Four traits to look for when identifying a customer advocate

For any company, identifying the right people to champion your product is critical to your success.  These people are your advocates.

An advocate speaks for your customer with an insider’s view. They share their personal knowledge and positive experience with your product with their coworkers and friends while providing you with valuable feedback on what users like, what can be improved, or even what should be shelved. The customer advocate is a highly effective voice of your clientele.

A customer advocate also helps generate new customers for you, in a highly effective way. According to Forrester research, an overwhelming 70% of consumers trust the advice and recommendations from friends but only 10% trust advertising.

If advocates are so valuable, how do you spot them?

First, use NPS surveys to easily identify proponents.  Then, drill down to look for users with four main “advocate” traits: dependable, sincere, passionate, and smart.

Sets Dependable Standards

A good customer advocate is the go-to person about your product or service. They are dependable and trusted by their friends and colleagues. Through their own use, they are dedicated to the product and are familiar with all that it offers. This shows in their commitment to your product from start to finish.

By repeatedly engaging with the product, they know the ins and outs, pros and cons. They show others how to utilize your product or service to its fullest extent. In addition, through sharing their expertise, the advocate can contribute to a successful and speedy onboarding process (one of the primary goals of any online company).

Sincerely Engages with Your Product

A good customer advocate is sincere in their recommendations and selling points. Friends and co-workers understand that their reviews are accurate and genuine, not meant to sell them on products that will not fit their needs. Their insights come from personal experience and it shows. By providing honest opinions, people around them trust their insights.

The advocate is also someone who truly believes in your brand. Their authentic belief in your company and its mission makes them highly influential.

Provides Passionate Reviews

The customer advocate provides in-depth and valuable feedback on your product. They care enough to let you know what will help their experience with your product or service. Often times, as vendors we receive general feedback on price, service, and satisfaction.

An advocate goes deeper, identifying specific actions you can take to provide a better product and support experience.  This may range from design to end user friendliness to future modules or further development. Where immediate action is required, the advocate will relay information to their colleagues.

Adaptable and Creative

Advocate feedback can set in motion lots of improvements on your part.  The customer advocate is savvy and is quick to capitalize on your latest. They can be a great source of early feedback on new capabilities.

In fact, advocates often use your product in unexpected ways that are unique and creative. Thinking outside of the box is their forte. These anecdotes could be clues for you to position your product differently or even appeal to new buyer audiences.

Finding the right advocates can yield a huge return to your business. They can be demanding and require an investment in your time and many improvements. But the payoff can be worth it!

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