Championing Customer Success: Finding the Perfect Customer Advocacy Manager

June 12, 2024

Your company has decided it is time to bring on a customer advocacy manager.

This is a huge decision, but the bigger decision is who is the right person. The ideal person is empathetic, a strategic thinker, not afraid of going against the norm when needed, leads with value and is willing to be human and vulnerable with your entire customer base. No customer should be left behind. Let’s dive into what you should look for.

The perfect customer advocacy manager is someone who…

Prepares for interaction with customers: This seems like a given, but sadly you would be surprised! Showing up with as much knowledge as possible to begin the building blocks of a solid relationship is key to a stellar first impression.

Is eager to discover all: This is where some heavy effort gets put in. Asking the right questions and actively listening will allow your advocacy lead to know better how they can help your customers and assist them in excelling with your product. Understanding them on a personal level will help transform them into your champion.

Is ready to make the changes needed on the whim: Plans are important, but they do not always go as planned. They must be able to adjust based on customer feedback, the value the customer needs to see and where they want to see success! In addition this needs to be done seamlessly.

Leads with value: Leading with value will always yield stronger relationships and advocates for your brand. The more education you provide, the more co-innovation and the more partnership offered, the more customers will want to collaborate in marketing activities that make sense for them.

Is patient but firm: This hands down wins advocates and is a balancing act. They are not afraid to take a step back to look at the whole situation and move forward accordingly. At the same time, they pick up the phone right away when needed to make the customer know they are valued and heard.

Can control internally and externally: They are strong enough that they can advocate for customers and give strategic guidance to their internal stakeholders. Actively listening and being empathetic is a real winner here.

Leads with personal contact: They are not afraid to pick up the phone to see how someone is doing, and if there is anything they can assist with. Email is wonderful but humans like human interaction!

Faces conflict head on: For all parties involved time is beyond valuable, and when issues arise time becomes even more valuable. They are quick to organize the needed communication to identify the issues, pull in the right people, aid in formulating a plan, and they always follow through till completion. An additional add value is making sure to take the time to keep the customer informed on the moving pieces if delayed or being delivered early. This will ensure they can plan accordingly on their end.

Is empathetic: This is the most important skill! Being able to see things from the customers perspective and represent them to all internal stakeholders in a meaningful way is a true value add that all customers will appreciate and take notice of.

In summary, the role of a Customer Advocacy Manager is both challenging and rewarding, demanding a unique blend of empathy, strategic thinking, and proactive engagement.

The right candidates will prepare thoroughly for each customer interaction, seek to understand customers deeply, and be agile enough to pivot strategies based on feedback. They must lead with value, balancing patience with assertiveness, and maintaining strong control over both internal and external communications. Personal contact and conflict resolution are crucial, as is the ability to empathize and see from the customer’s perspective.

By embodying these qualities, the Customer Advocacy Manager will ensure that no customer is left behind, fostering lasting relationships and driving the company’s success through genuine customer advocacy.

Choosing the right person for this role is paramount. They will be the voice of your customers within the company and a pivotal player in building and maintaining those critical customer relationships. As you embark on this important hiring journey, keep these attributes in mind to find someone who will not only meet but exceed the expectations of your customers and your company. The impact of having a dedicated and effective Customer Advocacy Manager will be transformative, ensuring that every customer feels valued, heard, and championed.

Championing customer success: Finding the perfect customer advocacy manager

This is a guest blog by Jennifer Susinski, member of the Advocacy Mavens Coalition.

The Advocacy Mavens Coalition is an association of open for contracting customer-led professionals, each with extensive industry experience. We’re experts in building advocacy and community programs, designing experiences, running advisory boards, creating content, managing and migrating platforms, and more.

Our members are experienced advocacy marketing strategists, community and customer success managers, educators, designers, video producers, analysts, and technical consultants. Whatever your program goals, this coalition has you covered!

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