What is customer advocacy: All you need to know

Learn how to cultivate loyal brand advocates and overcome challenges in customer advocacy. Discover the importance and benefits of customer advocacy for your business.

Nancy J. Hassler
06 Jun 2024

In a marketplace saturated with choices, how can businesses stand out and earn the trust and loyalty of their customers? This is where the concept of customer advocacy becomes paramount. Customer advocacy refers to leveraging satisfied customers to promote a brand, product, or service through word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals.

However, achieving effective customer advocacy is not without its challenges. Businesses often struggle to identify and engage their most enthusiastic customers, and maintaining their advocacy requires ongoing effort and attention.

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of customer advocacy, explore strategies for cultivating it, and examine real-life customer advocacy examples.


What is customer advocacy?

According to SEMrush, 88% of people place the highest level of trust in a brand when recommended by a friend or family member.

Customer advocacy is a strategic approach where satisfied customers actively promote a brand, product, or service through various channels, such as word-of-mouth, online reviews, and social media. Unlike traditional marketing efforts, customer advocacy relies on the genuine enthusiasm and satisfaction of customers rather than paid advertising.

At its core, customer advocacy is about building strong relationships with customers to turn them into loyal advocates who willingly recommend your brand to others. These advocates can be individuals, such as happy customers, or groups, such as online communities or fan clubs.

Customer advocacy goes beyond simply satisfying customers; it aims to create a community of loyal advocates championing your brand. This advocacy is particularly powerful because people are likelier to trust recommendations from friends, family, or peers than traditional advertising.


Benefits of having customer advocate

Customer advocacy can elevate a brand's awareness, credibility in the market and industry, and overall recognition. It amplifies word-of-mouth marketing, which is more potent and efficient than ever. Their recommendations and referrals can lead to new customer acquisitions, as people are likelier to trust recommendations from friends and family than traditional advertising.

Advocates can provide valuable feedback and insights into your products, services, and overall customer experience. They are more likely to purchase additional products or services from your brand, and their referrals can result in new customer acquisitions.

Here are some key responsibilities of a customer advocate:

  • Actively seek out and listen to feedback from customers, whether it's through surveys, reviews, or direct communication.
  • Resolve customer complaints and issues in a timely and satisfactory manner.
  • Ensure that customer needs and expectations are communicated clearly within the organization.
  • Build strong relationships with customers to understand their needs and preferences better.


Top ways to increase and measure customer advocacy

Increasing customer advocacy is crucial for building brand loyalty and driving business growth. Here are some expert customer advocacy strategy to boost customer advocacy:

  • Provide outstanding customer service at every touchpoint. Respond promptly to inquiries and resolve issues efficiently to create positive experiences that customers will want to share.
  • Actively encourage satisfied customers to become advocates for your brand. Offer incentives such as discounts, exclusive offers, or loyalty rewards for referrals or testimonials.
  • Offer valuable and relevant content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for your customers. This positions your brand as a trusted resource and encourages advocacy.
  • Showcase positive reviews, testimonials, and case studies to demonstrate the value of your products or services. Social proof can significantly influence potential customers and increase advocacy.
  • Regularly engage with your advocates through social media, email newsletters, or exclusive events. Show appreciation for their support and keep them informed about new products or initiatives.

One common metric used to measure customer advocacy is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS measures the likelihood of customers recommending your brand to others on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers are categorized as Promoters (score 9-10), Passives (score 7-8), or Detractors (score 0-6). Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters gives you the NPS.

Another way to measure customer advocacy is through customer referrals. Track the number of referrals generated by your advocates and analyze the quality of these referrals. High-quality referrals are more likely to convert into customers, indicating strong advocacy.


How to implement a customer advocacy program?

Implementing a customer advocacy program requires a strategic approach to ensure its success. Here's a concise guide to help you establish an effective program:

  1. Define the objectives of your advocacy program. Whether it's increasing customer referrals, improving brand loyalty, or boosting online reviews, clear goals will guide your program's design and execution.
  2. Identify your most loyal and enthusiastic customers who will likely become advocates. Look for customers who regularly engage with your brand, provide positive feedback, and have a strong social presence.
  3. Develop incentives to encourage customers to participate in the advocacy program. This could include rewards such as discounts, exclusive offers, or early access to new products.
  4. Provide advocates with training and support to help them effectively promote your brand. This could include guidance on how to share their experiences, respond to questions, and address potential objections.

By following these steps, you can implement a customer advocacy marketing program that effectively leverages the power of your most loyal customers to drive brand advocacy and growth.


In a nutshell

Looking ahead, the future of customer brand advocacy in business is bright. As consumers continue to seek authentic and trustworthy recommendations, businesses that prioritize customer advocacy will have a competitive advantage. Leveraging new technologies and strategies, such as social media and influencer marketing, can further enhance the effectiveness of customer advocacy efforts.

Implementing a customer advocacy program involves identifying and nurturing advocates, incentivizing them to share their positive experiences, and leveraging their influence to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Cultivate a strong brand reputation, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately, increase revenue with customer advocacy.


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