Customer advocacy is a powerful approach to marketing, where your customers recommend your company to their friends, families and networks. This strategy can be extremely successful, as consumers typically trust the recommendations of friends and family more than traditional advertising. Customer advocacy can be an effective way for property developers to build their reputation and develop trust with customers. Let’s take a look in more detail at what customer advocacy is, and what it can mean for your business.
What is customer advocacy?
Customer advocacy begins with a company committing to understand and meet the needs of its customers. Listening to customer needs results in improving products and services. In theory, this results in more satisfied customers, who may recommend your products and services to their friends, families and networks. This can be a powerful way to support your marketing and promotions.
However, building a reliable network of customer advocates isn’t an easy or a quick task. It’s something that happens organically, as a result of providing strong products and excellent customer service on a consistent basis. Over time, adopting a strategy of focusing on customer needs and delivering a first-class customer experience, can help you to cultivate a network of advocates. These advocates can help you to build and maintain a strong reputation with new customers.
What are the advantages of customer advocacy?
Adopting a customer advocacy strategy means focusing on the needs of your customers. It also means ensuring a high quality of service at all times. This has significant advantages both for the retention of existing customers, and for attracting new customers. Pivoting to a customer advocacy strategy involves improving your customer service and delivering a consistently high-quality experience for current customers. These improvements aren’t just a means to an end: they increase the quality of your product at the same time as leading to better recommendations.
If you commit to the needs of the customer, the development of customer advocates can happen naturally. This can save money you might have spent on traditional marketing and advertising. If customer advocates recommend your company and developments, you’re building customer loyalty at the same time as appealing to new customers. Customer advocacy approaches also make it easier to identify customer needs and improve services. Reviews and recommendations made by customers can help shape your future offer.
What are the challenges of a customer advocacy approach?
Although there are many benefits to pursuing a customer advocacy strategy, it’s a difficult thing to get right. It also takes more time and effort than traditional marketing. Turning customers into advocates takes a great deal of effort. It also requires a relentless focus on understanding customer needs and improving offers and services to meet those needs.
Brand advocacy is a long-term strategy. As such, if your aim is to improve sales and boost your reputation quickly, more traditional marketing strategies may be more effective.
How do you turn customers into customer advocates?
The most effective way to develop customer advocates is to focus closely on listening to the needs of customers and improving services accordingly. For property developers, this could mean making improvements to after-sales care or increasing the efficiency of your purchasing processes. It could mean being transparent with your information to buyers up-front, to help them with their purchase decision.
For rental properties, a customer advocacy approach could mean working to improve building management, maintenance and the services you offer tenants. Better communication could also be an effective tactic for both sales and rental developers. Whatever changes you introduce, customer advocacy means having a long-term commitment to the well-being and satisfaction of your customers.
How effective is customer advocacy?
Customer advocacy can be an extremely effective approach to marketing. It’s an advanced strategy, that can involve more complex processes and long-term commitment compared to developing and delivering traditional campaigns. However, it can have a significant impact on your sales and customer retention.
A recent study indicated that 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. A different study found that 94% of consumers say a bad review has put them off buying from a business.
How can HomeViews help with your customer advocacy?
HomeViews offers developers the opportunity to make the most of customer advocates and satisfied customers. We publish independent reviews from verified residents of new build property developments in the UK. Our 18 review categories give a voice to the resident, so they can recommend exactly what they love about a development, while also making useful suggestions for improvements.
Each development has its own individual profile on the platform. This means you can identify ratings and reviews by building, and spot exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Comprehensive data is also available on our reporting dashboard. This gives you the opportunity to analyse the 18 data points in our reviews, understand your customers better and improve services accordingly.
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HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.