As a phrase, it can certainly sound intimidating and conjures up images of some kind of special customer insights framework measure dreamed up by PR managers, marketing teams and sales directors.
But what does it actually mean?
Firstly, let’s differentiate two different types of advocacy which can have a positive impact on business operations, customer advocacy and brand advocacy.
Customer advocates can be your sales team, your call handlers and support staff, even the Chief Executive, everybody should be on board. They all help to ensure that the customer comes first and that service quality is at the top of the agenda. Brand advocates are your customers who may have purchased your product or service, they’re happy to share their opinion with friends and family in a positive way by word of mouth.
To generate brand advocacy, we must first focus on customer advocacy, after all nobody is going to promote poor service delivery.
Why is advocacy important?
At its core, brand advocacy is psychological, as humans we buy and make decisions based on trust, we are more likely to do that if a friend or someone we have a relationship gives us a recommendation. It’s why online customer reviews have flourished and become an integral part of our purchasing journey. Because the information is so readily available, it’s easy to make an informed purchasing decision with minimal risk to us as customers.
Should business leaders wait for trusted reviews to roll in though? Of course not, by focusing on key service areas, we can ensure that our customers receive the best possible experience, and company employees are key to this.
How do I get people to become advocates of my brand?
It only happens through hard work, by focusing on all the key components of customer service you can realise the potential for customers and staff alike to become advocates.
It may seem easy but how many companies manage to get every component of service 100% right. By understanding where we can improve, in turn we can help customers to become brand advocates by exceeding their expectations.
Tips for improving advocacy
By starting at the beginning of the customer journey customer insights teams can quickly build an overall picture of areas which might influence this.
Top 5 areas to focus customer service to help improve brand advocacy
- Customer acknowledgment
- Sales team product Knowledge
- Quality of product
- Speed of Service
- Customer follow-up
Using mystery shop as a tool to help
At Tern, we believe that you can start to create greater customer advocacy by using mystery shop to enable a greater understanding of where your brand or service is at.
Find out what’s happening in your stores with detailed customer insights using either video mystery shop or requesting detailed mystery shopping visits. Then focus on the results and employee training to drive positive change.
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