What is customer defense?

Customer advocacy puts customer needs ahead of business needs.

Customer advocacy is a type of customer support and service that takes a slightly different approach to the task of communicating and helps customers resolve questions or concerns that may arise from time to time. As the name implies, customer advocacy provides the framework for making or defending a customer’s case in a specific situation by providing that customer with someone from the provider’s organization who is focused on that customer’s best interests. This specific approach can make a significant difference to how customers are approached, as well as having an impact on how the company designs and executes various marketing strategies.

Customer advocacy is proactive rather than reactive in nature.

At the heart of the customer advocacy process is the need to proactively think in terms of what is best for that customer. This is slightly different from most customer service approaches, which tend to be reactive in nature. With more traditional customer support services, the idea is often to respond to a need or concern when presented by that customer. In contrast, customer advocacy seeks to anticipate customer needs and concerns before they arise and answer those questions before they have a chance to affect the customer.

Customer advocacy can occur when a customer is an inconvenience in some way.

To engage in true customer advocacy, it is necessary to make the company’s interests secondary to the customer’s interests. Questions about what a customer would think, do or say in a given situation are considered priorities when designing new products, determining which marketing techniques and strategies to use, and even how to structure business models for the companies involved. The idea is that by putting the customer first, the potential to engage in loyalty marketing that helps minimize the chances of a competitor being able to attract a valuable customer is reduced to a minimum.

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True customer advocacy involves putting the customer’s needs first for the company’s.

Customer advocacy can also occur when a customer is inconvenienced in some way. For example, if a critical order for goods or services is delivered late, this will often have an adverse effect on the customer’s ability to do business and, in turn, on the supplier-customer relationship. To help overcome this situation, a customer advocate would help decision makers understand the enormity of the inconvenience experienced by the customer and what this delay in shipping and delivery meant in terms of loss for the customer. This creates a situation where actions can be chosen that help minimize inconvenience to the customer as much as possible and, in turn, increase the potential to repair the relationship and retain that customer for a while longer.

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