Customer advocacy is one of the most important components in the world of marketing, and this is not an exaggeration.
Here is an example of an exaggeration. Nickelback is the most important band in the history of Western Music.
Just writing that made me shudder.
Customer advocates are in charge of understanding their company’s customers. This responsibility often carries with it other tasks, including brand development, market research, and customer engagement. Furthermore, customer advocates have the task of actively interacting with their customers in order to find out different options on current market trends.
The most important work for customer advocates is that they are the customer’s “advocate”. What is in a name after all? This means that they are the people who are in charge of explaining to upper management what their customers expect from the firm’s products and services. If you can appreciate this definition then you will be able to develop a better idea of what customer advocates are supposed to do.
What Can Customer Advocates Tell You That Marketing Specialists Cannot?
Although there is some overlap between the work of marketing specialists and the work of customer advocates, it is important to remember that the former deals with the company’s market, whereas the latter deals with its customers. What this means is that customer advocates can tell you about the opinions of your firm’s customers and provide a more down-to-earth approach in analyzing customer attitudes and preferences. On the other hand, marketing specialists are more into market research, buying patterns, preferences and demographic profile.
Why is Customer Advocacy Important?
In order to appreciate the work of most customer advocates, it is important to remember that different customers have different opinions about your company. Many customers may be loyal but the marginally interested ones are always larger in number. The reason why customer advocates are important is because they can make fringe loyalty into full blown fanaticism, while at the same time, keeping very loyal customers satisfied with your products and services. In short, customer advocacy is all about direct and effective customer engagement.
How Do Customer Advocates Understand Their Customers
Different customers have different needs and by extension different levels of profitability. The job of a customer advocate is to identify how much profit their company earns from each customer. They will then compare this information with buying patterns, customer opinion and brand awareness. What they then try to arrive at are policies which can effectively reward loyal customers, while addressing some of the problems of dissatisfied clients.
Customer Advocates and Customer Support Structures
Aside from customer engagement and research, customer advocates are also in charge of developing customer support structures. Designed to solve customer concerns, customer support structures answer questions and provide additional services to anyone who needs them.
A good example of a customer support system is the template used by customer service representatives. The response used by many customer service representatives are often developed and edited by customer advocates in an effort to provide an effective response to every anticipated concern or questions that their clients may have.
Customer advocacy helps companies in a variety of ways. First of all, they allow them to understand their customers better. Secondly, they allow organizations to develop better customer engagement strategies. Thirdly, they allow organizations to develop better products, brands, and customer engagement policies. Finally, they give customers the impression that the company cares about their opinions. All of these benefits are important to any growing company, and this is why customer or client advocacy is considered a very important tool among many organizations.