einstein lead score, the referrer score (more on this in a minute), and current workload. Bob looks at Ryan’s referral score. Because Ryan’s referrals often convert, his referral has a high score. Bob realizes Kiara is his hottest referral right now.
Convert referral If the customer is interested and qualified, the recipient converts the referral into an opportunity. If necessary, Financial Services Cloud creates an account and contact record for the customer and assigns the customer to a household. If the customer doesn’t want to move forward, the recipient closes the referral. Bob works with Kiara. He makes sure she’s interested and qualified to purchase a mortgage. She is, so Bob converts the referral to an opportunity. Because the referral converted, Ryan’s referrer score goes up.
Track and analyze referral Using reports and dashboards, users can track existing and past referrals. Jackie is a manager for Cumulus Bank. She tracks existing and closed referrals, the progress on referrals, and the referral scores of the referrers. She’s happy to see that Bob has a new opportunity and makes a note to thank Ryan for creating so many good referrals.

Explore the Lead and Referral Object

Matt knows how important referrals are to Cumulus Bank customers and the lifecycle that referrals follow. He sees that referrals are modeled on the new Lead object, which has been extended and renamed. All the goodness that comes with leads works for referrals, too. Goodness like Einstein Lead Scoring, lead routing, and assignment.

Here’s how Matt checks out the details. You can, too, by following along in your Financial Services Cloud trial org. If you don’t have the free 30-day trial org installed, see the Financial Services Cloud Customization module for details on signing up.

  1. Click Setup and select Setup.
  2. Click Object Manager.
  3. In the list of objects, click Lead and Referral.

    If you don’t have a Lead and Referral option, see the Financial Services Cloud Administrator Guide and follow the steps to add it.

Matt’s familiar with the standard Lead object, and he knows it’s a good place to start. So, he goes to the Object Reference documentation. He refreshes his knowledge of the Lead object’s supported calls, fields, and details on how to use it.

Once he’s reacquainted with the Lead object, he decides to see the new fields in Financial Services Cloud. He checks out the Financial Services Developer Guide for information about the extended Lead object.

In addition to the standard lead fields, he sees custom fields for managing and tracking referrals. Fields that do the following.

  • Capture a client’s expressed interest and its value. For example, a referral captures a customer’s interest in acquiring a new mortgage worth $500,000.
  • Track the needs and referrals of existing clients. For example, Ryan sees that Rachel Adams, an existing client, has an open interest in a mortgage. Ryan understands Rachel’s needs and sees how other lines of business are working to meet them.
  • Score your referrers based on the quality of their referrals. Scores help recipients prioritize their referrals. For example, Ryan often refers customers looking for mortgages and his referrals often convert, earning him a high referrer score.
  • Report on your top referrers. Use reporting to recognize and encourage referrers. For example, create an incentive system to reward and nurture relationships with the referrers who create the highest-quality referrals.

Now Matt knows what referrals are and how they’re tracked through Financial Services Cloud. He’s ready to learn how to set up and customize the process in his own org.

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