Customer Advocacy is a term which is used frequently now a days by the corporate world to improve the Company Client Relations. There was a time when people in companies were busy implementing CRM packages. But after some time it came to light that with increased individual Customer focussed push, the Customer took it as an invasive approach. Now lets see what this term actually means? Customer Advocacy is composed of two individual words Customer & Advocacy. Customer means GOD and Advocacy is to advocate something. So the actual meaning is to work towards goal where our Customer starts advocating our relationship to their friends.
It is more of a mindset , rather than a strategy. It is based on better Product Features and Total Quality Management. If these base needs are met, then only the firm can go for Customer Advocacy. Customer Advocacy initiative should be taken from the Top Management and then the idea should percolate from there to the lower heirarchy employees.
It works on two approaches, the first one deals with setting a process for reactive issues which the clients want to escalate.In this approach the issue is logged properly and then it becomes the imperative of the Customer Advocacy Team to be responsible for the customer for the issue logged. The team will coordinate with the concerned Stakeholders for the resolution of the issue. Every issue should be documented properly , so that it could be taken to the second level of approach.
The second approach is to go to the customer proactively after a span of time , we would be asking them their problems, feedback , issues in relationship with the company . These responses should be analysed with Customer Loyalty and Customer satisfaction metrics for better understanding of the Client relationships. This report should be presented to the Top Management foe further action.
The team should have people from across departments, so that the coordination among various areas for the issues logged is easy. The team should be empowered to take decisions about getting the issues solved from the internal stakeholders. There should be meeting with all the internal stakeholders after stipulated time.
Company should try to continuously improve the product , since without good product with excellent quality , the client will not advocate your product how much you try to push customer related strategy. The mainstay idea of should percolate to all the employees so that all the customer touch points shows the improvement in its engagement with the customer.
Customer Advocacy as an idea will continue to be embraced by the corporate world which will help them tide this recession and survive this highly competitive world because it is shown in many researches that Customer Advocates are more profitable , buy more and are more immune to the Competitor's advances.