3 Pillars of Building Brand Loyalty and Customer Advocacy

There are several places to get a cup of coffee, various smartphone makers on the market and more than a few places to buy a new pair of running shoes. Yet, consumers are loyal; they go to the same coffee shop, buy only an iPhone or go straight to Amazon for shoes. And, as you’ll see in this video, great brands with customer advocacy programs have some fundamental elements in common.

Having satisfied customers is no longer enough. Taking your customers from simply satisfied to loyal to advocate is a journey. And it’s a great practice in customer experience to have a guide to help consumers navigate through that journey—and help you increase wallet share. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recognizes this and has said, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” These three practices are the foundation for getting customers to evangelize on your behalf and develop cusomer advocacy.

  1. Listen for Action

Survey your customers and act on the feedback. This could mean sending a survey after a specific event (a purchase) or sending one annually to take their pulse. After you get the results, act on them; follow-up with your customers and let them know that you’ve fixed an issue or improved a process. If you don’t do this, you miss a golden opportunity to connect and build an experience centered around your customer.

At Genesys, we understand our best innovations and our business strategy center around customers. As part of the Bain & Company Loyalty Forum, we have adapted the Net Promoter System (NPS) across our entire organization, and have developed it into part of our comprehensive “Voice of the Customer” practice. It’s used to capture all types of customer feedback.

You might be familiar with it—from the transactional NPS survey sent after the close of every customer care case or professional services engagement to the semi-annual relationship NPS survey that measures holistic, end-to-end experiences. The feedback from these surveys is analyzed, prioritized and reviewed—and actions are built with cross-functional leaders. Some tactical and immediate actions recently included improvements in our customer care responsiveness and enhanced expertise in professional services. More strategic initiatives that are aimed at improving our long-term engagement include Genesys PureSuccess, subscription plans, and Genesys use cases.

Your Takeaway: Ask for customer feedback, respect their time and make sure you take action—whether it’s a tactical fix or something that is incorporated into a long-term corporate strategy. The more you listen, the more you’ll understand your customer—and that builds advocacy. It allows you to empathize with your customers, become aware of their expectations and better deliver on what they value most. This value delivery lets your customers connect with your brand on an emotional level, spurring them to advocate on your behalf.

  1. Design From the Outside-In

Invite customers into the process when creating or improving a new business procedure within your organization. Many, if not all, companies create processes from an internal perspective—thinking they’re being efficient or serving customers. However, most time, they’re working against the customer.

In the spirit of full transparency, Genesys has been very internal-focused. And that showed in our interaction with our customers and our partners. From all the feedback we received, we realized we needed to change that. Over the past couple years, we have focused initiatives to involve our customers in the design and improvement processes. We see—and understand—that there is a mindset shift to the importance of co-designing—from our management to the individual team member level. is now part of our lexicon.

Your Takeaway:  I encourage you to create a customer journey map that is holistic and end-to-end. This allows you to step into your customers’ shoes and identify pain points and areas that are fragmented—whether it’s in your product portfolio, services or your general business processes. Move from that internal lens to an external focus; look at what you have in place and ask if it’s helping or hurting customers.

  1. Right People, Right Time, Right Delivery

This is all about matchmaking and segmentation; it’s about knowing your employees and their skill sets as much as it is about knowing your customers. Putting the right people with the right skills in place to respond at the right time is very challenging.

At Genesys, we saw this as an opportunity to build both services and solutions. We looked at the value and knowledge that each employee offers, especially in our care and professional services. Now the right team is matched to serve the right customer at the right time. This is such an integral part of customer engagement that we have built a predictive routing solution to enable you to do the same—meet your customers’ needs with the right skills at the right time.

Your Takeaway: Companies don’t invest in this area as much as they should. But if you look at some of the most beloved brands out there, this is a practice they do exceptionally well. They understand that elevated customer experience is not a collection of random acts delivered haphazardly. Rather, putting the right employees with the right skills in place, when the customer needs them most, increases customer trust. And this trust is the cornerstone of creating loyalty—and it’s a quality that customers won’t hesitate to tell others about.