What is Customer Advocacy and its Benefits: A Short Guide

what is customer advocacy

In SaaS, fostering long-term relationships is a priority, as happy and loyal customers are the foundation for business growth and success. Therefore, building trustful and transparent customer relationships through customer advocacy programs is one of the main goals of any SaaS business.

This task is not easy as the market is growing as we speak and so are customer expectations. Your team needs to actively engage with the customers to understand their unique needs and offer the best possible experience for each user.

If you want to learn what is customer advocacy, the customer advocate role, and customer advocacy strategies, we’ve prepared a guide for you, so stay with us!

What is Customer Advocacy?

Customer advocacy is the process of building and fostering relationships with loyal and satisfied customers who then promote your brand, services, or product. Typically, loyal customers have had positive experiences with your company throughout their customer journey and are, therefore, willing to share their experience with others.

Customer advocacy can come in various forms, but some of the most common ones include online reviews, referrals, social media posts, and word-of-mouth customer advocacy. In the end, cultivating customer advocacy can improve customer loyalty, customer retention, and brand awareness – all of which contribute to higher revenue.

What Does a Customer Advocate Do?

Before we explain what customer advocates do, let’s go over how to recognize and pinpoint a customer advocate.

A customer advocate is a satisfied customer who uses your product frequently, explores its new features regularly, and is more than happy with the impact the given product has on their business or life. Sometimes, brand advocates are willing to partner up with your company via advocacy programs, but more often, you’ll have to reach out to potential brand advocates to introduce them to your customer advocacy program.

But how do we know who these standout customers are? With customer success platforms like Akita, you can easily perform customer segmentation to track customer behavior and single out those who use your platform regularly, leave positive reviews or have great customer feedback. Those are examples worth contacting in order to build a more solid relationship.

Now, what does a customer advocate do? People will usually believe other people in their close circle, like friends, family, and colleagues. This is precisely what they can do for your brand – promote it to others with their authentic and genuine voice, which is much more valuable than plain advertising. They do that by simply speaking about it publicly, via case studies, blog posts, and social media posts.

It is crucial to understand the difference between a customer advocate and a customer success advocate, as they are sometimes used interchangeably. A customer success advocate, unlike a customer advocate, is employed in the company as a liaison between the company and its customers. They work on building strong relationships with the customers by providing necessary guidance through onboarding, training, and customer service and support.

Brand Advocates Examples

HubSpot is a great brand advocacy example of how customer success stories can serve as effective customer advocacy marketing content. They showcase these customer stories on their website, which highlight how HubSpot’s software has helped them achieve their objectives, which is a powerful advocacy tool. Slack has done the same thing, as well!

Zendesk comes with an exciting advocate hub where advocates can share feedback with the company, have discussions, and access various resources. By fostering a sense of close community, Zendesk effectively encourages advocacy for the platform.

Salesforce has a program called Salesforce MPV (Most Valuable Professional), where the finest brand advocates are recognized and rewarded based on their contributions and advocacy for the platform.

How to Devise a Customer Advocacy Strategy?

Now that you know what is customer advocacy, let’s see how to create an effective customer advocacy strategy.

The first step includes the identification of potential advocates with high customer satisfaction and the ones eho had an impeccable customer experience . You can use Akita to track the right customer success metrics and identify clients who fit the “loyal customer” category. Make sure to work on building exceptional customer relationships with them by providing excellent customer service and personalized experiences and interactions. 

Now, make sure to encourage customers to advocate for your company by providing exclusive offers, incentives like discounts, or super early access to new features. By offering attractive loyalty programs, you are motivating customers to come back to your brand as they will be rewarded for it. Always keep in mind that customer service plays a huge role in the customer experience. Customers who feel supported and respected will more likely recommend your product to others, so make sure that your staff is well-trained and ready to go the extra mile to provide the best possible service.

When a customer is ready to become an advocate for your brand, make sure to provide them with the necessary resources for the given task, like testimonials, case studies, and other content.

It is crucial to measure the success of your advocacy program to assess the effectiveness of your customer advocacy strategy. Building a supportive community for customer advocates is always a good idea as it becomes a hub where both you and customers can share information, ask for feedback, share additional resources, etc. Finally, make sure to reward their advocacy with referral bonuses, or VIP access, and stay actively engaged with your advocates by providing product or service updates, and soliciting feedback.

Customer Advocacy Benefits

Customer advocacy can have a huge impact on the growth and success of your SaaS business, and here are the top customer advocacy benefits that can help you:

  • Enhances customer loyalty and customer lifetime value
    • Customer advocates will most likely remain loyal to your company, continue using your services and ensure a stable and predictive revenue flow.
  • Positive word-of-mouth marketing/reduced acquisition costs
    • Positive word-of-mouth marketing serves as a powerful customer acquisition tool. And it’s free!
  • Better brand reputation and competitive edge
    • Advocacy improves your brand reputation and can help you position better in the industry by giving you a competitive advantage.
  • Valuable feedback and product enhancement
    • Advocates provide valuable insights that help you improve your service or product.

What is Customer Advocacy – Conclusion

Customer advocacy serves as a compelling marketing strategy that aims to build strong customer relationships and encourage them to advocate for your product to others. 

The customer advocate base resonates with your brand and creates a unique and passionate voice that others recognize and accept as truthful. This is an effective way to attract and acquire new audiences, but it also improves loyalty, brand reputation, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and finally, revenue. 

With Akita, you can easily identify potential customer advocates and invite them on an exciting journey that can be prosperous for both sides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of customer advocacy?

Customer advocacy is a practice of customers speaking positively about your brand, service, or product. Customer advocates are, therefore, loyal customers who are willing to promote your company or product to others.

What is an example of a customer advocate?

A great example of customer advocate is the Salesforce MVP program. It is a community of highly passionate customer advocates for Salesforce MVP.

How important is customer advocacy?

Customer advocacy is extremely important for the business as it can increase brand reputation, loyalty, awareness, lower acquisition costs, and many more.

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