Whenever I become the customer of a new web service, I'm often offered the opportunity to get reward points or even discounts for promoting the service on social media or for recruiting my contacts to join. While it's not offensive, it's usually pretty useless.
- It's too early for me to recommend a service I just joined.
- I'm not the "advocate" personality type.
Customer advocates are one of the very cheapest and most credible ways to promote our businesses. Unfortunately, satisfying customers and creating advocates are very different processes.
A 2010 case study from Harvard Business Review found NO overlap between the heaviest users and the heaviest advocates of a service. Advocates have different motivations than users.
Over and over again, I meet with business owners who tell me: "I don't need a loyalty program because I make my customer so-o-o happy, my customers recommend me." WRONG. A good loyalty program covers all the different types of rewards that your supporters need.
The Hub: Return on Referrals: Advocates and buyers are two very different kinds of consumers, 2015-Apr-28 by Liz Crawford
Why do some shoppers advocate, even when they may not, in some cases, use the brands much? The reason is that they want to be in-the-know rather than simply seeking product benefits. According to BzzAgent’s Field Guide to Brand Advocates (2013), 61 percent of advocates claimed that “it is important to me that people view me as a good source of information.” This compared to only 24 percent of general web users. These sharing mavens see dispensing information as a source of social capital and self-esteem. In fact, according to the same study, “recognition for my efforts” is twice as important to advocates as compared to all others.