Understanding and Practicing Customer Advocacy

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In sales, customer advocacy is when customers recommend a brand, product, or service to others. It's about leveraging the positive experiences and satisfaction of existing customers to drive new business.

What is Customer Advocacy?

Customer advocacy is when customers recommend products or services. The advocacy comes from customers who are satisfied and have positive experiences with the brand. 

Advocates express their positive opinions by talking, using social media, online reviews, and other ways. They support the brand because they believe in its value and quality, not for money!

How Advocacy influences sales?

Customer advocacy has a big impact on a brand’s reputation, trust, and sales. It’s crucial for a brand’s success and growth. Here’s how:

Brand Reputation

When customers advocate for a brand, they essentially act as credible ambassadors. When people talk positively about a brand, it helps create a good reputation. Many potential customers trust unbiased opinions more than ads, which builds a better reputation.


This is a key factor in customer decision-making. Customers who have no vested interest are highly trusted when they advocate for a product or service. When customers see or hear positive feedback from their peers, they trust the brand more and are more likely to engage with it.


Customer advocacy and brand reputation can directly impact sales. When friends, family, or peers suggest something, it can help a lot to get new customers. Also, in the digital age, online reviews and social media endorsements have a big audience. People tend to buy things that others have said good things about.

How to Identify Potential Advocates

Identifying potential customer advocates is a key step in leveraging customer advocacy. Here are some strategies to help you recognize and nurture these valuable customers:

  1. Find happy customers! Surveys and NPS scores help measure satisfaction. Customers who give you high ratings on NPS surveys can become advocates for your brand.
  2. Keep an eye on social media engagement. Customers who often interact with your brand on social media can be potential candidates.
  3. Keep track of customers who make repeat purchases or regularly use your services. These customers are probably happy with your brand and could become advocates.
  4. Customers who give positive and specific feedback show that they are more engaged with your brand.
  5. Customers who participate in brand-related forums, user groups, or community events can become advocates.
  6. Analyze your loyalty program data. Customers who are very engaged or at top levels in your loyalty programs are more likely to support your brand.
  7. When sales or customer service teams have individual conversations, they can find customers who are really satisfied.
  8. Use your CRM to analyze customer data like purchase history and interaction logs. This will help you find potential advocates.
  9. To find an advocate, ask your customers if they can refer your brand, participate in case studies, or give testimonials.

When we find these potential supporters, we can help them grow by engaging with them personally. We should recognize their support. We can include them in special programs and provide them with tools and incentives to share their positive experiences.

How to inspire Customers to Recommend

These strategies, focused on building strong relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction, can encourage customers to become active promoters of your brand. Here are several strategies you can implement:

Customer Experience

Ensure that every interaction with your brand is positive. Customers can become advocates when they receive great service, top-notch products, and an easy experience.

Social Media

Actively engage with your customers on social media. Interact with comments, share user content, and build a community that encourages customers to share and recommend your products.

Ask for Reviews

After a purchase, ask customers to leave a review or testimonial. Make it easy for them to do so through follow-up emails or on your website.

Influencer Partnerships

Partner with influencers who can authentically advocate for your brand. Their endorsements can encourage their followers to try your products or services.

Shareable Content

Make content that customers will want to share, such as blogs, videos, or graphics about your products.


Follow up with customers to show appreciation for their business. A simple thank you can go a long way and can make customers feel valued and more likely to recommend your brand.

Improve Based on Feedback

Actively listen to customer feedback and continuously improve your products and services. Showing that you value and act on customer input can turn customers into advocates.

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Metrics and KPIs to track Advocacy

To see how well customer advocacy efforts are working, it’s important to keep track of different measurements and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Here are some essential metrics and KPIs to consider:

  1. Advocate Engagement Rate: Track how involved your advocates are with your brand. This includes referral programs, events, and content contributions.
  2. Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures the likelihood of customers recommending your brand to others. A high NPS indicates a strong base of customer advocates.
  3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Assesses overall customer satisfaction with your product or service. High satisfaction often correlates with higher advocacy.
  4. Referral Rates: Tracks the number of new customers acquired through referrals. An increase in referral rates can indicate successful advocacy.
  5. Social Media Engagement: Measures likes, shares, comments, and mentions on social media. Increased engagement can reflect effective customer advocacy.
  6. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Evaluates the total value a customer brings over their relationship with your brand. Advocacy programs can increase CLTV through repeat purchases and loyalty.
  7. Churn Rate: Measures the rate at which customers stop doing business with you. A lower churn rate can be a sign of effective customer advocacy.
  8. Brand Sentiment Analysis: You can analyze the feelings in social media posts, reviews, and other content about your brand.

These metrics show how your customer advocacy initiatives are doing and where you can improve your strategies.

Common obstacles and solutions

Businesses face many challenges when implementing and maintaining customer advocacy programs. To succeed in these programs, it’s important to understand and solve common obstacles. Here are some typical challenges and potential solutions:

Lack of Awareness or Understanding 

Solution: Educate customers about the benefits and processes of the advocacy program through targeted marketing, emails, and on-site information. Make the process of becoming an advocate clear and straightforward.

Difficulty in Identifying Potential Advocates

Solution: Use data analytics and customer feedback tools to identify customers who are highly engaged, satisfied, or who refer others.

Low Participation in Advocacy Programs

Solution: Enhance the attractiveness of the program with better incentives, recognition, or gamification. Ensure the program is easy to participate in and communicate its value clearly.

Inconsistent Customer Experience

Solution: Standardize and track customer experiences across all touchpoints. Regular training for staff and quality control measures can help maintain a high standard.

Large Volume of Advocates

Solution: Invest in scalable CRM systems and automation tools to manage communications and relationships with a growing number of advocates.

Ensuring Authenticity in Advocacy

Solution: Encourage honest and genuine reviews and recommendations. Avoid overly scripting or controlling advocacy messages to maintain authenticity.

Negative Advocacy or Backlash

Solution: Monitor social media and online platforms for negative advocacy. Address issues promptly and transparently to mitigate potential backlash.

To overcome these challenges, a strategic plan is needed. This plan should include better communication, using technology effectively, and building real customer connections.

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Examples of customer advocacy initiatives

Customer advocacy programs come in different forms to harness the loyalty of happy customers. Here are some examples:

Loyalty Programs

Repeat customers can earn points, get discounts, receive exclusive offers, or access new products early. This can turn regular customers into brand advocates.

Brand Ambassador Programs

Recruit enthusiastic customers to become formal ambassadors for the brand. These people often talk about their experiences on social media and at brand events, and give feedback on products or services.

User-Generated Content

Encourage customers to share their brand experiences on social media using a specific hashtag. They can use photos, videos, or blog posts.

Community Forums and Events

Host online forums or events for customers to connect with each other and the brand, building community and loyalty.

Customer Advisory Boards

Invite important customers to join advisory boards. They can give feedback on our products, services, and strategy. This makes them feel valued and heard.

VIP Customer Experiences

Offer exceptional experiences to top customers, like exclusive access to events, previews of new products, or personalized services.

Co-Creation Initiatives

Engage customers in product development by using surveys, beta testing, and co-creation workshops. This can make customers feel like a vital part of the brand.

Social Media Advocacy

Encourage customers to share their experiences with the brand on social media. This can be done through campaigns, sometimes with contests or giveaways.

Influencer Collaborations

Partner with customers who have a significant social media presence to promote the brand. Unlike traditional influencers, these individuals are genuine customers who already love the brand.

These initiatives promote positive word-of-mouth and increase brand visibility. They also strengthen the relationship between the brand and its customers, creating loyal advocates. 


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