The exponential growth of Customer Success has seen enormous benefits for leading businesses all over the world. Traditionally, these benefits have been measured in financial (e.g. net retention), customer satisfaction (e.g. NPS) and adoption (e.g. product usage) terms. However, I would argue that one of the most effective measures of whether your Customer Success strategy is truly delivering on its promise to maximise customer value is advocacy.
The advantages of an advocacy programme can be felt across the enterprise and especially in Sales and Marketing. This is evidenced in research from the Harvard Business Review which showed that 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.
There are several different examples of what could be included in an advocacy programme; examples of which include:
Given the compelling evidence above, it is absolutely clear that advocates make a positive difference, but how can you identify them? Based on my experience of running Customer Success both as an employee and a consultant, here are some key tips that will make the difference:
Finally, one of the most important ways to generate advocates is for CSMs to change their mindset. Often, CSMs are too focused on issue resolution and this can lead to a mind-set of “we need to put everything right” and are relieved when a customer expresses delight. We need to be automatically tuned so that when a customer gives us a glowing review of our solution that we should be thinking “could this be a potential advocate?”.