When does a person transition from a loyal customer to an advocate? Customer advocacy is a sophisticated strategy that varies by industry. It’s also becoming increasingly important, as customers will go out of their way to purchase from businesses that provide a better experience.
What is customer advocacy?
Customer advocacy is a customer development strategy that prioritizes the customer experience. This strategy identifies what customers want and need. Then, it assists a company in putting those needs first when making critical brand decisions.
Implementing a customer advocacy strategy can be of great value to companies since it allows them to constantly identify areas for improvement, which entitles them to achieve their goals more effectively.
Below, we share the main reasons to implement this type of strategy as part of your internal processes and everything you need to know to do it right.
What are customer advocates?
Customer advocates are individuals who play a pivotal role in a company’s customer loyalty programs due to their status as the most loyal customers. Customer advocates embody the customer advocacy vision by passionately supporting and promoting a brand’s products or services.
Customer advocacy is important because the advocates express their satisfaction and actively advocate for the brand, sharing positive experiences and recommendations with others, thereby influencing potential customers and contributing to the growth and success of the business.
Why should customer advocacy matter?
According to a recent study, only 12% of people believe a company when it says, “We put the customer first. However, 42% of companies never conduct customer surveys or gather feedback.
What exactly does this imply?
Companies claim to focus on their customers, but many fail to do so. Customers are well aware. Customers are more knowledgeable and equipped than ever before.
They share their online experiences and conduct research before making a purchase. With so many brands competing for attention, the customer gains power. Competition is why customer advocacy is so crucial. Put your customers’ needs first. It increases their likelihood of remaining loyal and spreading the word about your brand.
Benefits of customer advocacy for business
Creating a customer-centric culture is crucial because customer advocacy is important; it can significantly benefit your organization and your customers. Here we share a few:
Increases customer satisfaction and success
Customers who have a positive experience with you and your associates are more likely to become loyal customers and refer to your brand.
When people feel appreciated as customers, whether through exceptional customer service processes, high-quality products/services, or a customer loyalty program that educates and engages your target audience, your competition takes a back seat!
Any company, especially advocacy initiatives, should strive for a memorable brand experience. Your service must not only provide value. It should also be a pleasurable experience for customers to generate repeat business and promote referrals.
Customer loyalty is another strategy to enhance marketing return on investment. Customer advocacy programs help businesses build relationships with existing consumers. Help them gain their trust through social proof and increasing customer awareness.
Cuts down on churn
Customers who have participated in a customer advocacy program are there to help new and prospective clients. Advocates are customers who understand the buying process better than anyone else.
Understand your customer interactions with your company. It will help your company develop better customer success plans in the future. Again, happy customers mean higher retention and lower churn.
Enhanced brand recognition
Brand advocates are essential for new businesses. Not to be redundant, but your most devoted supporters are your customers. They are eager to share their positive brand experience with others.
Because they do not have a large marketing budget, it can be a great entry-level path to increased brand awareness, open to anyone willing to engage in a conversation with customers.
How to measure customer advocacy?
Measuring customer advocacy is crucial for assessing the impact of your customer advocacy efforts and ensuring a successful customer advocacy program. Here are five key points to consider when measuring customer advocacy:
01. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Implement NPS surveys to gauge customer loyalty and advocacy. Ask customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others on a scale of 0 to 10. Promoters (scores 9-10) are your advocates, and their positive word-of-mouth can attract new customers. Regularly tracking NPS provides insights into the effectiveness of your customer advocacy strategies.
02. Referral tracking
Monitor and quantify the number of referrals generated by your advocates. Successful customer advocacy programs often lead to a steady influx of new customers through word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers. By tracking referrals, you can measure the direct impact of advocacy efforts on new customer acquisition.
03. Customer engagement metrics
Assess customer engagement with your brand and offerings. Analyze metrics like click-through rates, open rates, social media shares, and comments related to customer advocacy content. High engagement indicates that your advocacy efforts are resonating with your audience and strengthening customer loyalty.
04. Customer journey analysis
Map out the customer journey to identify touchpoints where advocacy plays a pivotal role. Evaluate how advocates influence the decisions of potential customers at different stages of the journey. By understanding these interactions, you can measure the significance of customer advocacy in the conversion process.
05. Retention rates
Examine the impact of customer advocacy on retaining existing customers. Satisfied and engaged customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand. Compare the retention rates of customers who have engaged with advocacy initiatives to those who haven’t. A higher retention rate among advocates indicates the importance of advocacy in customer loyalty.
Measuring customer advocacy is essential because it highlights the influence of your advocacy efforts on customer loyalty, engagement, and acquisition of new customers. By tracking NPS, referrals, engagement metrics, customer journeys, and retention rates, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of how customer advocacy contributes to the success of your business.
Learn About: Perfect Customer-First Strategy
How to improve customer advocacy
Customer advocacy is more than good service. It’s all about the customer’s culture and history. However, consumer advocacy marketing is straightforward in theory. But it can be challenging to put into practice. This method has many dangers that organizations fall into.
01. Focus on customer satisfaction
Do you want to stay competitive in a changing market? Customer advocacy programs are critical for business growth and success in today’s market. Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Thus, it’s crucial to pay attention to their preferences and decisions.
With the increased visibility of client experiences on social media in real time, it’s crucial to develop outstanding relationships with your consumers. You may achieve this by offering them complete support from the moment they first contact you until they make a repeat purchase.
02. Collect customer feedback
You’ll need a thorough understanding of your customers to get started.
Using surveys to gather data and comments to develop a precise technique decreases the risk of getting the wrong image of how your customers feel. When it comes to building an effective customer advocacy program, having accurate data eliminates the guesswork.
Customer surveys are a simple and effective way. It ensures that the data you collect is consistent and thorough. It also allows customers to submit positive and negative feedback.
03. Engage your customers actively
Don’t allow customer communication to become one-way. When someone asks a question, respond if someone mentions your product, like and thank them.
You are not required to dominate the conversation. Simply be present, get to know your audience, and learn the customer’s voice.
04. Analyze your data
Understanding that you need data from your clients is the key to success in the client advocacy game. It’s not enough to provide them with excellent service. With more available information on your clients, your organization will have an easier time succeeding.
The goal of a client advocate approach is to focus on the customer’s needs. It evaluates every customer touchpoint, from the first point of contact to after-sales services, to help a company achieve its goals and develop.
Companies must build client advocacy initiatives with data collection in mind. It enables businesses to increase the quality of their services and products without incurring extra money or effort. As a result, a company gets access to a large amount of customer feedback, which can only lead to improved services and customer success.
Customer success teams must track and evaluate the data created by your customer advocacy program. A collection of valuable metrics is provided below.
- Conversion rate
- The attrition rate of customers
- Demographic information
- Customer engagement
- Net Promoter Score
05. Referral programs for customers
Please show your appreciation to customers who already tell their friends and family about you. Referral programs formalize and scale word of mouth. They make it simple for customers to refer others by providing them with unique referral codes, pre-filled templates, and an appealing incentive for bringing in new business.
How can QuestionPro help you boost your customer advocacy?
There are a large number of tools on the market; however, QuestionPro CX has been built by experts to meet the most specific needs that allow entrepreneurs and organizations to implement customer-centric strategies effectively.
QuestionPro CX will allow you to evaluate each touchpoint between your customers and your brand. You will be able to know the level of client satisfaction and receive real-time feedback. These measures prevent a negative impact from potential detractors or encourage the word-of-mouth promotion of your most loyal and satisfied customers.
By using QuestionPro CX, you have access to various features. It is ideal for any of your needs. You also have access to a whole group of platforms and, most importantly, the support of a group of experts willing to support you to guarantee the success of your projects.
If you are interested in learning more about our product or have questions that you would like answered, you can try our platform for free and register so that an agent can contact you as soon as possible.
Buyers want to hear real-life stories. And if they listen to them from a reliable source, such as a partner or friend, they are more likely to trust the advice. When you get your brand’s champions talking about it, you expand your reach.
Customer advocacy program creates loyalty and stickiness. Yet, it all starts with your company’s investment in a customer-focused business model. A positive customer experience will ripple through the rest of your customer retention strategy.