What Is Customer Advocacy?
There are two main definitions of customer advocacy that are sometimes conflated in articles online. Both are equally relevant to creating an effective business strategy, and both can be measured through social listening. To save everyone a lot of confusion, we’ll refer to customer advocacy (1) and customer advocacy (2) as they are defined below and then explain how to measure them.
1. The company advocates for the customer:
In this definition of customer advocacy, the organisation acts in the interests of the customer. Customer advocacy is part of a company culture of putting the customers’ needs, motivations and expectations first, and then providing solutions through products and services.
Businesses may assign a customer advocate whose role it is to study customers’ needs, and build a brand or business strategy to help fulfil those needs.
2. The customer advocates for the company
Customer advocates speak positively of your brand and recommend it to others through word of mouth (WOM).
Some say that the term is mistakenly used to refer to brand advocacy. But language is malleable and evolves with use, so when the Harvard Business Review among many others use this definition, who are we to refute them?
How to Measure Customer Advocacy
Measure your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your Net Promoter Score is a reliable indicator of both forms of customer advocacy (1&2). It is a measure of the quality of your customer relationship, customer loyalty, and critically, what percentage of your audience recommend your brand to others.
To find your NPS you need two key pieces of data:
- The percentage of your audience that actively promote your brand through recommendations.
- The percentage of your audience that actively detract from your brand by dissuading others to use it.
Your NPS is measured by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
NOTE: This is not the same as sentiment. A customer can speak positively about your brand, product or service without necessarily recommending it to others.
So, how do you get these two key pieces of data?
Net Promoter Survey
One option is to create a short net promoter survey. You can prompt people to complete the survey after they’ve completed a transaction or via email. You’ve probably seen or participated in one of these surveys in the past.
Ask users on a scale of zero to ten to rate how likely they are to recommend your brand to their friends and/or colleagues.
- A score of six or less indicates that the respondent is a detractor.
- A score of seven or eight indicates that the respondent is neutral or passive,
- A score of nine or ten indicates that the respondent is a promoter.
However, there are several major drawbacks to this method. Firstly, a numerical score doesn’t give us much insight into the respondents reasoning. To extract more information you need to create a more detailed survey with open-ended questions. Creating a useful survey is time-consuming, and fewer people are likely to respond to a longer survey.
Secondly, just because someone scores your brand highly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will actively write a review or recommend your brand on social media. The respondent may simply have a strong positive sentiment but doesn’t intend on acting on it.
A more reliable method is to take statistics from online reviews and comments. Instead of asking your customers whether they would recommend your brand, with this method you are looking at existing, and organically produced data.
To do this, you’ll need a social listening tool capable of analysing and extracting data from written text. The Symanto Insights Platform can scan thousands of reviews and social media comments within a matter of minutes and, among many other things, deliver a reliable Net Promoter Score.
The Symanto Insights Platform leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to automatically differentiate promoters, detractors and those who are indifferent to your brand based on what they’ve written in reviews and on social media.
You can also feed customer service transcripts, chatbot conversations and any other qualitative data from your CRM into the Symanto Insights Platform for analysis.
Discover the most significant issues faced by your customers
How aligned are your business strategies with the needs of your customers? Customer advocacy (1) is all about making sure that you are at all times working in the interest of your customers. This means that you have to know what challenges your customers face when using your products and services and work to resolve them.
One way to measure customer advocacy (1) is to listen to what your customers are saying about you online and then see whether it is reflected in your business aims and strategies. The more aligned the two are, the better.
Use a social listening tool to find out what your customers are saying. The Symanto Insights Platform enables you to discover unbiased opinions. Unlike other social listening tools, Symanto uses text intelligence to extract all relevant topics, not just those from a pre-defined glossary. That way you can uncover hidden gems in long-tail conversations.
Social listening allows you not only to find out what your customers are talking about but also the extent of the issue. What percentage of your customers are affected? That way you can work on prioritising issues and making the most impact.
Once you’ve grasped how to measure customer advocacy, the next question is: what should you do with the information?
Many social listening tools are not actionable enough. They don’t provide enough detail to enable you to confidently take action moving forward.
The Symanto Insights Platform not only gives you incredible insight into what your customers currently think and feel about your brand, but it also offers extra information that can help you improve customer relationships and engagement.
Improve engagement quality with personality traits and communication style
The Symanto Insights Platform can detect key personality traits and communication style preferences. Are your customers driven by logic or emotion? Are they information seeking, or action seeking? This information can help you personalise your customer service responses and marketing messaging.
You can use this information to cluster your audiences and fine-tune your communication strategy.
Respond with accuracy
Accuracy is the key to real insights. The Symanyo Insights Platform makes it easy to delve into insights with more detail. Explore by subtopic to find out where the issues really lie and view examples of comments to discover exactly what the authors are saying in context.
Take fast action
As well as social listening, Symanto technology can also be used separately to enhance your customer service capabilities. Use Symanto’s APIs to identify comments that require urgent action and attention. The Communication Style API identifies action seeking and information seeking enquiries while the Emotion Text Analysis API identifies upset and dissatisfied customers.
Customer advocacy in both its senses is an important metric to measure and track. The most effective way to measure customer advocacy is with the aid of a social listening tool capable of accurate and advanced text analysis.
These tools not only enable you to measure customer advocacy but can also be used to help you make informed decisions when planning your strategy to enhance customer advocacy.