(originally posted on LinkedIn)
Let's be honest. For the sponsoring organization, the end goal of any customer reference or advocacy program is the resulting customer content, and data to feed back into organizational planning.
But customer-centric organizations also understand that when the love flows both ways, the experience is as valuable for the customer as it is for the vendor - and the rewards keep on growing.
The result? A spectacular bloom of customer advocates and a beautiful array of customer content… with an added bonus of additional revenue. Reference and advocacy managers on the front lines know that those perfect blooms start with a lot of digging around in the dirt.
As every gardener knows, you’ve got to pay attention to what your plants need if you want to keep them happy. And if they’re not happy in one part of the garden, you may need to uproot them and move them to another spot. In short, if you’re serious about the garden, you’d best be ready to get your hands dirty.
Customer Advocate Programs are like that, and the path to success is pretty simple.
Anyone for a pair of gardening gloves?
I first introduced this gardening analogy in the Fall of 2016 when I spoke on getting executive buy-in at the request of the folks at RO Innovation, makers of ReferenceView, for their Elevate user conference. I presented it again at the Summit on Customer Engagement this past March. You can listen to the audio of my presentation at the Summit here.