Customer advocacy is a hot topic in marketing. Leaders today see it as the only true and sustainable way to win customers and market share over the long term.
Customer advocacy consists of the actions you take to focus the organization on doing what is best for customers, which, in turn, rewards you with loyal customers.
What would be the right approach to mount customer advocacy in contact center. The key is empowering your agents — but with the right approach. The idea of empowering employees to be customer advocates sounds good to many leaders in concept, but doing so is easier said than done if barriers are in place. These barriers can include lack of training, misguided performance targets, and limited decision-making authority.
There are five components that are essential to develop employees into customer advocates:
The most important is to define and reinforce your vision as to what focusing on customer means.
Training and coaching
A second essential component is to instill a deep understanding of what customer advocacy is, and how it works in your organization. This has to be practical for every employee and every job role. For example, address questions such as:
• What does it mean to put yourself in customers’ shoes?
• How do you find the best solutions for them?
• To whom do you reach out when resources and assistance from other areas are required?
Customer advocacy is about taking action to do what’s best for customers. You can’t expect employees to be effective unless they have the authority and means to make decisions. Empowering means giving them the authority to take an action rather than following the protocols of approvals.
Employees appreciate the trust. They want to make good decisions that are right for customers and the organization because they happen on the spot.
Goals and objectives
The right goals and objectives—ones that support and encourage customer advocacy—are also essential. When you establish metrics, you’ll get what you measure. Do your quality standards and measures of success truly align with doing what’s best for customers?
Tools and processes
You’ll also need supporting tools and processes. This does not necessarily mean you have to have the latest technology, but several capabilities are especially helpful. These include knowing the customer's history and preferences, the means to capture helpful information on customers and issues, and good communication tools for internal collaboration.
Customer advocacy doesn’t happen on its own. But if you’ve aligned these five components, you’ll be strongly on track to developing your contact center agents into customer advocates.
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