I Want Customer Advocates!!

The title of this blog is also the answer to my last blog, Do You Want Satisfied Customers, Loyal Customers or Customer Advocates?  You definitely want Customer Advocates!

We understand the differences between satisfied customers, loyal customers and customer advocates.  But more important to understand is ... How do I go about getting customer advocates?

One way is through a Customer Advisory Board program.  These initiatives are made up of 15-25 decision makers from your top accounts.  Unlike other marketing or sales activities that are focused on lead generation or closed deals, Customer Advisory Boards are focused on building and enhancing relationships at higher levels and securing market insight necessary to keep your business ahead of the competition.  These programs provide the "voice of the customer" to your executive leadership team through a structured program where you can:
  • Engage in business-level discussions to understand "their world" and the direction of the market
  • Gain the input you need to drive your organization's strategy, internal alignment and priorities
  • Integrate customer feedback to ensure market alignment, organizational direction and improve the relevancy of your offerings
  • Become a trusted advisor and deliver value that differentiates you from other vendors
By helping your top customers solve their biggest problems and achieve their biggest aspirations, they naturally become advocates for you in the market.  They are willing to tell others about their experiences with you in a number of ways: 
  • Speak at an event
  • Co-author a white paper
  • Serve as a reference
  • Participate in a case study
Earlier this year, Geehan Group conducted research of over 70 companies who operate a variety of Customer Programs.  Here is what the research told us:

How would you like to have up to 94% of your top customers Willing to Recommend your products, services and/or solutions?  Those are truly customer advocates! 

Take time today to review your list of top customers, then imagine having them all in a room together with your leadership team discussing their biggest challenges.  You'll learn ways you can help solve those challenges and build closer, more valuable relationships ... while planting the seeds for future customer advocates!

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