I completely agree with her when she says
“This emerging role is really the first line of advocacy for customers. These people are engaging and interacting with customers, former customers and future customers daily. If the C-level isn’t asking for constant feedback from them, they are missing out.”
My day time role is as a customer advocacy manager at a large multi-national software giant. So, I was very much interested in the post. She does have a few interesting points to make:
When I took this role early last year, I was not very sure what I was expected to do and how will I go about figuring this out. However, the last 12 months have been an eye-opener for me. I now have a clearer understanding about what does customer advocacy mean.
In a nut shell, I think customer advocacy is the following:
- Understand what and how your customers think. Then be the voice of the customer within your organization.
The criteria for success of this role would be the following:
- The person should have direct access to the senior management of the organization.
- Should be well-respected both within the organization and within the customer community.
- Should be able to understand both sides (Organization, customers), represent both sides and at the same time, stay neutral.
- Should be a good listener.
- Understands how his organization ticks so that he can influence the same when the time comes.
Anything less than this and the organization is not fully leveraging the customer communities and is missing a great opportunity to connect and engage with their customers.
Having said all of this, I think we will see more and more organizations create the customer advocacy roles within their organizations to engage with their customers.