Following the best advocate marketing practices powered by a robust advocacy marketing strategy can help you to transform your loyal customers into your brand advocates. While positive customer review is extremely critical for a brand’s success, the key to increased customer lifetime value and acquiring new customers lies in taking proactive measures to turn your optimally satisfied customers into your brand advocates. That’s exactly when you require a well-defined customer advocacy marketing strategy in place.
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Loyalty Vs. Advocacy – What’s the Difference?
There exists a symbiotic relationship between customer loyalty and advocacy, irrespective of the fact that these are two different concepts. If you succeed in providing a highly exceptional purchasing and customer experience to your customers, it will build both loyalty and advocacy simultaneously. You can consider offering your loyal customers an advocate marketing program to brush up their skills and encourage them to advocate your brand. In fact, by creating maximized opportunities for advocacy, you build more loyalty. A successful advocate marketing program actually involves recognizing a brand’s most satisfied customers as advocates, and solidifying the existing bond by offering them opportunities for brand advocacy.
Why Businesses Should Focus on Customer Advocacy?
Be it referrals, references, social posts or product reviews – every action of your customer advocate has the potential to translate into massive revenue and build a positive brand image.
“There is only one boss – The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
– Sam Walton, Walmart
That’s why it’s said that the customer is always right. Especially in the current era of social networking, almost anyone could be a potential influencer and hence customers have the power to either make or break a business by speaking positive or negative about the brand.
Moreover, customers are open to welcoming personal recommendations before investing their hard-earned money on a product/service.
Nielsen survey on customer behavior revealed that “84% customers agreed to taking purchase action on the basis of personal recommendations whereas 70% reported to take help of online opinions before going ahead with a purchase decision“.
So, recommendations made by your customer advocates surely will help boost your revenue.
When customers love your brand, they definitely want to be of some assistance to your business. They may be looking for recommending your brand to their group of known people but perhaps require “a little push” from your end. This push effect is what defines the essence of focusing on customer advocacy.
Delighted customers are indeed the best, most valuable asset a brand has. Your happy customers bring long-term gains for your business when they spread the word about the positive experience they had by associating with your brand. So, taking care of all their feedback and concerns should be your first priority always.
Just taking the customer feedback and not implementing the same to enhance your product/service offering may make your customers feel ignored to some extent. Rather, you need to offer them opportunities to feel more involved and connected to your brand. This would give them a feeling of being acknowledged, thereby motivating them to spread more positivity about your brand.
In a nutshell, customer advocacy is crucial to enable brands continue sustaining their business profitably on a long term basis. Hence, you need to create an advocacy marketing strategy for identifying all potential opportunities to convert your satisfied customers into brand advocates.
5 Advocacy Marketing Tips to Effectively Build Customer Advocacy with Loyalty
So, how can you convert your satisfied customers into brand advocates? You can consider following the advocate marketing tips given below to achieve the best results –
1. Adopt a More Proactive Approach
Right from keeping the customers informed to making their lives easier by delivering advanced features in your product/service, you need to be a step ahead to impress your customers. If you show them that you actually think & care for their needs, the customers will definitely think good of your brand and spread the same positivity around in the community.
2. Provide Omnichannel Experience
Customers adore making a selection out of the choices available to them and the Omnichannel approach precisely offers them the same. However, the biggest challenge here is to deliver a consistent experience across all the channels so that customers actually enjoy by engaging on whichever channel they choose. Ensure that all channels are fully optimized for excellent service delivery.
3. Increase Engagement Via Social Media
You can find plenty of brand advocates by looking through all your social media channels. It though requires systematically analyzing all the positive comments made by your satisfied customers to identify the potential customers most likely to become highly influential brand advocates. This would further require analyzing how popular/impactful the customer’s social profile is and whether the customer actually holds any audience/followers under his influence. You should never forget to acknowledge the positive remarks made for your brand as it helps the customers feel that their efforts are being recognized. Be it referrals, references, social posts or product reviews – every action of your brand’s customer advocate has the potential to translate into massive revenue and build a positive brand image.
4. Make Customer Experience More Personalized
You must treat every customer valuable and the same should reflect in the customer experience you deliver. Be it service interactions or presenting marketing offers, ensure to address the customers by their name while also maintaining an overall polite tone. The key to winning customers’ hearts is by delighting them throughout their journey and personalizing their experience is the best you can do in this regard.
5. Introduce Loyalty/Referral Programs
Loyalty programs indeed act as catalysts to accelerate the process of influencing your already loyal customers. To make the most out of customer loyalty, you can launch your loyalty program to keep the customers more engaged. Be it discounts, free products, upgrades or more, make your offer exciting enough for the customer to become a member of your loyalty program.
Your loyalty program should clearly convey your customers that your brand acknowledges their long association. Similarly, referral programs go an extra mile by helping you grab more new customers when your existing satisfied customers make a successful referral.
7 Steps to Creating your Customer Advocacy Program
Define the strategy that outlines the working of your customer advocacy program
Identify reputed customer advocates with the potential to solidify your brand image
Develop relationship & bonding with the advocates by showing them appreciation
Enlighten the chosen advocates with crucial brand information to prepare them well
Facilitate effective, smooth communication and gather feedbacks wherever available
Track the results to measure overall impact of your customer advocacy program
If required, rework on your strategy and plan amendments to attain favorable results
Making Customers Feel Valued Throughout their Journey Should Be the First Priority
Maintaining an influential impression on the customers throughout their journey is indeed the need of the hour if you really want them to stay loyal to your brand and transform into your brand advocates.
Primarily, engaging with your loyal customers on a regular basis and keeping them satisfied should be given high importance because if you lack anywhere in this area, you won’t have any loyal customers left to convince for the next stage.
As discussed before, with customer satisfaction comes customer loyalty and hence working on an advocate marketing strategy to drive your already loyal customers become brand advocates is where the effort is needed the most. From displaying appreciation for the loyal customers to encouraging them as they turn to brand advocacy, a well-planned strategy is needed.
With a solid advocacy marketing strategy in place, your business will get a network of brand advocates and consequently more referrals, online reviews, references and corresponding revenue flowing in. More profitable results can be experienced by smartly leveraging the incredible potential of customer advocacy.
If you want to learn more about making the most out of your customer advocacy program or want to get assistance on building customer advocacy with loyalty, feel free to connect to our experts.