Put Your Customers First and Let them Do the Talking. Get Your Guide on How to Build an Advocacy Growth Engine.

Leveraging the Power of Trust

One of the prime reasons why advocacy marketing and referral strategies work is because of the trust factor. Recommendations and referrals are a transfer of trust from the referrer to the brand. For example, if a dear friend whom you trust strongly recommends a product or service to you, you automatically trust the recommendation. Chances are you’ll buy the product without thinking twice, solely because you trust the person who recommended the brand to you. Advocacy marketing helps you leverage this trust as well as create a community of trusted brand followers, accelerating growth.

84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products and services—making these the highest-ranked source for trustworthiness.

(Source: Nielsen)

Increased Engagement

Today, engagement is everything. With a massive influx of emerging brands, engagement can give you a strong competitive edge, help you stand out, and build lasting emotional bonds with customers. Exciting rewards and incentives keep current customers engaged and referring others, as well as engaging new customers. Referral and loyalty program participants are more open to receiving communications, recommendations, and offers from your brand, and more willing to try other products within your brand’s product catalog. Referral programs foster two-way communication and build a strong customer-brand relationship.

Organic Brand Promotion

Through word-of-mouth, a referral program encourages customers to actively promote your brand across their network of friends and family. Even without rewards and incentives, if the emotional bonds are strong enough, customers go out of their way to promote your brand, including on various social media platforms. Think of all the times you’ve been excited about a purchase and shared it with your friends and family. Asking friends to fill out a survey, click on a referral link, or share content they’re promoting is especially common among Gen Zs and Millennials.

Boost in Acquisition Rate

Advocacy marketing and referral programs have a direct impact on your customer acquisition rate. Referral programs give existing customers an incentive to bring in new customers. Not only do these programs expand your brand’s reach in a very cost-effective way, referees are more likely to immediately trust and purchase from your brand.

When a friend or family member makes a recommendation, it’s 50X more likely to trigger a purchase.

(Source: McKinsey & Company)

Improved Retention Rate

Not only does a good referral program bring in new customers, it also helps retain existing customers and increases their customer lifetime value. Customers that actively refer and promote your products and services are also strong and loyal consumers of your offerings. They tend to stick with the brand they’re recommending and become loyal brand advocates in the process.

Fostering Brand Loyalty

Lastly, increased retention and trust in the brand helps foster brand loyalty. Referral programs can be a great way to build emotional connections that drive customer loyalty. Prolonged association and engagement with your brand, personalized experiences, and rewards all help create a strong community of loyal customers that bring profit and increased customer lifetime value to your brand.

Enriching Your Customers’ Lives = Enhancing Customer Experience

Ultimately, building a growth engine by leveraging advocacy is all about keeping your customers happy by enhancing their experience with your brand. But growth is an illusion if it can’t be measured. This is why you need CXM tools to help you track customer behavior and gauge your progress.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good options available when it comes to CX, CRM software, and tools to manage workflow and map customer journeys. To better understand the role of these tools, we’ve segmented customer experience into five broad categories.

Behavioral Analytics

To gauge the market, read customer sentiment, and understand your audience better before they become your customers, you need behavioral analytics tools. These give you a cumulative reading of customer expectations and repeat purchase patterns. Software like Hootsuite and Social Searcher can help you monitor the pulse of your audience, perform comprehensive customer sentiment analysis, and even help with authentication and sensory device tracking.

Behavioral Analytics
Predictive Intelligence

Predictive Intelligence

After behavioral and customer sentiment analysis, you need software that aids with predictive forecasting and helps you create customer acquisition, customer segmentation, and customer lifetime value models, as well as develop metrics to gauge customer propensity. Well-known tools to help you in these areas include SAP Analytics Cloud, Oracle’s Crystal Ball, and IBM Watson Analytics.

Workflow Automation

CX tools and software help with customer service as well as assist in automating several functions to increase efficiency. From creating customer service portals to workflow automation, these tools can help you deliver faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective service to your customers. Medallia and Qualtrics are among the popular choices to help you with much more than just workflow automation.

Workflow Automation
Feedback Mechanism

Feedback Mechanism

One of the most important things you can do to elevate your customer experience is to map your customer’s journey, as well as design a mechanism to generate feedback and close the feedback loop. Software like Qualaroo, Suite CX, and ZenDesk can help you create a feedback mechanism as well as gauge customer satisfaction through surveys, as well as CSAT and NPS scores. These tools can help you create a customer experience dashboard and assist with data privacy management.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs have become an integral part of customer experience in the last decade. They help keep customers engaged with your brand, build lasting emotional bonds and, most importantly, help build trust. By incentivizing and rewarding desired actions through loyalty strategies you can improve customer satisfaction as well as overall brand value. Annex Cloud’s Loyalty Experience Platform enables businesses to design, execute, and manage effective loyalty marketing strategies.

Loyalty Programs

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