15 Winning Customer Advocacy Examples to Inspire and Power Up Your Strategy
Anyone would agree that advocating for customers is good for long-term business. But what are some customer advocacy examples for this?
Becoming a customer-first company is easier said than done. That’s why you still find many companies that fail to embrace it or don’t even try at all.
That said, let’s talk about customer advocacy and review some examples to make your company stand out in your niche and drive exponential growth.
- Customer advocacy is a company culture where the needs and goals of the customers are heavily prioritized.
- The qualities of a company with a customer advocacy culture include getting in touch personally with customers, the ability to create emotional connections, the initiative to over-deliver with their product, transparent communication, and the capacity to listen to customers.
- Here are some customer advocacy tactics from successful brands:
- Allowing users to sign up easily through SSO without friction, like Loom.
- Filling the blank space in an empty state with templates, guides, and checklists, like Userpilot.
- Personalizing the onboarding process according to the user needs and goals, like ConvertKit.
- Adding interactive walkthroughs to improve feature adoption, like Kommunicate.
- Trigger customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT), like Hubspot, whenever the user interacts with the brand.
- Giving freemium users a taste of the premium features for free, like Asana.
- Show personalized self-service resources inside your in-app knowledge base, like Userpilot.
- Collecting passive feedback with in-app surveys that blend well with the UI, like Miro.
- Celebrating customer milestones with gamification and emotional design, like Asana.
- Publishing your roadmap and allowing customers to give their feedback and request features, like ClickUp.
- Surprising dream customers with unexpected gifts, like Userpilot.
- A customer advocacy program is a marketing strategy that helps reinforce positive relationships and encourage loyalty through compelling rewards such as limited deals, discounts, credits, etc. And it can either be points-based or referral-driven.
- Here are four examples of successful customer advocacy programs from famous brands:
- Dropbox’s referral program, which rewards customers with 500 MB bonus storage data when they invite their friends.
- Evernote’s point-based program. It rewards you with points for inviting friends and completing certain actions. Your friends get premium access when they sign up, and you get points you can exchange for a premium plan.
- Whereby’s temporary program where it offers to plant a tree for every meeting hosted on their platform during February.
- Apple’s “Show on iPhone” campaign. All they did was ask customers to click photos from their gallery and share them on social media with a specific hashtag.
- No-code tools like Userpilot can help you add in-app surveys and personalize your product experience. So why not book a demo to implement customer advocacy strategies without relying on your dev team?
What does customer advocacy mean?
Customer advocacy is a company culture where the needs and goals of the customers are heavily prioritized. It dictates how the company approaches great customer service, support, CX, marketing, sales, and even its executive decisions.
The benefit of becoming a customer-centric company is simple: it converts satisfied customers into loyal advocates who will constantly share your brand through word-of-mouth and expand your reputation.
What drives customer advocacy?
What specific traits make a company with customer advocates different from the rest?
Some qualities of a company with a customer advocacy culture include the following:
- The initiative to get in touch personally with customers to solve their problems.
- The ability to connect with customers on an emotional level.
- A marketing message that underpromises and a product/service that over-delivers.
- Total transparency and honesty when communicating with their audience.
- The availability to listen to customers and respond accordingly.
Although it sounds easy to implement these qualities throughout the customer journey, it’s not. So let’s review some examples of how successful companies demonstrate how much they care about their customers.
11 amazing customer advocacy examples to learn from
The point of these customer advocacy examples is to show you how subtle and powerful they can be in reality, so you can start taking small steps yourself.
Let’s go over them.
Loom makes it easy to get inside the product
Although collecting customer data is important for personalizing your marketing campaigns and product experience, filling out forms is still a tedious experience.
That’s why companies like Loom make the signup process as smooth as possible by letting you create an account with Google, Slack, and SSO—no need to type emails or add personal information.
This removes any friction on the user’s end and makes them more likely to stay (and become advocates). Plus, even if you need customer data, you can always collect information with in-app surveys later.
Userpilot replaces empty screen with valuable content
An empty state is when new customers signup and all they see is a blank dashboard—making customer relationships harder and hurting time to value.
Like the Userpilot example below, you can ease the cognitive load and help users get a head start when signing up by filling the blank space with templates, guides, onboarding checklists, and any content that educates users.
ConvertKit personalizes the onboarding experience based on user needs
To demonstrate that you advocate for your customers, create a personalized onboarding experience that fits your customer’s needs.
Convertkit knows this. To collect customer data, they’ve set up a welcome screen that shows up after the user has signed up.
This way, they can understand the needs and expectations of their user base and offer different onboarding paths for each segment.
Kommunicate helps users adopt features faster with interactive walkthroughs
Another customer advocacy quality is in the way you present your product.
Here, instead of showing a generic product tour that users are likely to skip, Kommunicate used Userpilot to implement interactive walkthroughs for each of their app features.
This type of walkthrough is more engaging and likely to improve product adoption during the activation stage. It triggers tips one message at a time when the user is more likely to need it, instead of overwhelming the user with information they won’t retain.
Hubpost routinely tracks and measures customer satisfaction levels
If you truly care about your customers, then you’re willing to listen to them.
Hubspot is a great example of how you can keep track of your customer satisfaction levels by triggering a CSAT survey after every single touchpoint (support call, new feature, activation, etc.).
These surveys make it easier for them to improve the user journey and make users feel heard every time they progress with their product.
Asana gives freemium users access to premium features
It’s easy to push upsells and upgrades whenever you have the opportunity. But what about letting freemium users try paid features for free?
Asana does it. This selfless tactic helps them build trust quickly by providing extra value to users without them asking for it—and maybe you should try it too.
Userpilot personalizes the knowledge base content
Offering self-service support is part of a great product experience.
But, instead of forcing users to go through a tedious process to find your content, what if you could add an in-app resource center that’s personalized for each user?
Yes, It’s possible. Userpilot does it with its own software, allowing customers to get instant access to relevant articles, video tutorials and guides based on their JTBDs and stage of the journey.
Miro collects real-time customer feedback without interrupting the user
If you think Hubspot’s feedback strategy can be a bit intrusive for your users, then why not try passive in-app surveys?
For example, you can see how Miro collects passive feedback without disrupting the customer experience. They include in-app surveys around their UI in a subtle way so customers can provide feedback only when they have the initiative to do so.
Asana delights customers with gamification
With gamification and emotional design, you can add badges, points, and levels for a more fun product experience.
Celebrating milestones reduces the friction for adopting features and demonstrates that you care about customer success—making them more likely to stay with you.
For example, you can see the playful animation that shows up whenever you finish a task in Asana:
ClickUp uses public roadmaps to encourage user input
Transparency and open communication are great ways to build stronger relationships and apply customer advocacy.
Making a public roadmap like ClickUps is one of the best ways of demonstrating transparency and giving your users a chance to shape the future of your product.
The reason it works is simple: allow them to comment on your roadmap, vote for ideas, and request features.
With a public roadmap, customers not only start to trust and admire you more as they see all the amazing features you have on the way, but they also feel like part of your brand.
Userpilot surprises customers with gifts when they least expect it
We mean it when we talk about going the extra mile for customer advocacy.
So at Userpilot, we listen to what our customers say, do some extra personalizations, and sometimes take “listening” to a literal sense when it means delighting a customer and catching them off-guard.
In this case, it meant sending an unexpected gift to one of our dream users after having a call with him.
His reaction? Making it public.
What’s a customer advocacy program?
A customer advocacy program is a marketing strategy that helps reinforce positive relationships and convert satisfied customers into spokespeople for your brand.
Customer advocacy marketing examples from successful brands
Anything can go wrong with advocacy programs. So, let’s go over some real-life examples from successful brands that are nailing it.
Dropbox’s referral program
Dropbox’s referral programs reward customers with 500 MB of bonus storage data when they invite their friends.
This creates a win-win situation between your customers and their referred friends. They get direct benefits for engaging with the service, so they’re encouraged to keep expanding the network—turning word-of-mouth into a scalable channel for the company.
Evernote’s point-based loyalty program
Evernote’s point-based program rewards you with points for inviting friends and completing certain actions. Your friends get premium access when they sign up, and you get points you can exchange for a premium plan.
This program not only incentivizes customer loyalty, but also encourages users to become brand advocates through word-of-mouth and customer referrals.
Whereby’s “giving back to the community” campaign
Serving a mission that’s bigger than you can demonstrate that you’re not just doing business for the money (which, in turn, makes it easier to trust your brand).
In this case, Whereby’s program offers to plant a tree for every meeting hosted on their platform during February.
But not only that, the page has a well-written copy that sets a clear goal (1 million trees), how to get there (hosting meetings during February), and the current progress (695,187 trees planted so far.)
This program works because it unites customers around a mission while incentivizing product usage. Plus, it encourages existing customers to share the platform with friends who support environmental causes, too—expanding their user base.
Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign
Apple’s “Show on iPhone” campaign is a great example of how you can be a customer advocate through user-generated content. It was a very low-cost strategy, as they only asked customers to click photos from their gallery and share them on social media with a specific hashtag.
Given the great size of Apple’s user base, this resulted in a gigantic amount of user-generated content that the company used as free advertising material for their ads, websites, and other advocacy marketing campaign. And it connected with their loyal customers because it was an honor for them to get their photos featured by Apple.
Customer advocacy is not easy to apply by any means. But, the long-term benefits are worth it if well-implemented.
With these customer advocacy examples, you know what strategies can fit throughout the customer journey and take the first steps to becoming a customer-first brand.
Thankfully, no-code tools like Userpilot can help you add in-app surveys and personalize your product experience. So why not book a demo to implement customer advocacy strategies without relying on your dev team?