Inessa Kutsishaya for Customer Advocacy Experts

February 26, 2021

Video Transcript

Speaker: Inesa Kutsishaya, Head of Customer Success, Influ2

Inesa Kutsishaya: Looking back at my childhood and when I grew up, I've always been very passionate about talking to people, listening to their stories, and I was always ready to lend a hand. Naturally, it happened so that my first job was in customer service as well. It was more than 10 years ago, Then we didn't have definitions of customer storytelling. But we just understood that word of mouth works and we started recording those videos with the customers and writing some blog posts with their feedback, publishing the case study, and it really worked. It brought a lot of success, and that's why we understood that it's really a great way off promoting your solution and selling your solution. Besides that, I'm as consumer myself. When I make any kind of purchase, I always turn to online reviews and so it happens not only for consumer goods, but also when I am looking for B2B purchases. For instance, I learned of a new customer service platform. I also turned to feedback, and only then I do I make my final decision. So that's why I think it's very crucial

Please share an example of a customer video that had a material impact on sales /marketing.

Inesa Kutsishaya: For me, this is the webinar that we held together with our clients here at my current job at Influ2. When we were preparing this webinar and working on the slides I realized that, "Wow, we are thinking so much the same way, used the exact same words to express the same ideas. And it was awesome. I guess it was one of the key factors of the success of that video. Then we shared it in our marketing ad campaigns. A sales stages, to share it with opportunities and leads. And also the customer success stage to show a case study off, like one off our top customers. Because we have rather innovative solution, our customers are always happy to hear how other clients are using it. To have some insights for themselves.

What are the hallmarks of a great customer marketing and advocacy program?

Inesa Kutsishaya: I would say that customer marketing and customer advocacy is not a program, and it's not a tactic. It's even modern strategy. I believe that it is the vision, the whole vision of the company, how the company thinks, and how the company grows. That's why, each and every function of the company should be involved in that. Another thing I would point out, is shared values with the customers. This can create really strong bonds and connection between a company and the customer. When you do something like awards for the likes, for the video use, usually the audience feels that it does not resonate that much. But when you really have shared values, have the common idea, this what really works. These influencers and customer advocates, They usually like being part of something bigger, part of a new trend in the market, new movement in the market, on they are very passionate about that. Again at my current job, we have the idea of, changing the way of doing account based marketing. Taking it to the next level, what we call high resolution, account based marketing or person based marketing. Our most loyal customers. They just share this idea, and they think the exact same way. That's why they are very passionate about that.

What are some pitfalls in customer advocacy you’ve learned personally or observed?

Inesa Kutsishaya: In my experience, I would say the biggest pitfall I've observed is not sharing the results of customers storytelling with other departments because usually with customer success managers, customer service managers, they are the one who are the most involved in that. But it is very important to share it with other functions with marketing so they can use it in their programs with the sales. So they know what message use again with their prospects. What resonates with which type of companies on the same goes to the product team so they can understand what things our customers like the most about our company, what should be enhanced. That's why they can't just have the roadmap of the company Based on that, understand what is the most important in the company development.

How do you predict customer storytelling will change in the next 5 years?

Inesa Kutsishaya: In today's overly automated and digital driven world, Human touch became very important. Brands need to build those strong connections with their customers and more than that, they need to pull their heartstrings. Customer storytelling will be more and more important. But I guess it will switch more to influencers telling stories their own ways because right now, a lot of companies like to have control of what customers like a specific feature that they are covering, language to use, what value to say and all this stuff. And I guess that the audience has become very cynical of that, and know when it's not sincere. If brands give more freedom and more space to their influencers to do it their own way, it will resonate with the audience, and they will believe that this is really and it would work

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