As someone who is passionate about customer advocacy, I am convinced that a customer advocacy program is one of the most effective ways you can start building meaningful relationships with your customers and empower authentic word of mouth. Amplifying your Happy Customer’s voice through a mix of media and channels not only extends your brand’s reach but does so in an authentic way.
For those of us who like to see data that demonstrates the power of customer advocacy:
- Shortened sales cycle – CXO’s make purchasing decisions 25% faster with a good reference (Gartner)
- Higher brand reach at lower cost – 18% of people trust brand influencers, 92% trust brand advocates (Forrester)
- Increased customer loyalty – a referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired by other means (Harvard Business Review)
- Reduced risk of customer attrition – customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate (Deloitte)
How do you stand out from your competition? Consider these proof points as you establish your customer engagement strategy so you can differentiate not just your technology from the competition but why your brand is better.
I have seen the power of customer advocacy first hand when I was assisting an account manager with a sales opportunity. The account manager requested a particular customer to engage with his prospect. I recommended another customer whose enthusiasm for both the solution and our brand was stronger as they were a member of our customer reference and advocacy program. I arranged the meeting between the customer & prospect and was asked to moderate the call. Knowing the advocate’s story, I ensured we addressed the highlights of their decision-making process. The result? The deal closed and the business won!
Customer advocacy is important for all businesses because the buyer’s journey has evolved to where the most important person selling your product or service is no longer you – it’s your customer.