Building a Brand on Customer Advocacy: Key Strategies for Success


The Gist

  • Empower voices. Equip your customers to become brand advocates, enhancing organic reach and credibility.
  • Foster engagement. Build deep connections through personalized experiences, turning satisfaction into passionate customer advocacy.
  • Measure impact. Utilize metrics to track customer advocacy efforts, refining strategies for sustained brand growth.

Reputations are made or broken by the experiences customers have with companies and especially by what they have to say about those experiences. This is a cornerstone of customer obsession — when customers are “obsessed” with a brand. Customer advocacy becomes your best friend.

That’s one of the reasons the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has become one of the most widely used metrics in corporate America and around the globe.

Why Net Promoter Score (NPS) Matters for Customer Advocacy

NPS divides customers into three groups (Promoters, Detractors and Passives) based on their answers to “The Ultimate Question” — “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?”

Promoters are customers who are extremely likely to recommend the company. In the world of customer advocacy, they are your best bets. Detractors are customers who are not at all likely to recommend the company. Passives are customers who fall in the middle between these two groups. The percentage of detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters to get Net Promoter Score.

Companies that measure their performance using NPS strive to maximize promoters and minimize detractors because promoters are believed to be vocal ambassadors for their brands while detractors are presumed to be vocal saboteurs of their brands. However, there is new evidence that suggests that promoters aren’t nearly as vocal as supposed.

Related Article: Companies Are Misusing Net Promoter Scores: Here’s How to Fix That

Why True Customer Advocacy Outperforms NPS Promoters

My company interviewed 1200+ customers who rated 22 companies on nine customer obsession differentiators defined in my book “Blueprint for Customer Obsession.” They found that in comparison to customers classified as NPS Promoters, only about half as many customers said they had already repeatedly recommended a brand in the past 12 months.

In other words, promoters don’t necessarily translate to vocal brand ambassadors, and maybe brands should consider anchoring to an alternative standard that takes into account whether customers have already repeatedly recommended a brand vs. whether they are likely to do so.

Related Article: Are You Overvaluing Quantitative CX Research?

Obsessed Customers as the Heart of Customer Advocacy

The study also identified a group of customers who more closely align to vocal brand ambassadors. They are referred to as obsessed customers, and they are collectively defined by five behaviors:

  • 82% of obsessed customers say they will recommend you to others.
  • 42% report they have already recommended you five-plus times in the past year
  • 44% say they always/usually share their feelings about the company with others when given the opportunity.
  • 26% say they have placed online reviews.
  • 88% say they will “absolutely” repurchase in the next 12 months.
A customer wearing multiple bracelets photographs a plate of food at a restaurant in piece about customer obsession and Net Promoter Score.
44% say they always/usually share their feelings about the company with others when given the opportunity.pavel siamionov on Adobe Stock Photos

Related Article: Skewed Metrics: How CX Leaders Should Rethink NPS, CSAT and CES


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