Customer advocacy is a specialized form of customer service in which companies focus on what is deemed to be best for the customer. It is a change in a company's culture that is supported by customer-focused customer service and marketing techniques.
Customer advocacy business model
A customer advocacy policy encompasses all aspects of customer contact, including products, services, sales and complaints. Some examples of a customer advocacy approach are suggesting a product even if the profit margin is less for the company, setting service call appointments based on the customer's (not the company's) preferred hours, or recommending a competitor's product because it is better at meeting the customer's needs. However, there are times when, if a customer is happy with the service, they will pay more for the service as a 'per se' talent fee.
Role of the customer advocate
Customer advocates are facilitators between customers and the company. They are trained in cross-functional roles and empowered to provide customers with assistance in all areas of the business. The role of the customer advocate is three-fold:
- To be the main contact for the customer in handling a question or problem, and to keep the customer updated with timely and frequent information about progress towards resolving the issue.
- To facilitate a resolution by bringing together the appropriate department heads.
- To implement a procedure that ensures the problem does not occur again, or recommends products or services to better meet customers' needs.
Measuring customer advocacy
Customer advocacy can be integrated into a company’s strategic goals and measured through customer satisfaction, retention, and profitability. A popular proxy for customer advocacy is the Net Promoter Score.
- Markey, Rob. "The essential roles of a customer Advocacy Office". Loyalty Insights. Bain & Company, Inc. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- Cravens, David W.; Le Meunier-FitzHugh, Kenneth; Piercy, Nigel F. (Jan 27, 2011). The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales Management. Oxford University Press. p. 320. ISBN 9780191641749.