customer advocacy

Customer Advocacy Programs: Build a Lasting Brand With This Organic Marketing Strategy

Ever thought about how brands like Apple and Amazon have die-hard fans while other businesses struggle to retain customers? 

You’re not alone; it’s a common dilemma for businesses in today’s cutthroat market, where customer loyalty can make or break a business.

The problem is apparent—many companies are losing customers faster than they can say ‘thank you for your business.’ 

The solution lies in maximizing brand loyalty through customer advocacy. 

When harnessed effectively, customer advocacy cultivates brand loyalty and propels businesses toward sustainable growth and success. Businesses can turn ordinary buyers into devoted brand advocates.

In this article, we’ll discuss actionable strategies and best practices to leverage the power of customer advocacy, bridging the gap between clients and customers to transform fleeting transactions into lasting relationships.

Let’s start with the basics 👇

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What is Customer Advocacy?

Customer advocacy is the process of building relationships with existing customers in a way that they promote and support your brand among peers, more or less like brand advocates. It’s an integral part of  WOM or word-of-mouth marketing. 

You’re at a restaurant, and the food looks so good that you shared a picture on Instagram. You’re promoting the restaurant to friends and followers without even realizing it and, eventually, becoming an advocate for the restaurant. 

Whether it’s a glowing review on Amazon, a tweet about the latest purchase, or simply telling a neighbor about your incredible customer service, brand advocates are spreading the good word about your brand without charging a dime. 

But what makes customer advocacy important for your business?

Well! Customer advocates don’t repeat marketing slogans; instead, they share genuine, positive experiences with friends, family, and their online community. 

💡Did you know?

Over 77% of customers are more likely to purchase something if their peers recommend it.

Customer advocates are like micro-influencers, except way more authentic. 

When your loyal customers spread the word online and offline, it creates a domino effect. Their positive reviews bring in new customers, and the advocates become repeat customers for your brand. 

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Benefits of Fostering Customer Advocacy

Fostering customer advocacy isn’t just about creating happy customers; it’s about turning them into active promoters who contribute to the growth and success of your business. 

Let’s look at some benefits of customer advocacy:

  • Increased brand awareness: A customer advocate amplifies your brand’s awareness, making it seem more relatable and desirable to potential customers and bridging the gap with the sales team
  • Decreased marketing expenditure: By nurturing a loyal customer base that promotes your brand, businesses can reduce their reliance on costly marketing campaigns. By leveraging the power of word-of-mouth recommendations and positive testimonials, customer advocacy drives organic growth, ultimately reducing the need for extensive marketing investments
  • Brand loyalty: Boost customer loyalty by creating win-win situations for your customers, making them adore the brand even more. With special customer advocacy programs, you can provide extra reasons for your customers to stick around rather than exploring other options
  • Customer retention: Every business wants customers to stay. Through customer advocacy programs, you can build a loyal customer base that’s more likely to stick around for a long time and less likely to switch to a competitor
  • Sales boost: Selling to existing customers or customers who are loyal to your brand is 60-70% easier and cheaper compared to selling to new customers
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Customer advocacy is advantageous for your business, however, it’s not all gold and glitters. Let’s look at potential drawbacks and challenges that may arise and how to deal with them effectively. 

  • Customer dissatisfaction: Sometimes, even if you’re doing your best, customers might not be happy with your service. Quickly addressing your customers’ issues can help prevent them from leaving; some of your fiercest critics can be turned into loyal advocates if you treat them with empathy, consideration, and respect
  • Repetitive content planning: Many B2B organizations often repeat the same content creation process, resulting in gaps and outdated material. Evaluate your current content, identify gaps, and prioritize creating diverse content 
  • Increased competition: Focus on building a solid brand identity that sets you apart, offers unique value for your products, and serves to attract customers despite competition
  • Siloed content planning: Avoid duplications and gaps in content production due to lack of coordination across multiple teams. Adopt a shared planning process to improve visibility and alignment
  • Technological disruptions: Stay on top of industry trends to anticipate disruptions. Technology is constantly changing, and sometimes, it can wrench your plans. Embracing innovation, such as automated workflows, to adapt and stay ahead of competitors will help you create a stronger customer base 
  • Over-reliance on a few advocates: Depending too heavily on a small group of advocates or homogeneous advocates can be risky. What if they disengage or have a negative experience?
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Strategies for Building a Successful Customer Advocacy Program 

Businesses implement customer advocacy strategies to encourage customers to promote their products or services. 

An effective customer advocacy program can turn customers into enthusiastic promoters, amplifying your brand’s reach, credibility, and sales. 

Apart from using various customer success software, we’ve some proven strategies to build a strong foundation for a successful customer advocacy program. 

Using data to identify and connect with potential advocates 

 To create a strong advocacy program, find customers who love your brand. Let’s see how to use customer data to identify and connect with your potential advocates: 

  • Data analysis: Use CRM to tap into customer data and identify individuals who have consistently engaged with your brand or expressed satisfaction. Analyze metrics, including frequent and repeat purchases, engagement rates, elevated Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores, and Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Segmentation: Use customer profile templates to create customer personas; segment them based on various criteria such as purchase history, interaction frequency, and feedback sentiment to tailor advocacy efforts effectively
  • Personalized outreach: Reach out to potential advocates with customized messages or offers that resonate with their interests and preferences
  • Streamline communication: Engage with potential advocates and consistently share program incentives and benefits information. This nurtures relationships and increases brand loyalty 
ClickUp 3.0 List view with filters
Filter your customer list by status, priority, assignee, or any custom field in ClickUp to tailor task lists to your needs

Providing customers with opportunities that support their goals 

The average customer today is more conscious about their purchase decisions than ever. And as a brand, you must do much more than just make a sale.

This can mean helping your customers accomplish their goals. 

Offer advocacy opportunities that align with customers’ personal or professional goals, such as networking events, skill-building workshops, monetary rewards, or additional product benefits like Google’s referral bonuses.

By fulfilling aspirations and offering meaningful experiences, you foster stronger relationships and inspire lasting customer advocacy.

Ensure that advocacy strategies provide platforms that make it easy and rewarding for your customers to share experiences and feedback.

Embracing feedback for better sales and support

First-hand feedback from customers can pave the way for continuous improvement and unparalleled customer satisfaction. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Engage with customers: Encourage customers to provide feedback, participate in surveys, and join your brand’s social media channels
  • Proactive feedback collection: Implement systems for collecting feedback at various touch points throughout the customer journey, including post-purchase surveys, support interactions, and online reviews
  • Actionable insights: Analyze feedback data to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement in your products or services
  • Closed-loop feedback: Close the feedback loop by acknowledging customer feedback, implementing necessary changes, and communicating improvements back to customers to demonstrate responsiveness and commitment to their satisfaction
Deliver personalized communications with ClickUp AI to engage better with customers

Elevating your customer service 

Delivering exceptional customer service is paramount for success. Over half of global consumers believe customer services play a ‘very important’ role in brand choice and loyalty.

Along with implementing strategies that prioritize customer satisfaction and foster long-term loyalty, here are some tips to improve your customer service: 

  • Empowering employees: Empower frontline staff to go above and beyond in resolving customer issues and exceeding expectations. Provide comprehensive training to customer service teams to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver exceptional support experiences
  • Consistency across channels: Ensure consistency in service delivery across all customer touchpoints, whether in-store, online, or via social media, to maintain a seamless customer experience 
  • Seamless payment: Enhance customer service by providing flexible and convenient payment options. Customers are 63% more likely to purchase if you offer their preferred payment options. This includes offering adaptable payment plans tailored to diverse customer requirements

Creating a community blueprint and give your customers a platform

To get everyone on board with your customer advocacy framework, create a community blueprint outlining the team’s vision. Ensure everyone, including senior leaders, is involved in aligning the vision to boost customer advocacy.

  • Community building: Foster a sense of belonging among your customers by creating online forums, social media groups, or exclusive communities where they can connect with like-minded individuals
  • Facilitating engagement: Encourage active participation by facilitating discussions, sharing relevant content, and organizing community events or meetups
  • Amplifying voices: Give your customers a platform to share their stories, experiences, and insights, whether through guest blog posts, user-generated content campaigns, or testimonials featured on your website

Routinely collecting feedback 

Routinely collecting feedback is essential for businesses and individuals alike to gauge satisfaction levels, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions. Using a questionnaire template streamlines this process by providing a structured framework for gathering relevant information efficiently.

  • Continuous improvement: Establish a feedback loop that operates continuously, rather than as a one-time effort, to gather insights and identify evolving customer needs and preferences 
  • Multiple channels: Offer multiple channels for feedback collection, including surveys, suggestion boxes, social media listening, and direct communication channels
  • Time response: Implement systems to address and acknowledge customer feedback quickly. This shows them that you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say. It helps build trust and keeps them coming back for more  

Empowering customers by building loyalty and referral programs 

Encouraging customers to stick around and tell their friends about the business is a smart way to build a strong group of supporters. 

By rewarding loyal customers and asking them to refer others, the company makes customers feel valued and happy to spread the word.

  • Referral programs: Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends, family, or colleagues to the business by offering incentives such as discounts, freebies, or loyalty points
  • Loyalty programs: Offer rewards, discounts, or special perks to customers who frequently engage with the business or make repeat purchases
  • Foster a sense of community: Create opportunities for customers to connect, share their experiences, and advocate for the brand through social media groups, or online forums

How ClickUp helps in executing these strategies

At ClickUp, we prioritize customer service, empowering you to excel as client success champions. ClickUp’s Customer Service Platform centralizes client interactions, communication, and project details, fostering lasting relationships with every interaction.

Here are some ways ClickUp helps you execute client acquisition strategies and work toward building loyal customers:

  • Streamlined client management: Keep your customer support team organized and clients happy with ClickUp’s intuitive platform. Easily delegate tasks and ensure prompt assignment
  • Tailored issue management: Customize workflows with specific fields for different issues or clients, ensuring your team focuses on critical aspects of customer advocacy
  • Efficient priority management: Use ClickUp’s priorities feature to guide task prioritization and ensure your team focuses on delivering exceptional customer advocacy
  • Centralized feedback: Use ClickUp Form View to create customized forms tailored to gather specific information from advocates. Collect contact info, feedback, success stories, and preferences. Also, add interactive elements like dropdowns, checkboxes, and attachments. ClickUp allows customizing forms with brand logo and color palette for a branded, trustworthy experience
ClickUp’s Form View
Easily customize forms to route work to the right team effortlessly through ClickUp’s Form View
  • Reporting and analytics: Connect ClickUp with various reporting and analytics tools to analyze customer data trends, identify potential advocates, and track the effectiveness of advocacy initiatives
  • Personalized outreach: Take help from ClickUp Brain’s AI writing assistant to create engaging and personalized content to connect with your loyal customers
  • Automation: Experience the power of ClickUp Automations to simplify your workload and prioritize what truly matters. With over 100 pre-built Automations, ClickUp streamlines workflows, simplifies routine tasks, and lets you automate task assignments, comment posting, status updates, and more, leveraging a wide range of automation possibilities to enhance productivity and efficiency
  • Integration with CRM: Integrate ClickUp with your CRM system for seamless collaboration among sales, marketing, and customer success teams. Identify potential advocates and track their journey from prospect to brand advocate with ClickUp Dashboards, centralizing relevant information in one place and providing a visual representation of all key metrics. By tagging customer-related tasks or feedback with ClickUp Tags, teams can easily track and prioritize activities related to customer advocacy initiatives
  • Task management: Use ClickUp Tasks to monitor, assign, and manage tasks related to advocacy campaigns, such as creating testimonials or participating in events
ClickUp Tasks
Break the customer advocacy program down into small trackable actions and add custom statuses as applicable with ClickUp Tasks
  • Inbox and conversations: Manage customer inquiries and support tickets directly using the ClickUp Inbox feature. Assign conversations to team members, set priorities, and track response times to ensure timely resolution. This helps in elevating your customer service 
  • Recurring Tasks and Reminders: Set up automated reminders for team members to send surveys, follow up with customers at scheduled intervals, or schedule other recurring tasks with ClickUp’ Recurring Tasks
ClickUp's Recurring Tasks feature
Automate tasks with ClickUp’s Recurring Tasks feature
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Measuring Customer Advocacy Success: Key Indicators

Measuring customer advocacy is essential for assessing the impact and success of your efforts over time. It allows you to gauge the performance of your advocacy program.

Using various metrics and methods, you can identify what works and requires adjustment, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Let’s look at some benefits of measuring customer advocacy: 

  • Insight into customer satisfaction: Evaluate customer satisfaction levels and understand how content they are with your products or services
  • Evaluation of brand loyalty: Assess customer loyalty, determining their likelihood to recommend and continue purchasing from your brand
  • Validation of marketing efforts: Validate marketing effectiveness in fostering positive word-of-mouth and brand advocacy
  • Identification of advocacy opportunities: Spot potential brand advocates among existing customers, leveraging them to attract new customers

Role of qualitative and quantitative methods

Qualitative and quantitative methods for measuring customer advocacy are essential for comprehensively understanding customer sentiments and behaviors. 

For instance, qualitative methods like interviews and focus groups offer deep insights into customer experiences and motivations. These methods also help identify emerging trends, empowering businesses to make strategic decisions. In addition, they can be great stepping-off points for case studies and user-generated content.

On the other hand, quantitative methods such as surveys and ratings enable statistical analysis to quantify advocacy levels and track changes over time.

With measurable metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction scores, businesses can benchmark performance and set targets. 

Here are some ways to measure customer advocacy: 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer experience metric that measures the likeliness of customers to recommend your product or services.

The KPI is based on a single survey question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to tell a friend to use our product or services? 

And then divide the responses into three categories:

Promoters (9-10): Customers who are highly likely to recommend your product

Passives (7-8):  Respondents who are okay using your products or services but won’t prefer shouting your name from the rooftops

Detractors (0-6): Unhappy customers who have nothing good to say about your brand and might even badmouth your business

The ultimate goal of NPS is to gauge customer satisfaction, turn Passives into Promoters, and keep Detractors to a minimum. 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score is a quantitative method of analyzing the happiness of your customers. 

To measure CSAT, send surveys right after customers use your products or support services. The survey can be as simple as asking ‘How satisfied were you?’ followed by a star rating system or options ranging from ‘Extremely dissatisfied’ to ‘Extremely satisfied.’ 

Aim for at least an 80% satisfaction rate while keeping track of your CSAT scores over time to see if your efforts are making customers happier. 

Satisfied customers are more likely to bring you more business.

ClickUp Form View
Make use of ClickUp’s Form View to gather reviews and request for referrals

Reviews and testimonials

Customer advocacy boosts the quantity and quality of reviews and testimonials, vital for attracting leads and driving sales.

High-quality reviews include details like names, roles, companies, and specific benefits gained from using products or services. The faster customers provide feedback, the better. This KPI matters because buyers trust real people’s opinions over ads or sales pitches—track reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, G2, Capterra, etc., to know what your customers think about your product.

To increase good reviews and testimonials, consider strategies like:

  • Delivering outstanding service
  • Asking for feedback
  • Making it easy to leave reviews
  • Offering incentives for reviews
  • Engaging with customers.

Referral tracking

Referral tracking is the process of keeping tabs on who’s spreading the good word about your business. 

By monitoring referrals you receive from existing customers, you can understand the effectiveness of your word-of-mouth marketing efforts and referral programs and track how many new customers are coming from recommendations made by your current clientele. 

Social listening

Social listening tools help you track what people say about your brand online. This includes mentions, comments, and people’s overall feelings toward your company.

One key thing to watch is how your customer advocacy efforts affect your social media activities.

For instance, if your sales team uses social media to boost sales, you’ll want to see if people engage with their posts more. Social listening isn’t just about tracking your brand—it’s also about keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to and finding ways to stand out.

Importance of monitoring touchpoints for customer behavior and feedback 

What drives your customers to click, buy, or seek help? Monitoring touch points for customer behavior and feedback will tell you just that!

It’s like keeping your finger on the pulse of your business. 

By tracking how customers interact with your brand at different stages, from browsing your website to making a purchase or contacting customer support, you gain valuable insights into their pain points and satisfaction levels and can implement customer lifecycle marketing

This ultimately fosters stronger customer relationships and drives business growth. Enhance customer loyalty and business growth through proactive touchpoint management and feedback analysis: 

  • Understanding customer journey: Get insights into the various stages of the customer journey, helping you to understand how customers interact with your brand 
  • Identifying pain points: By monitoring touchpoints, businesses can identify pain points or areas of friction in the customer experience, allowing them to address issues promptly 
  • Gathering feedback: Understand your customer’s expectations, preferences, and needs better with customer feedback tools at various stages. With this insight, you can fine-tune your products, services, and overall customer experience to meet their needs better
  • Optimizing marketing strategies: Monitoring touchpoints helps businesses assess the effectiveness of their marketing strategies and campaigns, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently and optimize their efforts to drive better results with effective brand management strategies 

Use ClickUp Goals to track performance indicators

Elevate your customer advocacy program with ClickUp Goals. Drive focused action and measurable outcomes by setting clear objectives for your team, defining achievable targets, and effortlessly tracking progress. 

ClickUp Goals
Visualize progress, celebrate milestones, and maintain motivation by tracking progress toward goals in real time

ClickUp Goals provides a comprehensive platform for tracking performance indicators in customer advocacy.

  • Empower your goals: Set goals that match your work, guiding you to success. Keep them organized and easy to access in one central place so managing goals is simple
  • Drive success and track triumph: Stay on track with clear timelines, measurable targets, and automatic progress tracking, allowing you to achieve goals faster. Navigate your progress with versatile targets, whether they’re numbers, currencies, or actionable tasks
  • Link tasks: Track progress with linked tasks or lists. It even lets you organize goals with easy-to-use folders, such as sprint cycles, OKRs, and weekly employee scorecards

The TL;DR Recap: Building a Customer Advocacy Program:

  • Use data to identify and engage with happy customers
  • Offer advocacy opportunities to match their aspirations
  • Collect feedback and act on it
  • Upgrade your customer service
  • Personalize your communication
  • Build loyalty and referral programs that empower customers
  • Monitor and measure outcomes
  • Use an effective customer service and management platform
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Building Long-Term Brand Loyalty through Customer Advocacy

Customer advocacy plays a crucial role in building long-term brand loyalty. When customers become advocates for a brand, they not only consistently purchase its products or services but also actively promote and recommend them to others. 

Apple is an excellent example of building long-term brand loyalty through customer advocacy.

Apple has a strong community of loyal customers who consistently purchase and actively advocate for their products. These advocates often recommend Apple products to friends and family, write positive reviews, and engage in discussions online.

Not to forget those iPhone users who are never tired of boasting about their camera quality. 😉

Apple’s emphasis on providing exceptional customer experiences, innovative products, and a seamless ecosystem contributes to fostering this advocacy and building enduring brand loyalty.

Therefore, customer advocacy and brand loyalty go hand in hand, forming a symbiotic relationship that fuels brand success. Advocates remain loyal and inspire others to join the brand community. This amplifies brand loyalty, leading to sustained support and growth.

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Create Your Customer Advocacy Strategy With ClickUp

As we wrap up, remember that embracing customer advocacy is paramount for business growth, fostering loyal relationships, and amplifying brand reputation. By prioritizing customer needs and elevating their experience, businesses unlock a powerful engine for success. 🏆

Tools like ClickUp are pivotal, facilitating streamlined communication, organized workflows, and seamless collaboration to nurture and strengthen customer advocacy efforts.

So, next time you’re implementing a customer advocacy strategy, try ClickUp! It’s free to get started.

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1. What is the role of client advocacy?

The role of client advocacy is to represent and support the needs and interests of clients.

2. How do you build customer advocacy?

Customer advocacy is built by providing excellent products/services, listening to feedback, and fostering strong relationships.

3. What are the goals of client advocacy?

The goals of client advocacy include ensuring client satisfaction and loyalty and promoting positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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