Think about the last time you decided to try a new restaurant. I mean the last time you actually made the decision – not your boss, colleagues, or spouse. Did you pick the place because of its sign on the window advertising “2 for 1 happy hour?” Or, because you drove by it everyday and curiosity got the best of you? Probably neither one. I bet you either had it recommended to you by a friend, or perhaps you read the customer reviews on a site like Yelp or OpenTable.
Welcome to customer advocacy
In the era of the empowered customer, the dynamic has shifted. Customers, more than any other factor, decide which businesses will be successful, who will survive, and who will get left behind. From case studies and testimonials, to recognizable logos to social media posts, validation from your customer base proves that you can deliver on what you promise, much more so than what sales and marketing claim.
If you read this blog, there is a pretty good chance you understand the value of building business relationships. You can probably already think of a few loyal customers that genuinely love you. What if I told you that for every customer that you’re positive loves you, there are several more that are just waiting for you to ask them what they think. It’s time to set them free and let them be champions for your brand.
Here Are three reasons to make customer advocacy a top priority in 2018:
1) Advocates become better customers
Advocates develops stronger, closer relationships with your company. If they feel their voice is heard, they will start to give thoughtful feedback about your strategic direction and product vision. In fact, individuals who participate in advocate programs will often recommend the company after they have changed jobs.
2) Advocates see more than you see
Your advocates will introduce you to prospects that you didn’t know existed yet. You’ll reach a larger audience in a more credible way. According to Forrester, people who buy software name “peers” as the top response when asked what most influences their decision-making in the discover stage of buying. It’s simple, customers don’t trust ads and emails as much as they trust regular people.
3) Advocacy Grows Your Business
Advocacy programs lead to higher conversion rates, more qualified leads, and increased sales efficiency. Stronger relationships with customers can also be tied to increased cross-sell and upsell sales, as well as increased retention/decreased churn.
Everyone has a little bit of advocate in them. All you have to do is ask. So, in that spirit, have you joined Sugar Insiders, our customer advocacy program?