Customer Advocacy: Today, demand and supply are not the only requirements of any business. Time is changing. Therefore it needs more attention. Every company has an aspiration to make their customer talk about them, and consequently, they use several methods to engage them.
Have you ever encountered a survey on youtube regarding the brand name that you may have been used in the past month?
These surveys are part of their brand recalling strategy in which they measure how well their brand is doing in the market.
Why is it important to do such a survey? Why do brands want more than just selling and buying?
Because we are living in the 21st century where there is a lot of competition, and no brand can survive without making any extra effort.
Every brand wants its customers to spread good words about its brand, but it is not enough to expect your customers to do something for you.
Let’s learn more about it.
What is Customer Advocacy?
Gone are those days when a company can make their brand according to their wish, but now due to the advent of customer advocacy, which means that business or company should be making its product or service in a customer-centric way.
In a layman language, it means to shift its culture from the company central to customer-centric.
Customer advocacy is the necessity of time. The company wants its customers to become its backbone and support them to grow, for making customers any brand asset it is mandatory to fulfill customer’s needs. The company should focus on the customer’s preferences and choices.
When we say customer advocacy, it means customers have to become advocates for the company and help them to grow.
Who are Brand Advocates?
Brand advocates are those loyal customers who have associated with it for a long time. They are highly satisfied with the company’s product and services, and they promote the brand without any personal motive, they try to defend the brand among other brands and influence purchase related decisions.
According to SNARC, it only takes 10% of the population to have unbreakable or unshakeable trust to influence the rest of the people to have the same opinion.
There are many ways to cherish your brand advocates.
1. Make your relations healthy.
It is the most obvious as well as the most crucial part of any business.
What makes your relations stronger or better? Every customer wants a good quality product, reliable customer support, and consistency in their experience. Making them feel valued is another way to keep your bond tight. Try to greet them whenever they visit and remember their name; these small efforts lead to long-lasting business relations.
2. Provide a quick solution.
As a customer, we all want a quick solution whenever we face any issue with any product or service. According to a survey, when people purchase online, 71% of the customer’s expect help within 5-6 minutes. Providing support when the customer needs the most makes any customer feel satisfied.
3. Sharing Testimonials.
Testimonials are proof of your exceptional service; people love to share their experience with those brands, which makes them fully satisfied. Share positive feedback with them and share the present advocate’s journeys with them. Tag your advocates and make them feel important.
4. Incentivize them.
Incentivizing them makes them feel special, gives them some special offers. Giveaway free books, magazines, and create a loyalty program for them.
When you realize them that they are essential for you, then they take further steps to come along with you.
5. Encourage them.
encouragement works like a push to your loyal customers. Businesses can launch a referral program for them and empower them through it. Your loyal customers will do positive word of mouth for you, and they are more likely to add new potential customers, who will have the potential to become a part of your advocate team in the future.
6. Work upon the feedback.
If you want your advocates to work with you shoulder to shoulder then first hear them and try to work on those areas which they feel need improvement. Ask your customer to share honest feedback with you and after working on them, even share your work progress report because it will influence them and convince them that you care about your customers.
7. Show gratitude to every customer.
The obligation is the most critical way to connect with your customer’s emotions. Always thank your feedback givers; whether their feedback is negative or positive. Make every customer happy and make them feel valued. If you consider negative feedback, then they also started to feel valued and connected with your brand.
Why is it essential to launch a customer advocacy program?
a) Advocates can help to increase your revenue two times.
According to a survey, the business can double their revenue with 12% in the advocacy. See how effective it is to launch this program as your sales will directly shoot up as well as your brand value become stronger.
Adding advocates in your list is not difficult if you have an authentic product with an excellent support system.
b) Trust factor
People trust advocates because they are associated with the brand for a long time, and they consistently have a pleasant experience with the product. According to Neilson, 92% of the customer trust recommendations from their familiar ones.
When they get to know a positive review of a product, then they are more likely to give a chance to that brand.
c) They work as an extended sales team
When you have a handful of advocates, you don’t need any separate team for sales. Advocates work as assets of any company and are ready to promote your brand their own. They are more influential than non-advocates and influence purchase-related decisions. They tend to create a reputation in the market.
d) New customers v/s advocates.
Have you ever wondered why we call them advocates and not the customer? Because they are using your services for a long time and they still have a good opinion about you. On the other hand, customers are new, and they are still struggling with their preferences. Advocates bring more revenue as they make repeat purchases, and you do not need to make any extra efforts to tie them with you.
e) Positive word of mouth.
In the business world, we all are aware of the importance of word of mouth. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools of marketing, and no marketing strategy can be complete without word of mouth.
Here are some benefits of word of mouth
- People believe in recommendations or reviews from their friends and family. Thus, increased revenue and goodwill.
- Word of mouth is interactive and keeps customers engaged. Therefore, increased customer retention.
- Since word of mouth is omnipresent, it becomes viral at a much faster rate.
- The customers who joined through word of mouth ought to have stayed for a long time.
- Word of mouth leads to an increase in the reach of the brands, which eventually support in getting more ROI and social presence.
1. Customer advocacy offers considerable ROI.
We all know the”First impression is the last impression.” this same principle applies to customer advocacy if you can instill this, then they are likely to walk with you on the same path. Therefore, instead of focussing on lurking new customers by yourself, devolve this to your advocates, and you will get a better return on investment.
2. Bring referrals into your customer advocacy program.
Referrals are those customers who get connected with you by trusting your loyal customer’s word, and it becomes easier for brands to make them part of your program. According to Deloitte, people who joined you through reference have a 37% higher retention rate.
Those customers will be more likely to connect more with you as they have a favorable view of your brand, and it becomes easier for you to lure them.
3. Advocates become an influencer.
Suppose you are using a brand from the past five years and then you recommend the same product to your friends. In case your friends have any doubt, you will assure them regarding quality as well as influence their choice towards that product.
See how customer advocacy can make a positive influence on others and can become an influencer as and when required.
Now, move forward with some tactics to increase customer advocacy.
- Keep a record of all your customer’s progress, from the customers’ initial day behavior to the present day purchasing preference, try to analyze the routine. If you can track it, then it will be helpful to create your products or services more customer-centric.
- Interaction is the key to any program, making your staff more interactive with the customer. Your team should be polite and respectful. Try to learn more about their preference and accept their feedback.
- Policies should be customer-centric rather than company-centric, as customers should not feel dejected for choosing you. Make return/ repair policies easy and try to put yourself in customer’s shoes.
In this article, we have seen the meaning of customer advocacy and learn its importance. We understand the brand is not just a word, it’s a package of responsibilities, and one should be careful with it. It takes a lot of effort to shape a product into a brand. Therefore, word of mouth or customer advocacy will only work in your favor when you have taken care of your team, your customers and product quality.
So, don’t forget to use these assets to make yourself grow. Every step towards customers’ satisfaction will lead you to a successful path. I hope this article will help you to learn customer advocacy.
Keep learning and sharing.