Think about your favorite stores or online shops. What makes them your favorite?
While they might sell things you love, they probably have an excellent reputation for serving their customers and exceeding expectations.
This is what customer advocacy is – a business that works hard to continually improve the customer experience. We are going to explore what customer advocacy can mean to your business and how to put it into practice.
Businesses who advocate for their customers can see major improvements in customer loyalty and may even earn some customer brand advocates in return.
Read through this article to see some real-world examples and get a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of customer advocacy.
- Businesses with strong customer advocacy are continually improving the customer experience.
- Companies become customer advocates when they exceed expectations, accept customer feedback, and deliver exceptional service.
- A dedicated customer advocacy team should be empathetic and deliver the human touch many customers want.
What Is the Definition of Customer Advocacy?
Some people incorrectly label customer advocacy as a customer advocating for a business. This is more accurately described as brand advocacy.
Customer advocacy, on the other hand, is when a business goes out of its way to make the customer experience as positive as it can be.
Customer advocacy is the keystone to building a customer-centric company. It is meant to help companies understand and anticipate the needs of customers while expertly managing any customer complaints. With a robust customer advocacy program, companies earn loyal customers who might then turn into brand advocates.
In this video, John Boccuzzi Jr., a sales executive with more than 20 years of experience, shares a TEDx Talk about how brands with exceptional customer advocacy create customers for life.
Examples of Customer Advocacy
No matter what kind of business you run, your customers should be your top priority, even if those customers are other businesses. Here are some specific examples of how brands have excelled with their customer advocacy.
1. Exceeding Expectations
Amazon has long been known as a champion of its customers. In a recent example, a woman came home and realized her delivered Amazon package was missing. She watched footage from her porch camera and realized a possum had stolen her $90 earrings. She wasn’t expecting Amazon to replace them. However, the company stepped up, shared this humorous story on social media, and sent her a new pair of earrings.
Even though the theft was not Amazon’s fault, they took this opportunity to impress a customer and earned some positive feedback along the way.
2. Accepting Customer Feedback
Sometimes customers have great ideas that you might not have thought of before.
In this example, the British grocery store chain Sainsbury’s ended up renaming one of its bakery items because of feedback from a 3-year-old. The young girl, Lily Robinson, thought the store’s “tiger bread” looked more like the skin of a giraffe. With the help of her mother, she sent a letter to the store and got a response saying renaming the bread was a “brilliant idea.”
Not only did the store recognize that the bread really does look more like a giraffe, but they also showed that they care about their customers even if they don’t have money of their own yet.
3. Solving Problems When Something Goes Wrong
Sometimes things can go wrong with your products or services and customers need help. Businesses who take this opportunity to learn how to help, come away stronger and better. In this example, Tesla sets the bar high for resolving issues with their vehicles.
A customer got a flat tire on their Tesla. Within 40 minutes, Tesla had sent out its mobile service unit with a temporary replacement. A few days later, they came to the customer’s house to replace the tire.
With such attentive service, Tesla owners feel valued and important and willingly share their positive experiences with others.
Tips to Improve Your Customer Advocacy
You might not be an internet sales powerhouse, a grocery store, or an electric vehicle manufacturer, but there are ways your company can take these examples and apply them to your business.
To improve your customer advocacy, you may need to completely adjust the mindset and culture of your business. Everyone within your company needs to understand that your customers are your most important asset, and, in some cases, they matter more than profits.
Many businesses create distinct positions for customer advocates. The primary role of these employees would be to take care of any customer needs. Customer advocates should have the following qualifications:
- Empathy: Empathy is recognizing and understanding the feelings of others. Understanding the reasons behind a customer’s expectations can help a customer advocate more effectively solve customer problems.
- Human touch: If a customer just feels like a number on a spreadsheet, or they are always forced to use automated systems, they might not come back. You should always give your customers the option to communicate with a real person.
- Honesty: Customers want the truth. Unfortunately, many businesses are uncomfortable being fully honest about their products or services. If your customer advocates are honest and transparent, you will earn the trust and loyalty of your customers.
- Strong communication skills: Having strong communication skills is critical to being a good customer advocate. Customer advocates need to share customer expectations with company managers clearly and concisely.
With those skills mastered, customer advocates will focus on customer service and being a bridge between the company and your customers. They will get feedback from customers and use innovative ideas to solve problems.
Use Televerde to Improve Your Customer Advocacy
Being an advocate for your customers can transform the way you do business. By exceeding expectations, responding to feedback and criticism, and delivering exceptional service, your customers will return the favor and advocate for you.
To help you through the transition to more customer advocacy, you can rely on Televerde. We have over 25 years of experience in helping businesses create new revenue growth. We put people first and can help you optimize every step of your customer journey.
Excited to get started? Give us a call today.