Customer Advocacy Software
What is Customer Advocacy Software?
Customer Advocacy Software is designed to support a company’s marketing, sales and customer success efforts. It allows a company to amplify social proof from existing loyal customers. That social proof is brought into communications with prospects and during onboarding of new customers. This can increase buzz around a brand in a somewhat organic fashion.
Customer advocacy software is related to referral marketing software and consumer ratings and reviews software. There are also products on the market designed to promote brand advocacy among employees. These are used for recruiting purposes and brand reputation management. However, those products are not covered here. Customer advocacy software is distinct from advocacy platforms designed for non-profits or political grassroots efforts.
Benefits of Customer Advocacy
Here are some of the possible benefits of a successful customer advocacy program:
- Spreading brand recognition
- Increase customer engagement
- Increasing word-of-mouth referrals (i.e. inbound leads)
- Shortening the sales cycle
- Easing the onboarding process through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing
- Generating ideas to fuel customer-centric product development
- Improving morale among employees
Customer Advocacy Software Features & Capabilities
Customer advocacy software helps companies identify potential advocates and encourage them to engage with the brand, often for incentives. This might include providing referrals, offering feedback, or participating in reference programs.
Features to support customer advocacy programs may include:
- Identification of potential advocates, activity tracking, and record management
- Referral campaign program creation, promotion, dissemination, and tracking
- Segmenting or sorting of referrals and customer-generated content to suit a purpose (e.g. marketing, onboarding, sales, customer success, etc.)
- Support for many types of advocacy channels, like social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram), blog posts, reviews, articles, tutorials, webinars, etc.
- Incentive management (e.g. incentive creation, distribution, tracking, rewards and recognition, etc.)
- Engagement tools to communicate with brand advocates
- Customer reference or testimonial request workflow and management
- Collateral sharing and microsites that feature advocates
- Reporting and analytics to demonstrate success of referral campaigns or individual influencers by KPI (e.g. sales closed)
IntegrationsLeading customer advocacy platforms may integrate with the following types of tools.
- CRMs to log events and provide visibility over activities
- Third-party rewards and gift fulfillment platforms to support incentive management
- Marketing Automation Systems so that referrals and other collateral can be distributed across large segmented groups
- Social media sites where much of the advocacy takes place are expected
- The organization's CMS to house advocacy materials with other marketing content
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