As more businesses find customer acquisition increasingly costly, it’s no real surprise they’re reconnecting with their existing customer base and working on ways to keep them engaged using customer advocacy.
Many companies think customer advocacy begins and ends with gathering customer reviews and hoping it will encourage new customers to engage with your brand, overlooking the need to incorporate it within a marketing strategy to get the most out of it.
So, what is customer advocacy and why is it important to all kinds of businesses?
What Is Customer Advocacy
Customer advocacy involves building trust amongst your customers so they become advocates for your business. Whether you’re running an IT service or a marketing agency, every business needs customer advocacy and it should be included as part of a good growth strategy.
Think of it as another form of great customer service, customer advocacy is when a business puts its customers’ needs and wants first, working to understand its customer base. All of the key business decisions are then formed based on these expectations meaning the business has a far greater chance of creating happy, loyal customers.
The aim for businesses adopting a customer advocate approach is to have happy customers sharing their positive experiences with a brand with anyone who will listen!
Why Is Customer Advocacy Important
First impressions count so if a new customer interacts with your business for the first time and it’s a rather bumpy or negative experience, they’re more likely to find the same services elsewhere.
Customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight and for B2B businesses that have smaller audiences, building up trust takes time and dedication. These are two things that are often limited, particularly in SMEs, so customer advocacy becomes more valuable and important.
Focusing on a welcome email, introduction offer or even a personal call creates a foundation of trust and adds a personal touch. Creating a positive first impression helps introduce customer advocacy and the more a customer has a positive interaction, the more likely they are to become advocates for the business. Happy customers are much more likely to return too, remaining loyal to brands that make them feel heard or seen.
Of course, delivering a reliable service or providing good service throughout their interaction adds to a customer’s overall experience. Businesses looking to include customer advocacy as part of their growth strategy will need to make sure customers continue to have a good experience with them at each touchpoint.
Running an advocacy programme also puts all the great stuff you’ve built up with your customers over time and allows your business to measure true advocacy and correlate it to any revenue that may have been generated too. The overall purpose of this is to create some amazing marketing content from it and help build long-lasting relationships with customers and attract new clients too!
Some Good Customer Advocacy Examples
There are lots of great examples of good customer advocacy in the B2B world, with bigger businesses like Adobe and Vodafone building customer loyalty into their strategies and enjoying solid reputations within their respective industries.
As one of the biggest software companies in the world, Adobe has worked hard to become one of the most reliable for B2B businesses too, creating custom-led products and services, and championing customers even when they’re not theirs (yet). When Adobe acquired the company Marketo already had a community of loyal customers, Adobe took the time to reassure the customer base that they’d continued to invest in the technology they’d grown to love which helped smooth the transition.
This is a great example of how customer advocacy can help in situations that could potentially be damaging to a business’s reputation and harm customer relationships that have been in place for years.
Want to learn more about the power of customer advocacy for your business or need some advice about incorporating customer advocacy into your growth plans? Let’s talk.