What is Customer Advocacy?

The last time you purchased something, or were planning a date night and choosing which restaurant to go to, or were even choosing where to drop off your dry cleaning what was one of the first things you did? Check reviews on google? Ask a friend for recommendations? Ask Facebook for recommendations?

If you did, you’re like the rest of us in today’s day and age. We all want to have opinions and recommendations from actual users and customers of the product we are going to buy, or which restaurant we are going to entrust with providing the perfect first-date atmosphere.

Those friends, or users, that let you know about a product they love to use, those positive reviews on the internet those are all advocates for companies and products they believe in. And these are opinions that we weigh when deciding to put money on the table.

Customer Advocacy is the new strategy for businesses in today’s subscription economy. And with our new recommendation based purchasing methodology it is important to make sure that your customers feel like and are willing to be your advocates.

If you look it up, Customer advocacy is defined as: a specialized form of customer service in which companies focus on what is deemed to be best for the customer.

If done well, it increases your chances of getting you, what you want & exactly when you want it. More sales, and loyal customers.

Why it is important for Customer Success teams to focus on this?

The customer success team have worked hard to create the long-term relationship - so they are in the best position to identify and reach out to customers they feel have adopted the product well and are seeing the most value out of it. The CS team is also responsible for monitoring the customer experience for everything post-sales, so they are nurturing the customers to help them get to the point of being a customer advocate.

Your customer success team can and should be the drivers of this program. In some circumstances, depending on your resources and how your customer success division is currently structured, you can have a section of your CS team be dedicated to driving the customer advocacy program.

Tips for helping identify Customer Advocates
  1. High adoption & usage - if the customer is using your product they are probably finding a lot of value in it. This can be one of the first signs that a customer could be or become an advocate
  2. High Net Promoter Score - this is a nice and clear measurement of how a customer feels about your product
  3. Social sharing - are the interacting with your marketing content? Are they sharing it?
  4. During your review meetings - in your meetings with customers, whether that is during your Executive Business Reviews or your Quarterly Business Reviews, ask them their thoughts to get a feel for how they are feeling about your product and if they would be willing to speak on your behalf. Sometimes, they might even bring it up and offer it on their own!

What is really cool, is that if sales can track referrals from your customer advocacy program, you can add this to your CS team’s success metrics and show how valuable your teams efforts have been. Recurring sales and helping with new sales...the customer success team is crushing it!

About the Author

Utkarsh has over 4 years of experience working as a Global CSM for startups like Unbxd & Uninstall.io and currently Freshworks. As a CSM, Utkarsh looks after the North American business. Utkarsh lives & breathes Customer Success, making customers successful and happy is his biggest kick.

Find him on LinkedIn & Twitter

More from Utkarsh:

“Human to Human”: A Customer Experience (CX) prerogative!

Customer Success - The 'Art' of Delight!

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