driving customer advocacy

How to optimize the customer advocacy process

Providing constant value to the customers doesn’t automatically lead to them becoming your advocates. Many companies still believe the opposite. It is true to some degree but companies well versed in creating advocacy are treating it as a sales pipeline. They are embedding steps to nurture customers into advocates within the customer lifecycle. They are also employing software and tools to track the customer advocacy touchpoints & progress. We will talk about the application of these software and how they help optimize the customer advocacy process.

Customer Advocacy Template

Customer Success Owns Advocacy

As you create your advocacy program you will understand that the approach required can only be pulled off by the Customer Success department (in full essence). You might get pushback from marketing or customer experience but taking this step is key. One reason being marketing and customer experience are very disconnected from customers. Marketing is all about sales and leads but CS takes up value delivering. The purpose of advocacy is to elevate the customer and provide more value that will ultimately lead to additional revenue and growth as a consequence. So keep customer advocacy close to Customer Success while also keeping marketing in the loop.

You can also check out our Ultimate Guide to Customer Advocacy to start

Setting the KPIs for Customer Advocacy

One of the firsts to understand before a measure of KPIs and goals is set according to your model. What I mean by that is if you have CSMs that are managing a high number of customers, turning some of them into success stories and achieving advocacy requests is easier. But if you, on the other hand, have a high-touch model where each CSM is handling only 10-20 accounts then success cases will be low and your goals will be long-term rather than short-term (bi-annual or annual). 

Now embed the idea that customer advocacy means recognition for the customer rather than your company. Understanding that your customers are taking a risk in investing in your product and their success sometimes gets overlooked is important. It can be how the customer advocacy narrative can be woven. So start by tracking the stories of your customers and note down their achievements. When you feel there is enough for a good success story, get them recognized from your side to the community they serve. Thus in a way, customer advocacy becomes a win-win situation helping customers tell their stories and celebrate their achievements with you.

Look at it from the perspective of value depreciation. Over time our services get more expensive and if we don’t provide them increased value as time goes on then they will just cancel. You have to be mindful and thus build your model more than just product value.   
Learn how to drive early time to value

Approach for Advocacy at the Right Moment

When do you know that the customer is ripe to be sent out that advocacy mail? This is where account health and customer journey touchpoints are key. First and foremost is to check the health scores from a customer experience perspective. It will help you understand the kind of relationship you have with them. You need to make sure that you have engaged multiple champions across multiple teams. The second major point will be the achievement of the desired outcomes. If any customers fall under these two conditions then you can move forward with advocacy requests. Identifying customer stories through the customer journey is also key to getting more advocates.

Additional Resource- The ultimate guide to customer journey

Drive Customer Success throughout the Customer Journey!

5 Steps to your first Customer Advocacy Story

We outline the best way for you to get your first customer advocacy story out to the world.

  1. Identification: Not all your customers have a viewpoint that is unique or a well-structured story behind it. Identify the customers that do and see how willing they are to share details about it.
  2. Qualifications: Now the second step will be to present to your customer the narrative you wanna publish. Go to them and say “This is the story that we can tell together”. Sell this idea. The idea should resonate with your customer. 
  3. Draft the Idea: You have the idea approved now pull your content magic and create something beautiful out of it. 
  4. Communication of PR approval: Since enterprises and companies have set standards for storytelling, extensive brand guidelines, and more, you have to make sure your draft aligns with it.
  5. Details of Publication: Nail down the details of the publication. What platform, what time, and anything important.

How CustomerSuccessBox can Help Optimise Customer Advocacy

A few things you need to convert customers into advocates are:

  1. Customer Health Score
  2. Customer Telemetry Data
  3. Journey tracking

CustomerSuccessBox provides all of those. Our product has a 360 Health view that is combined with artificial intelligence to give actionable insights on how to improve it. For your right moment of approach, the health score has to be green, CustomerSuccessBox can segregate your green ones as well as help other customers reach the healthy point. The intelligence can help you identify potential customer advocates very easily. 

This is not where the capabilities end though. If you have a large enough customer base and need help in automating the advocacy process, it is achievable through our automated customer journeys. We also have a beautiful playbook section where you can add your best practices, methods that work and scale them along with the execution of your customer advocacy program. 

Jahan Patel is a content marketer at CustomerSuccessBox. He loves languages and loves writing about growth & businesses. On his off time, you can find him sitting in a cozy cafe reading a book.