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Three Ways to Build Customer Love Through Employee Customer Advocates


Thanks to greater transparency and communications techniques, companies are continually finding new ways to engage with customers and develop stronger relationships.

As customers become more empowered and vocal, happy customers are often sharing positive experiences they have with the brands they love most.

Progressive organizations are seeing the benefits of retaining these brand advocates and dedicating customer-facing employees to serve as customer advocates to high-value and potential high-value customers. Doing so can ensure that preeminent customers are gratified by having their unique needs and circumstances taken care of.

Contact center and sales associates who serve as customer advocates are able to have a profound impact on the experiences and relationships that premier and potential high-value customers have with a particular company. Here are three ways to help build customer advocacy with your biggest fans:

1. Provide customer advocates with the right level of training and autonomy to resolve each unique customer situation effectively.
hands forming a heart

Traditional customer service representatives typically only have contact with customers when a problem occurs. A customer advocate, on the other hand, proactively initiates contact with customers to try to prevent problems before they happen. This skill set requires a different level of training.

Let’s say a high-value customer reaches out to an electronic retailer’s contact center for assistance with a recently purchased high-end laptop that isn’t working properly. Connecting the customer to a customer advocate trained to troubleshoot issues for that particular laptop brand, who can also veer off script and provide consultative support and guidance, can effectively build greater rapport with the customer.
 
Connecting customers with advocates who are trained and authorized to resolve their issues timely, compassionately, and completely enables companies to develop trusting relationships that strengthen loyalty and customer lifetime value.

2. Furnish customer advocates with effortless access to the right customer data and technologies to support each customer seamlessly and comprehensively.

Customer advocates require a comprehensive view of each customer being supported. Advocates who have a 360-degree view of the high-value customers they’re supporting at the time of the interaction, including information regarding product ownership, transaction history, demographics, lifecycle status, and the nature of their most recent support interactions and channels used, are able to provide the customer with relevant and fluid support that will strengthen customer confidence by demonstrating that the company and its staff are looking out for her best interests.

3. Track and measure the impact of customer advocacy programs.

As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Because customer advocates study recorded transactions with customers to identify possible issues and plan effective retention strategies, they also have a wealth of data to measure the effectiveness of these programs. Additionally, customer feedback available through support interactions with customer advocates and through surveys can be tracked and analyzed to determine the most appropriate metrics. 

The use of metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction, retention rates, customer profitability, share-of-wallet, problem resolution, and changes in customer lifetime value can provide organizational leaders with timely insights into how customer advocacy programs are performing and to help identify when adjustments may be needed.
 
More companies are finding out that customer advocates give customers more thorough and thoughtful attention than employees working in a traditional format to provide services and quick problem resolution for high-value customers. Contact center and other customer-facing employees who receive in-depth training to become customer advocates and are equipped with comprehensive customer data and state-of-the-art tools to go the distance for each customer, will ultimately deepen their companies’ most valuable relationships.


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Infograhpic: ​Digital Retail Trends to Track in 2015