Why Your Customer Advocacy Strategy Shouldn’t Only Be Customer-Focused
You read right, this isn’t some clickbait switcheroo here. When adopting a customer advocacy strategy, many businesses will often say they are super “customer-focused” or “customer-obsessed” as a declaration of just how much value they strive to add to their dear customers’ shopping experience. And though these terms and others like it may be used interchangeably with the smallest degree of nuances, the ideology behind these phrases cannot hold a candle to the approach of customer centricity. In fact, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren't.
Now you’re probably thinking. Great. Another marketing buzzword. But stick with us here and you’ll find out why it’s the better, more impactful, and well-rounded practice you can implement to really see your customer advocacy strategy pay off.
What is Customer Centricity?
First off, what makes customer centricity so special that it stands apart from phrases like “customer-focused”? Well, while both are ways in which you practice customer advocacy and improve overall customer satisfaction, the differences are:
- Customer-focused refers to putting the needs and wants of your customers first and intending to meet them through products, services, and marketing efforts.
- Customer-centricity, on the other hand, goes a step further. As the name implies, you're putting the customer at the center of your operations and making every decision with the customer in mind.
In other words, while the customer-focused approach is an important first step, what’s really going to drive repeat business and bolster your customer advocacy strategy is by being customer-centric.
Some of the benefits of adopting this approach include:
- Increased customer retention and loyalty
- Becoming agile enough to keep up with your customers’ needs
- Witnessing more raving customers spreading the word about your business
When you’re customer-focused, you’re listening to what your customers want and offering them that. When you’re customer-centric, you understand more than just your customers’ short-term wants—you know their needs and behaviors to better tailor your offers according to where they are on the buyer’s journey. 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs… So what does leveling up into a customer-centric business entail?
Get into the Headspace of the Customer
Many of the corporate titans of today have created such a sophisticated customer experience, they can even accurately predict what their customers want before they express it. But don’t worry, you don't need to grow a third eye or have data farms the size of three Amazon warehouses to figure out who your audience is and what they’re interested in—you just need to get into their minds with the right questions. But how?
Conducting surveys to figure out the psychographics—the attitudes, interests, beliefs, and values of your customers—does not only go a long way in helping you reveal more about their behavior, but will also help you construct some solid buyer personas. The goal here is to use this research to understand what your audience needs in order to move from informed prospects to repeat loyal advocates.
With this approach, you’re placing more of an emphasis on figuring out what your customers need as opposed to figuring out what offers will push customers to buy—allowing you to become more proactive and adaptive to handle customers’ ever-changing needs and behaviors.
Hand Your Customers the Megaphone
In a world where trust is in low supply and people are skeptical of advertisements, the opinions of others who have purchased the things we’re curious about are one of the few sources of authenticity we rely heavily upon. In fact, according to Vendasta, “92% of consumers now read at least one online company review before making a purchasing decision.”
Though that’s not to say that having 5-star reviews across the board will make a line of people waiting to buy from you “poof” into existence. Your customers want to hear honest experiences that account for both the pros and cons of your offerings. A good way of amplifying your customers' voices is by resharing user-generated content (UGC) they made about your brand.
Empowering your customers to tell their stories, rather than relying on your own biased narrative about your product, is a great way to make people connect with what you’re selling and attract more potential buyers.
Make Customers Feel Connected and Involved
If things like “customer loyalty programs” and “referral programs” came to mind after reading that headline, you’ve got the right idea. After all, more than 70% of buyers would recommend a brand if it has a good loyalty program. However, those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a deeper underlying desire most people want: a sense of being a part of an exclusive community.
One of the ways people become advocates is by seeing the impact they have on your business. Putting customer feedback—testimonials, reviews, surveys, etc.—in front of the right people on your team who can perform improvements will make your customers feel like valued contributors. Who wouldn’t want to continue doing business with a brand that makes them feel seen? At the end of the day, customer advocacy is a two-way street that involves both parties showing the other some love, and the best way to do that is with customer-centricity.
➡️ Check out UserEvidence’s proactive and easy way to garner and identify volunteers willing to share their success stories—explore our Customer Advocates feature.
Incorporating customer centricity into your customer advocacy strategy is a surefire way to increase sales, word-of-mouth, and loyalty long-term. Admittedly, it does require more effort than simply being customer-focused, but the ROI speaks for itself.
Plus, we can help make your transition from customer-focus to customer-centric become all the more seamless. Building your reputation doesn’t have to be hard when capturing and sharing your customers' stories can be done in minutes.
Start generating customer evidence and turning your customers into advocates by nailing your customer advocacy game plan with UserEvidence. Book your demo today.