Why You Need To Measure Customer Advocacy at Early Stage Startup
Suppose you have managed to create a startup from the ground up, producing a particular product or offering a service to be brought to the market. You are just halfway there on the number of things you need to do to become a big commercial venture.
New startup companies are created every day, most with much potential, especially in their earliest stages. However, many startups fail in the first few months while most others don’t make it past the first three years.
This is Why StartUps Fail Early On
Many people have asked why startups fail so fast. One of the key reasons is ignoring early customer advocacy.
Typically in its early stages, startup companies have meager revenue coming in from products or services. This is because there are marketing techniques and other parts of production still being worked on to measure the potential and increase their startups’ success.
Determining the right market is not as smooth as one would expect. You need to factor in critical aspects such as location, competitors, pricing, and the overall receptiveness towards your product or service. These and many other factors are taken into account to ensure you land the right target markets and achieve product-market fit.
Advocates Cannot Be Ignored
Once you surmounted the hurdle of bringing your services and products to the right market, your next best step is to find your advocates. And yes! This is another daunting endeavor.
To make things a bit more seamless, let’s refresh our definition of advocates and customer advocacy. An advocate is simply an individual who expresses support directly or indirectly for a cause, and in this case, that cause is your business.
Generally, all businesses worldwide seek advocates in individuals and people who turn out to be customers from various markets. Customer advocacy, in business, is precisely that. It is a model of customer relations and services geared towards meeting the immediate needs of the customer.
It is sometimes the drastic change in operation that facilitates customer wellbeing and support while also fostering marketing strides that lead to the general increase of a consumer base.
Especially in the early stages of starting up, you want your customers to be happy advocates spreading your brand and product through word-of-mouth, referrals and other viral channels such as social media. These channels have a higher chance of converting leads into customers given the personal referrals with a huge bonus that they’re free! Alternatively, a customer that is unhappy with your service may spread the word to not have new leads try your brand – this can harm you in the long-term.
Now that we have refreshed our knowledge on these basics, businesses, especially startups, must have at least a general idea of customer advocacy in the early stages of creation.
Utilizing Customer Advocates
Customer growth is typically achieved by the employment of customer advocates who are then integrated into the startup company’s running setup. As you might have correctly guessed, their job is to study their customers’ needs and wants and develop accessible avenues to aid the startup in satisfying its customers in a swift and cost-effective approach.
Let me quickly remind you that customers don’t just fall on a company’s laps, especially in their startup stages. If I ran a startup business myself, I would say to my staff, come on, we have to find them, we have to make them want us! They are that imperative for our startup success, both at present and in the near future.
Customer advocates tend to differ from highly loyal customers to semi-temporary flexible ones. Both of these groups are vital and need to be paid attention to. It is imperative to prioritize them for business growth.
Finding Customer Advocates
Always know how to find your first customers, keep them, and convert them into loyal ones. Measuring customer advocacy is largely hinged on this.
Some of the ways to find your first customers include:
- Create a list of markets for potential customers
- Measure customer advocacy of your existing customers
- Relentlessly seek feedback and iterate to satisfy your existing customers
- Ask for referrals to market your product and services
- Create your network to make finding customers easier
- Advertise and show off your products and services
- Team up with other business owners
- Build a presence online
- Then, with that online platform, spread the word on social media.
Your first customers are always the most important. Once you’ve got them, always treat them with value. Create customer satisfaction and work to keep them interested. Soon, you can turn them into your brand advocates and, with their help, attract a more significant customer pool.
Measuring Customer Advocacy
At this stage, you are well on your way to having a customer base. Now you will need to measure your customer advocacy as early as possible in your startups.
Measuring customer advocacy is essential for development in any organization. It provides core insights into what is applicable and offers opportunities for upgrades and optimization.
It is also vital for fostering loyalty and retaining your customers while also effectively reducing costs.
It is essential to know that measuring customer satisfaction is not to get 100% approval but achieve a generally satisfied customer base, as there will also be customers who will not be happy with your products or services.
Furthermore, considering all these, you may wonder how one measures their customer advocacy accurately. Well, it is usually measured in percentages from 100% to 0%. To capture this data, companies present customers with a survey after providing them with products or services. You usually start with simple questions and tell them to rate your services out of a five or a ten.
Methods of Measuring Customer Advocacy
- CSat Surveys: These are customer satisfaction scores usually from 1-5 based on a few questions.
- Net Promoter Surveys: These typically give you a score of 1-10. The range 1-6 is considered low, and 7-10 high scores.
- Reviews: Written reviews can be given based on customer experience on sites or using an external marketing tool. This is used to foster positive experiences and make good marketing collateral.
Measuring Customer advocacy with any of the following methods above gives startups a keen insight into service aspects that they may lack or are unaware of. Measuring customer satisfaction is the best method of producing exceptional service, which is a crucial prelude to your startup’s success.
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Customerthink-How to Measure the ROI of Customer Advocates
RedK- Everything you need to know about Customer Advocacy
Marketing Insider Group-The Role of Data, Measurement and Research in Customer Advocacy
Sanju Patel: Ways to Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates
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