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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Customer Advocacy: Why is it Essential?

Are you wondering what is customer advocacy? Well, before you get to know more about it in a detailed manner, ask yourself, what matters to you more, selling your products to unhappy customers? Or does your happiness lie in selling your products and developing a bond with them that they keep choosing your company?

This is an important question to understand, and it is you who knows the answer. However, customer satisfaction is one of the most important key factors to achieve sustainable development for the company.

So, basically, what we understand from the previous paragraph is that a method that looks forward to having a genuine connection with the customers. And this is done through products and other additional accessories has better chances of surviving in the market.

Now, you have the idea about what we are actually talking about. So, let’s get to the definition of customer advocacy!

A Person Attending to Customers

What is Customer Advocacy?

Customer Advocacy is the method of treating customers and their needs as the most important factor. You need to ensure this and deliver assistance through proper products, benefits, and services.

Businesses or companies with an outlook on customer advocacy are always looking for unique methods to support and assist their customers. And through this they wish to ensure customer satisfaction.

This provides an amazing opportunity for companies to improvise and adapt to their customer needs and provide efficient ways to benefit them. Of course, it is a way that you can definitely use to gain a different and compete in the market.

 What does The Framework Look like in Customer Advocacy?

Customer advocacy is a must for all business-minded companies, and everyone has to be okay with it. For that, you need to know certain factors that influence the inclusion of this customer service into the aspects of the business while binding it within a framework to make it a reality.

Let’s look at how this actually pans out –

Identifying Customer Needs

The most crucial aspect of its inclusion in the company depends on how well you understand your customer needs.Now, the importance of binding the customers to satisfy and arranging them into a hierarchical structure.So, the hierarchy basically seems like in this manner, from bottom to the top –

Physical Rewards

The basic needs are fulfilled in this type which is at the bottom of the table. Also, rewards like gift cards, swag are common in this method.

Recognitions

The customers or advocates appreciate any form of token that appreciates them for their acquisitions. Moreover, token of appreciation like Thank You certificates or birthday wishes or badges are the most commonly used in this method.

Empowerment

Opinionated advocates often want to have the power to recommend and publish their feedbacks about the product you sell them. And this gives an allowance of creating a positive impact upon the development of customer service as well as the company.

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VIP Treatment

Committed customers or advocates often appreciate special treatment for their contribution. And this can be ensured by giving them perks for their bestows. Besides, some VIP perks like exclusive events and premium membership offers are often used. And this happens to act as a unique manner to treat customers with some extra benefits in this method.

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Influence

Negligible advocates reach the top level of the hierarchy of the pyramid. And these advocates influence the business massively through guidance and leadership. Also,they even constitute an integral part of speaking opportunities that would benefit their cause as well as the company.

Captivate Collective

A good company with advocacy would look to focus more on key areas like :

  • exploration of needs,
  • motivation of the team to meet the customers’ standards,
  • activating the customer assistance, and
  • upgrading the customer experience in a positive manner.

Then, the implementation of customer advocacy in the framework can finally take place for you.

Customer Advocacy Job Responsibilities

 Here are some job responsibilities of customer advocacy:

You Should Use Your Skills

As an advocate, you need to have great communication and interpersonal skills to ace your job. And you must be the reliable source from where your customer clears out their doubts. Also, you have ensure they have a more than a satisfactory result. Most importantly, your behavior, understanding capability, and manners should impress the customer you’re assigned.

Address your customers and provide them solutions that have a positive effect on your business as well as benefit the customer. And thatwould be best if you had a good business mind to tackle such situations.

Represent and Attract Customers

The customer advocates must ensure that the company provides clients satisfactory solutions. And you need to use the data of the customers and strategize a unique initiative. For this, you can go through surveys of them, and discussions to identify the actual customer wants and preferences.

The most common need of a customer is to have quick and thorough experience in any business industry. They do want to wait long for one particular product as there are other competitors in the market, which might provide them a better option. So, as an advocate, you need to encourage the company or firm to be better. And for that, you can improve technical services, which ensures that the customer sticks with your company.

Protect Your Customers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an agency that works to protect consumer rights and help them to tackle fraudulent practices.

For example, imagine a product you have seen on an online platform, but it happens that you received the wrong product from the company, a completely different product. This is where you step in this situation. You will ensure that this fraudulent practice has been amplified. Further, you must ensure the practice reaches the consumer protection law enforcement agencies for investigation and action on this activity.

You will have to make sure your customer does not face a bad experience, which can create negative remarks about the online outlet. 

Educational Requirement to Become an Advocate

You need to have a variety of credentials to step into this field. Advocates interested in financial service must have a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, or accounting. You might want to be at service in hospitals that will require a degree in health administration or nursing. Regulatory agencies prefer people with a degree in law and administration.

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The Professional Patient Advocate holds conferences and workshops to gain experience in healthcare administration. If you’re looking to enter the business industry, graduate degrees in business administration are a good option to opt for having a career in this field. 

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Customer Advocacy Software

Companies generally use customer advocacy software or referral marketing software to amplify their products, content. Tools like these help the companies to attain marketing, sales teams to gather recommendations that can be used in the prospectus.The software also helps the companies to try several test runs for the launches of their products.You have understood the concept of the software, and you will now get a more distinct picture of it in the examples mentioned below –

Birdeye

This software helps businesses attract new leads with recommendations, listings, and data and transform them into customers with interviews and appointments, providing customer satisfaction through surveys.

Birdeye uses an AI which has automated tools for messaging which helps companies to produce efficient and wonderful experiences for thousands of people around the globe.

Influitive

Influitive helps you to build the community for advocates and invite partners, employees, customers, etc.You can make personalized challenges in this app, and while they complete it, they earn points and redeem privileges and perks out of it. 

It helps to visualize and report activities in a simple manner while providing the marketing automated policy to take all the customers through their journey.

Yotpo

Yotpo is one of the leading e-commerce marketing platforms. It definitely has big names like Bob’s Discount Furniture, Rebecca Minkoff, Steve Madden to generate consumer growth. 

This single platform provides you with integrated solutions for reviews, marketing, messages, etc. The brands which use Yotpo create an excellent, smart consumer experience that is sustainable and creates a valuable bond with them. 

Talkable

This allows you to empower brands to get a high amount of customers and retain them for future ventures through loyalty marketing events 

It enables you to create a user-friendly experience for customers to increase brand engagement through solutions of loyalty and referrals. 

Brandbassador

The brandbassador helps to promote your company through the ambassadors and earn customers, fans, and followers to create satisfactory user content and generate revenues. 

It can add up an unlimited amount of ambassadors and add manual tasks like making payments and enhancing product portfolios.

 Examples of Customer Advocacy

Starbucks

The company – Starbucks started running a campaign known as #tweetacoffee, which ensured friends to buy a $5 gift card for their friend. This leads to a profit of more or less than $180,000 sales of their product even though they are already a profitable franchise.

This idea was a major success lead by the customer advocates through surveying and identifying the needs of the consumers.They gained around 27,000 advocates and 27,000 new customers solely from this single marketing venture.

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Chubbies Shorts 

Chubbies Shorts became a cult due to its extreme and relentless efforts in advocacy. Innovative and unique products, content, and ideas, including their customers and advocates, played a significant role in their rise. 

They simply asked to mail their chubbies shorts pictures or post them on social media by tagging them in it. And it created a massive interaction, and it gained popularity which made this idea a huge success.

KBC

It is a multi-channel bank situated in Belgium. They turned a weird and boring idea that contained press content to announce their procedure to allow customers to have interactive sessions with the bank over social outlets. Now, they identified advocates and made them share them. This fruitful invitation gave them around a 71% open rate.

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Uber

Uber started implying the idea of Refer a friend through the advocates. Now, companies like Uber, which are software-based, incurred tremendous growth by this. 

Like, imagine referring events for both the drivers and the riders. This created an opportunity to grow both lines or segments together.

Tesla

Tesla has been massively going up the ladder recently. Companies like these provide institute packages for larger products in the market.The benefits of referring a friend to buy a Tesla provide a discount of $1000 from both the new orders.

If you do manage to refer ten or more friends to acquire Tesla, you get the opportunity to buy a car that is not available in the market. A limited-edition car with no additional value.

Lancôme

Lancôme introduced a system to reward customers with small gifts upon buying any product from them online and then sharing that certain product on social media. They offered goodies which included pieces of jewelry, accessories, limited edition items, pouches, etc.

This allowed a massive amount of increase in their connection with the algorithm of the social platforms as well as new customers. It increased around 60% sign-ups per month and the average sign-ups per month increased to more than 40%.They rewarded exclusively to customers who shared them on social media using loyalty points.

Final Thoughts

Customer advocacy ensures the success and lifetime value of the customers. It is done through different teams like the success team, strategy team, and building advocates team.Software is an integral part of this customer-driven program, and you need to be specific to your needs and provide closure to your customer through loyalty points, rewards, perks.It allows you to build a special connection and bond with your customers or consumers, which makes them your brand advocates.

Internet is surrounding our lives, and if you are good at understanding this concept and use the correct ideals to meet the expectations of the consumers, it might just be the job you’re looking for at this moment. This provides an exciting range of freedom and uniqueness to allow your reincarnation process a big boost at the end of the day.

Your success will coincide with the process you’re leading and the number of brand advocates that you have brought to the company.It is an ultimate manner to gain trust from your customers and provide them with benefits which in return help you to develop your skills massively.

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