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Customer Advocacy: Your most powerful sales pitch

Customer Advocacy: Your most powerful sales pitch

In case you missed it, we heard from Patrick Rooney, CEO of Seventh Echo. Patrick discussed how to unlock the ‘Holy Grail’ of customer advocacy to truly impact your bottom line and drive growth.

The post-purchase experience is sadly often underutilized as a key accelerator to your sales funnel, flywheel, etc. Patrick provides some valuable and actionable insights for giving your best customers a meaningful platform that encourages and enables them to be your most powerful sales pitch.

Here's what we learned:   

  • We live in the Era of Advocacy. 92% of people trust the recommendation of a friend or trusted source over marketing. People want to hear from people who have been in their shoes.

  • Customer advocacy is way more than testimonials and sharing their stories. It’s about strategically creating experiences to nurture measurable growth to create a scalable and sustainable advocacy program.

  • To find advocates, ask the right questions. Be brand-agnostic and focus on what trends are emerging. How are the needs in the market you serve changing?

  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes -- What’s in it for them? Never underestimate how simply asking for a person’s opinion appeals to their ego. People relish the opportunity to network with their peers especially in the B2B space. And customers value the ability to impact the direction of the product or service and mold it more to their tastes.

  • Yes, it can be measured. Companies that nurture customer advocates outperform competitors by 85% in sales growth. According to Harvard Business School, a 12% growth in customer advocacy leads to 200% growth in revenue. Cut that in half and you’re still handing out bonuses.

  • Pull customers together by creating a Customer Round Table to create open space for them to talk about their common challenges and the solutions they’re developing. Approach it with the goal of gaining unvarnished insight into the customer versus selling your brand into the conversation.

  • Create a Customer Advisory Board and give them a mandate -- tell us how we can improve the experience. Be deliberate around your goals for the group and identify KPIs to measure against. Focus the meetings on one topic - product, customer service, etc. Be sure to include the happy and the not-so-happy customers, so you can gain meaningful information to make worthwhile change.

  • Fearlessly listen. Don’t be afraid to make your company vulnerable to the slings and arrows of customer feedback. Customers show greater loyalty to companies who are transparently trying to improve their experience through constructive conversation rather than brands who appear to simply decree that what they do is perfect for their audience.

  • Look beyond the number of your Net Promoter Score (NPS) and see it as an impactful tool to measure the health of your business. Use it to find those primed advocates where the scores are in the 90s - these people love you! And find your detractors to meet that revenue-at-risk head-on. There is potential to move them to advocacy if you engage them and solve their challenges together

  • Close the loop. When you are truly co-creating solutions with your customers, it is vital to use that 1:1 relationship you’ve nurtured to tell them how their feedback and conversations are changing the course of the customer experience.  
FULL EVENT Transcript

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