What Is Customer Advocacy: Definition, Strategies & Benefits

Customer advocacy is a powerful tool businesses can leverage to increase customer retention and brand awareness. We take a deeper look.
Published on: Nov 10, 2023
Last updated: Nov 10, 2023


  • Genuine customer advocacy holds unparalleled power compared to extensive brand promotion efforts.
  • Customer advocates, with a 50% higher likelihood of influencing purchases, are vital in marketing, sales, and CX.
  • Customer advocacy surpasses customer success by turning satisfied customers into advocates who contribute insights and positive recognition.
  • Roles of a customer advocate include representing the audience within the company, finding testimonials, and serving as a trusted point of contact.
  • Types of advocates: Educators share experiences, Validators provide feedback, Status Seekers enhance personal brand, and Collaborators offer insightful feedback.
  • Impact of customer advocacy: 12% increase linked to 2% revenue growth, influencing brand awareness, community building, and customer support.
  • Strategies for amplifying customer advocacy: Enhance product experiences, provide world-class support, invest in customer success, gather feedback, and initiate advocacy programs.
  • Identifying advocates involves using analytics, monitoring social media, collecting feedback, and building a self-sustaining community.

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You can spend thousands of hours and countless dollars promoting your brand, and you’ll still never replicate the simple brilliance of customer advocacy. With customer advocates 50% more likely to influence a purchase, they’re an ever-important weapon in your marketing, sales and CX arsenal.

But what exactly is a customer advocate, and how do you take advantage of what they can offer your business? We’ve put together some key information to help you start building your empire of advocates.

What is customer advocacy?

First things first, what is customer advocacy in marketing and CX? In reality, there are two definitions.

The first relates to what you, the company, do. As a step above customer success, a customer advocate in this sense is someone who acts as an intermediary between your biggest ‘fans’ and the company itself. Customer advocates find people who are not just fans of your company, but outspoken promoters who regularly recommend your brand to their friends and connections.

Customer advocates also support by providing information for case studies, finding suitable individuals for testimonials, and even finding loyal followers to support at conferences or events.

The second definition relates to your customer themselves. A fully-fledged customer advocate is essentially a ‘super fan’ of your brand, someone who is willing to promote and engage with your brand in a productive way. Customer advocates in this sense can provoke meaningful conversations about your company on social media, act as a spokesperson for testimonials or case studies, or even involve themselves in product testing and development.

Whichever definition you focus on, the overall sentiment is the same - finding and celebrating your biggest fans.

Customer advocacy vs customer success

So, what’s the difference between customer advocacy and regular customer success?

When it comes to customer success, the overall goal is to provide the services your customers are looking for, to a high standard. Whether it’s offering one-on-one onboarding experiences or resolving issues they may run into, customer success is about helping your audience solve their challenges and meet their goals so they can start to see your brand as an ally.

Customer advocacy, on the other hand, goes a step further. Once your audience recognizes and trusts your brand, you can turn them into customer advocates who can tell you everything about what consumers love about your brand, help you make strategic decisions, and spread the good word further afield.

What does a customer advocate do?

As a specialist in customer analysis and engagement, a customer advocate takes on the role of representative for your audience, within your company.

Regular activities for customer advocates can include finding suitable candidates for testimonials and writing them, engaging in online debate about your brand, channeling customer feedback to management, and acting as a trusted go-to for your customers.

In short, a customer advocate is a consumer’s ‘inside man’, offering them a point of contact they know has their best interests at heart.

Different kinds of customer advocates

However, the term ‘customer advocate’ isn’t solely reserved for the people within your company. A key activity of this role involves identifying and nurturing customer advocates within your audience base, helping extend the customer advocacy network beyond the inside of your company.

There are four main types of customer advocate your companies can benefit from:

  1. Educator – an educator shares their experiences and expertise associated with your brand. The insight and data provided by Educators can help your customer advocacy staff create a range of promotional content, from social media assets to infographics.
  2. Validator – Validators are your trusted testers. By providing them with early access to new releases, you can receive comprehensive reviews and insightful customer feedback to influence future development.
  3. Status seeker – not only holding your company’s best interests at heart, Status Seekers are also looking to expand their personal brand. By taking on a role as a customer advocate for your brand, Status Seekers and customer advocacy tie together as a win-win situation for both.
  4. Collaborator – the most elusive of the four groups, Collaborators are deeply invested in your brand and enjoy working with you to review and develop products or services. As long-term partners, you can trust Collaborators to give honest, insightful feedback, not just to heap on the praise.

The power of customer advocacy in business

Customer advocacy is about more than just celebrating your brand. With a 12% increase in advocacy tied to a 2% increase in revenue growth, this is a major player in your brand’s performance.

Here, we’ll cover three of the main ways customer advocacy can supercharge your business performance.

  1. Boosting brand awareness
  2. Community building
  3. Customer support and assistance

Boosting brand awareness

Compliments are always best when someone else says them. You can talk all you want about how great your brand is, but there’s a certain level of authenticity missing from self-promotion.

With customer advocates, you gain an external resource which consumers trust to provide honest information and feedback. With 92% of consumers worldwide trusting this type of promotion over conventional advertising, this is the holy grail of brand awareness.

Community building

With a network of trusted customer advocates, you can develop dynamic, productive communities that not only celebrate your brand, but also work together to provide invaluable insight.

Giving your customers control of your brand’s profile can help your company grow in ways unachievable through traditional marketing. Communities of likeminded advocates can help potential customers understand what your brand is all about, giving them an approachable face to resonate with.

Customer support and assistance

As experts in your brand, your customer advocates can also provide wide-spanning customer support in a welcoming context.

By engaging with support forums, FAQs and social media queries, customer advocates can reduce your customer service requirements and speed up the process for your audience.

Furthermore, by receiving advice and feedback from other customers rather than the company itself, your company looks ever the more trustworthy with the backing of your advocates.

Five strategies to amplify customer advocacy

So, now you know ‘what’ and ‘why’, it’s time to figure out the ‘how’.

Here are five strategies to amplify customer advocacy:

  1. Product experience enhancement
  2. World-class customer support
  3. Investment in customer success
  4. Gathering and applying customer feedback
  5. Initiating a customer advocacy program

Product experience enhancement

It goes without saying, but for someone to advocate for your brand, you need to be producing high-standard products.

By improving your product experience for your audience, you’ll naturally attract advocates who love your products and keep coming back for more.

World-class customer support

Right alongside the quality of your products is the quality of your customer support. If customers feel heard and respected, they are much more likely to return even after running into an issue.

One way to go above and beyond in the field of customer support is to focus on proactivity. With a cobrowsing solution like Fullview, customer advocacy managers can auto-record user issues and play them back with a range of insightful feedback, including ‘frustration signals’.

By identifying these frustration signals, such as ‘rage clicking’, you can identify pain points for customers and begin implementing solutions that greatly improve the user experience, long before they even report them.

Investment in customer success

Customer success is the name of the game. If your customers enjoy a smooth experience with your brand, even after running into complications, they are much more likely to talk about your company in a positive light.

If you want to bring new customers in, you first need to make sure your existing customers are happy.

Gathering and applying customer feedback

Customers feel appreciated when they are heard. By implementing feedback or suggestions from your customers in a timely manner, they feel respected by your brand and will be more likely to remain loyal.

Customers in 2023 are savvier than ever and they understand that it’s not always plain sailing, but as long as you are willing to listen and change for the better, your customers couldn’t ask for more.

Initiating a customer advocacy program

Now it’s time to put it all together. Gather your strongest existing advocates and develop a plan for maximizing their influence, as well as finding your next supporters.

This plan should include an idea of your overall goals, desired types of advocates, tactics for engaging customers, scalability, and performance evaluation.

Remember, this is a long-term process, so focus on sustainable growth and making promises to your advocates that you can keep.

Identifying potential advocates

To get off the ground floor, you need to identify existing customers that fit the profile of your desired advocates.

There are a few ways to identify your customer advocates, here are some suggestions:

  1. Product analytics and session replay
  2. Social media monitoring
  3. Feedback collection
  4. Community building

Product analytics and session replay

Investing in product analytics and session replay solutions can pay serious dividends. With a program like Fullview, you can identify high-tendency users and start to build relationships with them over time.

By auto-recording user sessions, your customer advocacy managers can analyze usage and provide detailed breakdowns of usage by demographics and use profile, as well as a host of other useful metrics.

Understanding your customer’s process can provide a new level of insight into those who value and understand your product, making them the perfect candidates for your next customer advocate.

Social media monitoring

It’s no secret that social media is where conversations take place in today’s consumer world.

By monitoring the discussions revolving around your company and products, you can identify advocates and locate pain points which are currently keeping other customers on the fence.

As a free resource, social media provides a wealth of information relating to customer sentiments and brand reputation – make sure you take advantage of it.

Feedback collection

Another route of communication between you and your audience is through customer feedback. Whether it’s positive, negative, or somewhere in between, what your customers relay to you can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling.

Amongst some negativity, you’ll likely find customers who need support but are not incensed at having to seek it. These are great candidates for customer advocates, as even when they run into issues, they trust and value you enough to give you the opportunity to correct it.

Community building

Building a community of customer advocates is the overall goal for many ambitious brands.

Whilst it takes time to nurture a community, in time you will benefit from a mostly self-sustaining, communicative group of individuals who entice fans into becoming advocates.

If they trust and feel valued by you, they will be worth their weight in gold as they convince others as to what makes your brand so great.


Building a network of customer advocates is no quick fix, but the rewards are undeniable. A brand is the persona of your company, and having a community that celebrates that personality is invaluable in today’s volatile marketplace.

Just remember, before you begin recruiting your army of advocates, you first need to know exactly who you want to represent your brand. Identify your ideal advocates through customer analysis, support them with VIP brand privileges, and monitor their activity to reap the rewards.

Invest in your audience and they will invest in you.


Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager


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