We Are the Champions: Leveraging the Power of Customer Advocacy

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, moss is a part of life. The moist temperate climate is the perfect breeding ground for spores to spread easily and quickly. If you leave something outside all winter, I guarantee that by the spring solstice, moss will be growing on it. Some people like the look of it, others, like me are not so keen, so with April right around the corner I hired a power washing company to “demoss” my front walkway.

The company that I hired had a Google review rating of 4.9, and they did not disappoint. The online booking was convenient with a follow-up confirmation received within 24 hours, along with email and text notifications. The representative who came to the house to do the work was very friendly and professional. He asked questions and was very transparent about how the work would be done, and when he would be finished. Overall, I was very impressed so much so that I posted a review and referred them to my neighbor who also isn’t a moss fan.

It’s fair to say that to a certain degree, I have become a customer advocate for this moss removal company. Typically, a positive experience is the key trait of advocates, and tied to this is a willingness to recommend and continuously support a brand, product, or service. More often than not, customer advocacy can convert word-of-mouth recommendations into new customer referrals. Other benefits include increased brand awareness and reputation, customer retention, and increases in revenue due to repeat business and a broader, more robust customer base.

The customer satisfaction research interviews that I conduct as part of my role at Ideba, involves collecting feedback on competitor SaaS vendor information sources. Responses vary across channels, but mostly it is recommendations from colleagues that are regarded as the most credible. It seems that when companies have a need that requires purchasing a business solution, it’s the opinions of trusted colleagues that carry the most weight in the decision-making process, often outweighing online searches, vendor websites, and industry publications.

The B2B purchasing process can be difficult to navigate. With an array of SaaS solutions in the marketplace, companies must compare them against their objectives and budget often without a full understanding of what they actually do and how they can best meet their needs. As a result, many rely on the honest opinions—both good and bad—of current customers which is why companies need advocates who not only believe in their solutions, but who can clearly articulate their benefits.

Customer advocates are passionate supporters eager to share their positive experiences with others through word-of-mouth recommendations or by proactively engaging with social media platforms, online reviews, and community forums. The advocacy of these brand champions goes beyond ordinary customer satisfaction to represent a deeper level of commitment and loyalty often creating a successful and mutually beneficial relationship. Companies looking to encourage and convert satisfied customers into advocates need to primarily focus on:

  • having a customer-centered approach: A successful advocacy strategy cannot be built on transactional customer-business relationships, but instead a customer first approach. Customers need to feel valued and appreciated. Aim to identify and prioritize customer needs and deliver personalized service.
  • being consistent and provide exceptional customer service: Customers are more likely to promote and recommend companies that communicate with them on a regular basis and respond quickly to their requests. Work to establish a supportive relationship based on trust and reliability.
  • offering quality products and solutions: Quality products and solutions are essential to converting customers into advocates. Meeting basic needs is often not enough. Solution-based service and support is critical. Strive to exceed expectations and deliver tangible results that translate into a clear ROI.

Creating customer advocates takes time and necessitates a thorough understanding of customer needs and preferences. Customer satisfaction research can help determine what motivates clients and provide actionable insights to help develop customer advocacy strategies. Research can also support the creation of valuable resources for your sales team, such as client testimonials and case studies. Have questions about some of the research work that we do at Ideba? Feel free to send me a message (Tamarac@idebamarketing.com)

Tamara Clarke – Research Manager