With the advent of social media, viral marketing and smart phones, a bad customer experience can seriously affect a business’s bottom line.
But, looking on the bright side, these can also be fantastic avenues for your customers to sing your praise – so you don’t have to. There is no better recommendation than one that comes from your own customers.
Understanding ‘Customer Advocacy’
In fact, measuring ‘customer advocacy’ is a current trend in understanding true customer engagement and loyalty.
A customer advocate is your ultimate customer. They are the ones who will refer their friends, relatives and business partners to you; who will post about their great experience on social media and who will return time and again to purchase from you.
They are more than just a happy customer – they are your best marketing tool.
While mystery shopping surveys will always be important in providing you with a great insight into your customers’ experiences when dealing with you and your staff, customer advocacy scores go one step further by getting input from your ‘real’ customers.
How do you find out if you have customer advocates?
You ask them!
Many large organisations, including Telstra and Qantas, are surveying customers using a variation of the “Net Promoter Score” tm (NPS), a customer loyalty metric that’s been around since 2003.
The NPS gives a score of anything from -100 (everybody speaks badly of you) to + 100 (everybody praises you). Anything more than 0 is considered positive and scores higher than +50 are excellent.
In a nutshell, the NPS asks one pertinent question “how likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or associate?”Scores are ranked from 0-10, with 0 being “not at all likely” and 10 being “very likely”.
In order to score well on any customer advocacy survey such as the NPS, a business must speak to the customer’s head and well as their heart. It is not enough to simply offer great customer service – customer advocates are born through engagement at all levels.
Two Different Measures
Businesses that rely on customers to survive – whether it be in retail, hospitality, service providers or utilities – should be undertaking both mystery shopping as well as a regular or ongoing customer advocacy surveys to check how they are really performing on customer service.
Mystery shopping can provide excellent feedback against your internal standards on the service and quality customers enjoy when doing business with you. Mystery shoppers will also volunteer comments based on their own experience and can provide excellent insights on what worked or didn’t work for them on their visit or contact with your organisation.
This information can then be used to improve on any areas in which your customer service may be lacking – systems, processes, staff and more – in order to capture the heart of real customers and turn them into fans.
Customer advocacy scores will tell you what many of your actual customers feel about your business.
It is important to make it simple and convenient for your actual customers to give you feedback on their experience. You could survey your customers via your email database, via a hot button on your website or even by using a ‘QR’ code at point-of-sale so customers can provide you feedback via mobile devices. Perhaps even while waiting in the queue to be served.
Mystery Customer Offers Both
Mystery Customer has recently expanded its service offering to include highly cost-effective customer advocacy scores and online surveys via its world-leading software platform, with highly detailed reporting and the ability to drill-down into your results.
This is in addition to its existing specialty mystery shopping services.
If you’d like to talk to Mystery Customer about incorporating both mystery shoppers and a customer advocacy survey into your ongoing quality assurance and improvement, contact us today on 1300 60 1234.