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Customer-advocacy-Definition-benefits-strategies
  • Customer advocacy refers to the strategy a business uses to prioritize the needs and interests of its customers
  • You can measure customer advocacy by analyzing Customer Effort Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score® (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
  • Customer advocacy programs can increase brand loyalty, enhance word-of-mouth marketing, and drive business growth.
  • There are many tactics to improve customer advocacy, including delivering an exceptional customer experience, identifying and engaging advocates, and collecting and acting on feedback.

Customer advocacy transforms happy customers into enthusiastic promoters of your brand. These advocates can significantly enhance your company's reputation, drive growth, and provide valuable insights for continuous improvement.

A customer advocacy program formalizes this approach, focusing on gathering and acting on customer feedback. By understanding and addressing customer needs, businesses can build stronger relationships and foster loyalty. This program boosts brand credibility and creates a community of dedicated customers who actively support and promote your brand.

Customer advocacy is a business strategy focused on prioritizing customer interests. It aims to create loyal customers who actively promote a brand to others, turning satisfied customers into enthusiastic advocates.

Customer advocacy builds trust and credibility for a business. When customers genuinely support a brand, their recommendations carry more weight. This organic promotion can significantly enhance a company's reputation and drive growth.

  • Trust and credibility: When customers advocate for a brand, their genuine recommendations build trust. Potential customers are more likely to believe peers over advertisements, making advocacy a powerful marketing tool.
  • Competitive advantage: Advocacy sets a brand apart. Enthusiastic customers can attract new business. This gives your brand a distinct edge over competitors who rely solely on traditional marketing.
  • Feedback: Advocates provide valuable insights. Their feedback helps refine products and services, meeting real customer needs. This continuous improvement feedback loop keeps your business aligned with market demands.

There is no one singular measurement for customer advocacy. Instead, you must monitor several areas of the business to evaluate and improve advocacy.

Customer feedback surveys and various business metrics provide valuable insights into customer loyalty and satisfaction. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help track and evaluate this advocacy effectively. Here are four KPIs you can track to understand customer advocacy.

CSAT equals number of satisfied responses divided by total number of responses multiplied by 100

CSAT measures customer satisfaction with a specific interaction or overall experience. High CSAT indicates a satisfied customer base, which can lead to stronger advocacy. It also helps identify areas for improvement and track changes over time.

After a customer interaction, send a CSAT survey asking them to rate their satisfaction on a scale, typically 1 to 5. Calculate the average score to get your CSAT. 

NPS equals percent of promoters minus percent of detractors

The NPS measures the likelihood of customers recommending your brand to others. NPS directly links to customer loyalty and advocacy. A higher NPS means more customers will promote your brand, driving business growth.

An NPS survey asks customers, "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?" To calculate the NPS, subtract the percentage of detractors (0-6) from promoters (9-10) to get your NPS.

Compare your NPS to your industry’s NPS benchmarks for customer loyalty to determine how you compare to competition and make an action plan for improvement, if needed.

CES equals sum of responses divided by total number of responses

The CES measures the ease of a customer's experience with your company. A lower effort score means customers find it easy to interact with your brand, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty. Reducing customer effort can increase advocacy and decrease churn.

After an interaction, use a CES survey to ask customers, "How easy was it to solve your issue?" Use a scale from "Very difficult" to "Very easy."

Customer lifetime value predicts the total revenue a customer will generate while with your company. High CLV indicates loyal customers who continually support your business. It helps prioritize efforts to retain and nurture valuable customer relationships.

Benchmarking is essential to understand your current state and how you compare against competition. SurveyMonkey Benchmarks help you accurately assess performance, identify best practices, and make informed decisions to enhance customer loyalty and advocacy.

There are several strategies you can use to increase customer advocacy that work together, improving customer satisfaction and driving business results.

Exceptional experiences create loyal customers more likely to advocate for your brand. To achieve this, train your team to prioritize customer satisfaction and ensure seamless interactions across all touchpoints. Likewise, address issues promptly and effectively, turning potential detractors into advocates.

Identifying brand advocates allows you to nurture and leverage their enthusiasm. Use surveys to pinpoint your most satisfied customers and engage with them through personalized communication and exclusive offers. Recognize their loyalty to reinforce positive behaviors.

Building a relationship with your advocates ensures they continue to promote your brand. Personal touches and exclusive deals make them feel appreciated, increasing their likelihood of recommending your business to others.

A strong community fosters a sense of belonging and mutual support. Create forums or groups where customers can connect, share experiences, and support each other to build a loyal community around your brand. Fostering community engagement can transform customers into passionate advocates.

Gymshark, Bali Body, and Spanx are excellent examples of brands that succeeded by building communities of advocates. These companies entered highly competitive industries and leveraged a community of willing, vocal advocates to earn market share from well-established global brands.

Rewards encourage repeat purchases and referrals. Offer incentives for customers who refer new clients or make repeat purchases. Exclusive offers and rewards for loyal customers enhance their connection to your brand.

Implementing affiliate programs or loyalty schemes can significantly boost customer advocacy. These programs motivate customers to spread the word about your business, leveraging their networks to expand your reach.

Regular feedback helps you understand and improve customer experiences. Use customer feedback surveys and reviews to gain insights into customer successes and pain points. Show customers that their input leads to tangible improvements.

By acting on feedback, you demonstrate that you value customer opinions. This responsiveness fosters trust and loyalty as customers see their concerns addressed and suggestions implemented.

Motivated employees deliver better customer service, enhancing overall customer satisfaction. Encourage employees to go above and beyond for customers by recognizing and rewarding exceptional service.

Empowered employees act as brand ambassadors, creating positive experiences that lead to increased customer advocacy. Their enthusiasm and dedication can significantly impact customer loyalty and brand reputation.

Man looking at a smartphone

Implementing a customer advocacy program involves a strategic process focused on gathering and acting on customer feedback. Surveys are essential for understanding customer needs and identifying potential advocates. 

A successful customer advocacy program builds stronger customer relationships, boosts brand credibility, and drives organic growth. Here are the steps to create and implement an effective customer advocacy program:

Start by setting clear objectives for your advocacy program. Determine what you want to achieve, such as increasing referrals, improving customer satisfaction, or boosting brand loyalty. Clear goals guide your strategy and help measure success.

Identify specific, measurable targets. For example, aim to increase referrals by 20% within twelve months. Defined objectives provide direction and allow you to track progress effectively.

Look for advocates among your most satisfied customers. Analyze customer data to pinpoint those who regularly engage with your brand and provide positive feedback. These are your potential advocates.