Listening to the 'Voice of the Customer' - that is what really matters!
Customer Advocate, the person entrusted within a company to analyze the needs of the customer and to help satisfy those needs in a timely and cost effective manner.
Many companies are quickly realizing the importance of creating a structured customer advocacy program to improve customer loyalty. Such a program generally will extend across all areas of typical customer contact, including customer service, sales, marketing and engineering. The activities of these internal groups need to be aligned around 'the customer', addressing the needs highlighted by the customer advocate, to ensure complete success with the program.
Customer advocacy must be integrated into a company's strategic goals and measured through customer satisfaction, retention and profitability.
The Customer Advocate
A facilitator connecting customers and the company trained in cross-functional roles. This person is empowered to provide customers with assistance in all areas of the business. The role of the customer advocate is as follows:
Customer Advocacy Programs
A customer advocacy program must encompass a structured methodology that can be quickly and easily implemented, follows a consistent well-defined proven process and one where the results are measurable. Some of the features of the program include:
When to Engage a Customer Advocate
There are many reasons for a company to engage a customer advocate in a specific target customer account. Proactive engagement with healthy accounts is always recommended, prior to any issues that may arise. This scenario creates a win-win vendor-client relationship and establishes open dialog, trust and strong customer loyalty. Engagement with a client when they are experiencing a problem is considered reactive engagement, but an important way to address outstanding issues rapidly. In this mode, you typically are able to transition a bad or critical situation into one that achieves a positive outcome.
Focus On Your Top Customers - proactively engage your most important clients to ensure their needs are being properly addressed and that customer satisfaction is high.
Problem Customer Accounts - when you need to resolve critical a situation expeditiously with a defined 'get-well' approach.
General Customer Feedback - when you desire to obtain valuable customer feedback to help influence product development, solutions or company practices.