GGR Blog - When is the right time to ask a customer for help?

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Heather Wendt
Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 286 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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edited June 2023 in GGR Cafe

Customer advocates are worth their weight in gold, but is there a right and wrong time to ask for help?

@Sabina Pons shares her thoughts on this topic in our latest GGR Blog, and they are spot on!

The answer is that timing is everything here. Too early, and you risk creating an uncomfortable situation for your customer and potentially for your prospect. Sabina walks us through some of the requirements that have to be met before moving into the ask, with some practical ways to capitalize on the assistance once the timing is right.

Read the blog

What are some of the challenges you are facing with your advocacy programs?

Comments

  • rdesmarais
    rdesmarais Member Posts: 14 Navigator
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    Interesting question. Being facetious, we could ask for their help once they've renewed their agreement 😁But in all seriousness, we also have to take into account WHO is asking for help. Is it the Product team? The CX org? Or Sales? They timing of the outreach would vary quite a bit I would think. And when we say we are asking for help, are we referring to including them in a Product Advisory Council?

    Generally speaking, I think a CSM has the best grasp of the customer relationship to help determine when we could reach out to the customer for help. The next best person would be the Account Executive.

    I think you'd want the customer to have at least one year of tenure with your product and company before you are asking them for help.

  • Sabina Pons
    Sabina Pons Member Posts: 1 Navigator
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    @rdesmarais - I always like facetious. :)

    I agree with you - the persona matters. Also, as you were commenting about the AE, I was getting chills about times where I had sales rep jump in and ask for a reference call when the incumbent customer was having a severity 1 production issue. Timing is another key factor for sure!

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 199 Expert
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    edited June 2023
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    Here is an approach I have used that has worked:

    1. Obvious advocates- ask right away. These are the easy ones.
    2. Possible advocates-probe and stay connected and they may become advocates over time.
    3. Nurturing critical advocates- critical customers you need to have and want to develop into advocates. Slowly, over time work carefully to get to a point where you can ask. These are the hard ones and when the win comes, it is the most satisfying and often the most impactful.

    2+3 can take time, years sometimes, and if you carefully work on all three all the time your advocate pool will be deep. The key is to have programs and tools in place that allow you to easily manage and work on all three.

    NEVER FEAR ASKING. That is rule #1.

    Do not waste to much time getting the "right kind" of advocates. All advocates are good and your pool should be varied. I see a lot of programs torpedoed because the focus is so small or specific, often to meet a need dejour, that it disembowels the program.

    FYI Sales can refer, but should not be making the decision to ask directly. It can become to muddled.

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