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How to build a customer advocacy team

How to Build a Winning Customer Advocacy Team

Rhys Williams
By Rhys Williams — January 16, 2024 -

Getting customer advocacy right means building a holistic view of the customer, so by definition, it’s something that involves people from multiple departments and teams. 

Everyone whose role brings them into contact with the customer — from sales all the way through to aftercare — should have a seat at the table. 

Putting the right team in place will reward you with deeper, longer-lasting relationships with your customers, but building an advocacy team might not be something you’ve done before. 

So we’ve produced this guide to help you.

 

The enterprise advocacy team

If you’re part of an enterprise organisation, you can put together a strong team capable of delivering a powerful strategy that puts your customers at the heart of everything you do. 

The starting point for building this vision is data. 

First-party advocacy data can inform your overall marketing, driving revenue and new customer acquisition. But you need the help of your marketing, customer experience and loyalty teams to provide any benefit for customers.

 

Head of CRM

The person in charge of your CRM campaigns should be the first name on the team sheet. They are crucial to your customer advocacy success because they have a detailed, working knowledge of the entire customer lifecycle so will be best placed to unlock the advocacy data you already have in your system.  

Mention Me regularly works with CRM teams to help them understand who their best customers really are. Advocacy data lets you see which customers are genuinely dormant and which ones are hidden VIPs - referring and promoting your business even when they’re not spending money directly. 

The Head of CRM will also play a key role in promoting customer advocacy across critical touchpoints. They can:

  • Promote your advocacy programme
  • Engage your most important advocates
  • Take account of lapsed purchasers who are still active advocates

 

Head of Customer Experience

To create a truly outstanding customer experience, you need data to show you which customers to prioritise. Data also allows you to create genuinely personalised experiences. 

Advocacy data can be a huge help here: there’s a lot more to the customer lifecycle than simply purchasing, so without advocacy data, you’re missing a key piece of the CX jigsaw. 

You need your customer experience leader on board to make sure your biggest advocates get the best experiences, from start to finish. 

As a customer advocacy team, you might decide to:

  • Prioritise customer service queries for top advocates
  • Ask a customer for a recommendation after they’ve had a positive experience
  • Use active promotion triggers for customers who respond well to satisfaction surveys 

 

Head of Marketing

If you want a successful advocacy programme, you first of all need your customers to know it exists! You need to work with your head of marketing so you can showcase it extensively across touchpoints. 

This individual will know the best place to reach each customer and, as an advocacy team, you may decide to use:

  • Personalised messaging on your site
  • App notifications
  • Social media awareness campaigns
  • In-person promotion   

 

Head of eCommerce

Now you’re taking customer advocacy seriously, you’ll need someone senior from your ecommerce team to be involved. Most customer journeys happen online, so you need to develop an advocacy strategy that’s capable of nurturing and engaging your customers across digital touchpoints. To drive real value you need the input of stakeholders responsible for the end-to-end ecommerce landscape. 

  •  Use Advocacy data to understand which products are most recommended
  • Offer seamless and enticing opportunities to recommend a friend (or to be recommended)

 

Head of Loyalty

In the course of building customer advocacy into the culture of your organisation, your concept of loyalty might change. Surely your most loyal customers are those who not only purchase regularly but bring their friends along to the party as well.

Using advocacy insights to build a fuller picture of loyalty means the person responsible has to play a leading role in your advocacy team. 

  • Use insights from an expanded view of loyalty to identify and engage your best advocates
  • Avoid indiscriminate discounting by using your existing loyalty scheme to reward your best customers for introducing their friends

 

The slimline advocacy team

You can still build a powerful customer advocacy strategy even with a smaller team. 

At a minimum, it should involve:

  • Head of Marketing 
  • Head of CRM
  • An advocacy champion

The CRM person can make sure you’re getting all the advocacy data you possibly can out of your martech stack. They can help you use it to run effective, targeted campaigns.

The marketing person helps integrate your advocacy strategy into your wider marketing and customer engagement efforts. 

It’s also important to have an advocacy champion. This should be someone senior in your organisation who has the authority to promote a customer-centric strategy that gets buy-in from across your business. 

 

Conclusion

If you want to get serious about engaging your biggest brand fans and optimising your referral and customer promotion strategy, Mention Me’s Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform can help you. 

Our team of experts have worked with over 500 leading brands to deliver major increases in referrals, revenue and customer acquisition. Our innovative platform is transforming the way brands view their customers and the value they can bring to their businesses. 

To understand how to deploy customer advocacy marketing for your brand, watch a demo of the world's first Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform:

Watch a Demo

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