How to Create a Customer Advocacy Strategy for SaaS Companies

How to Create a Customer Advocacy Strategy for SaaS Companies cover

Are you trying to develop a customer advocacy strategy for your SaaS but not sure how to go about it?

If so, this article is exactly what you need!

You will find out what customer advocacy is, how it improves retention and other key metrics, and learn about different types of customer advocacy programs and how to build them.

Let’s get into it, shall we?


  • We talk about customer advocacy when a loyal customer promotes your product in their network.
  • Customer advocates drive customer acquisition via WOM, bolster brand reputation and visibility, and can offer valuable insights to improve the product.
  • A customer advocacy program is a structured plan encompassing various customer advocacy strategies.
  • Examples of customer advocacy programs include brand ambassador or affiliate programs.
  • Start building your customer advocacy strategy by setting goals. For example: “Increase sales from referrals by 15% in the next six months.”
  • Promote customer loyalty and satisfaction by building innovative products that satisfy customer needs and implementing quality onboarding and support processes.
  • Build lasting relationships with customers through personalized experiences, hosting events, and creating forums and user groups.
  • Implement customer loyalty programs that reward users for their ongoing custom and incentivize them to promote the product, like referral programs.
  • Use product analytics to identify your power users as they make perfect advocates.
  • In-app surveys, in particular NPS, help you find users who are ready to promote your product.
  • Having identified your prospective advocates, prompt them to action, like leaving a review, with targeted in-app messages.
  • Measure and track the performance of your advocacy program by monitoring KPIs and collecting feedback. Iterate on the insights.
  • Userpilot is a product growth platform with analytics, feedback, and in-app engagement capabilities. Book the demo to learn how to use it to design and implement your customer advocacy strategy.

Try Userpilot and Take Your Product Growth to the Next Level

What is customer advocacy?

Customer advocacy is a stage in the customer journey when satisfied long-term product users become product champions and promote the product in their private and professional circles.

Why do you need customer advocates?

Customer advocates are a valuable asset for a SaaS business.

First, they help you increase your brand visibility and acquire new customers. Word-of-mouth marketing is more cost-effective than other channels.

Marketers agree that it’s also the most efficient channel. Prospective customers are more likely to trust a recommendation from someone they know than your marketing messages.

This, combined with their high loyalty and retention, drives product growth.

As product advocates are usually highly engaged and experienced product users, they can provide insightful feedback that drives product improvements and innovation.

What is a customer advocacy program?

A customer advocacy program is an approach designed to harness the power of your most satisfied customers and turn them into product and brand advocates.

Wondering if you need one?

Satisfied users naturally turn into product promoters but this can be random. Some of them do, some of them don’t.

A structured program gives you more control over the process and allows you to actively foster advocacy.

Types of customer advocacy programs

Companies use a few kinds of customer loyalty programs to boost visibility and drive growth:

  • Customer referral programs reward users with discounts, upgrades, extra credits, or even monetary compensation for referring prospective customers to the product.
  • Brand ambassador programs focus on creating a group of highly loyal and engaged users who provide assistance to other users, create in-depth reviews, and act as product ambassadors.
  • User groups and community forums are platforms where customers can interact, share best practices, and provide peer-to-peer support. They strengthen the user community and provide valuable user-generated content and feedback.
  • Customer advisory boards are select groups of customers invited to give strategic input to the company’s leadership, for example, through regular meetings.
  • Social sharing initiatives encourage users to promote the product via social media by sharing their experiences and insights about the product. This amplifies brand visibility and bolsters its credibility.
  • Customer reviews and testimonials, for example on the company website, social media profile, or 3rd party sites, hinge on the social proof principle to build trust with prospective customers.
  • Affiliate programs offer your most loyal customers a commission on every sale made through a referral link, which they include on their website, blog, or newsletter.

How do you build a successful customer advocacy program?

Here’s a quick guide to building a powerful customer advocacy strategy that will boost customer acquisition, reduce acquisition costs, strengthen loyalty, and increase customer lifetime value.

1. Set objectives

As with any other strategy, your customer advocacy program needs goals. To guide your efforts and provide benchmarks against which you can measure progress.

An example of a good objective could be “Increase sales from referrals by 15% in the next six months.”

To create this goal, I used the SMART goal-setting framework. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

2. Foster customer loyalty and customer satisfaction

To turn your customers into product advocates, you first need to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

How to do it?

  • Promote continuous product discovery to identify new opportunities and ensure that your product keeps solving genuine customer programs.
  • Keep innovating to add value to the product and maintain the competitive edge.
  • Implement a robust onboarding process to lead users to value and help them achieve their goals.
  • Invest in customer education to help users master the product and realize its full potential.
  • Provide self-service in-app support and empower the customer service team to go above and beyond when supporting customers.
Customer advocacy strategy: Attention Intelligence resource center
Attention Intelligence resource center.

3. Build lasting customer relationships

Building lasting relationships with customers is crucial for the success of your customer advocacy initiatives.

How can you do it?

  • Personalize customer experience to better address customer needs and demonstrate your commitment to their success.
  • Allocate dedicated customer success managers who work together with customers to maximize product value in their unique circumstances and shape future product development.
  • Host events and webinars that provide valuable content and networking opportunities.
  • Create forums and user groups where customers can engage with each other, share resources, and seek assistance. It gives them a sense of belonging and strengthens their loyalty.
Customer advocacy strategy: Userpilots product growth community
Join Userpilot’s Product Growth community.

4. Implement customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs reward customers for their continued use or repeated purchases. They foster long-term customer retention, engagement – and advocacy.

This could be in the form of:

  • Tiered loyalty programs where perks and rewards depend on product usage or customer tenure with the brand.
  • Access to exclusive content and resources or communities that enhance experience and add value.
  • Early access and beta programs rewarding users for their loyalty and collecting their insights about new features.
  • Referral programs, like the Airtable one, which rewards customers with $10 in credit for every referral.
Customer advocacy strategy: Airtable referral program
Airtable referral program.

5. Identify power users

Power users are the most loyal and competent product users. They know the product, use it successfully to achieve their goals, and have a vested interest in supporting it. This makes them excellent product advocates.

What makes a power user depends on the product.

For example, it could be customers on a paid plan who have been using the product for a certain period and have renewed their subscription at least once. Or have used a certain range of features.

You can find them via product analytics.

Customer advocacy strategy: Features & Events Dashboard in Userpilot
Features & Events Dashboard in Userpilot.

6. Collect customer feedback to identify potential advocates

Another way to identify product advocates is through customer feedback. In fact, that’s what NPS surveys measure.

They ask users how likely they are to recommend a product, on a scale from 1 to 10. A 9 or 10 makes the user a promoter.

NPS survey
NPS survey.

Userpilot allows you to run the surveys and analyze the results automatically. You can use quantitative and qualitative responses to segment customers.

Userpilot NPS dashboard
Userpilot NPS dashboard.

7. Turn them into a customer advocate with an inviting message

Once you identify your power users and promoters, use in-app messages to turn them into product champions. For instance, the message below encourages users to submit a G2 review.

A modal asking users for a review
A modal asking users for a review.

Userpilot allows you to target very specific user segments with your in-app messages.

For example, in the image below, the message is sent to users who have used the web app at least 20 times and the last session was exactly 5 days ago.

In-app message audience settings in Userpilot
In-app message audience settings in Userpilot.

8. Measure and improve your customer advocacy strategy

Implementing your strategy isn’t the end. You now need to track its performance and use the insights to further refine it.

You can evaluate your customer advocacy efforts by tracking your KPIs, like referrals or customer retention, and collecting user feedback.


A well-designed customer advocacy strategy drives customer acquisition and reinforces the loyalty of existing customers. Customers who recommend your product to their peers are less likely to churn because it would make them look inconsistent.

If you’d like to learn how to design and implement your advocacy strategy with Userpilot, book the demo!

Try Userpilot and Take Your Product Growth to the Next Level

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