Influence and Advocacy

I recently had the honor of being included alongside close friends on the Mindtouch customer service influencers list. I’m grateful to Mindtouch for investing in the research, and grateful to all who voted to place me on the list. I’m even more delighted that the message of customer advocacy is spreading and gaining traction.

This got me thinking about the matter of influence? The dictionary calls it “the capacity to be a compelling force on the actions of others.” As I reflected on it, I truly don’t know how much of my “influence” is the messenger and how much is the message itself.

The need for brands to honor and respect customers as human beings is simply an idea whose time has come. It is the idea itself that matters, not me. If I am “influential”, it’s likely because I’m a mouthpiece for a mission that matters: Bringing humanity back to business.

So I pondered whether or not “Influencer” described what’s going on. I almost think my friends and I are “advocates” for a new kind of service. We envision a model in which the customer and the brand treat one another as people – People with feelings, needs and legitimate demands on their time. We advocate for mutual respect. We advocate for consideration and common courtesy.

The dictionary defines advocate it as “the action of pleading for a cause.” That sounds about right. I’m an advocate, and so are my friends on this list. We urge, entreat and implore brands to understand. It’s the cause itself that matters. Influence comes, then, in large part, from the cause for which we plead.

To appropriately honor my fellow customer advocates, I thought I’d share how many of the folks on this list have influenced ME. Specifically, I wanted to share 5 customer service quotes that have influenced me in my advocacy:

  1. Every employee is a reflection of your company: Their actions and words represent your business.Marsha Collier

  2. Consumers are statistics: Customers are people.Ty Sullivan

  3. Live and breathe customer happiness, regardless of role. Ted Coine

  4. It’s about treating each customer as an individual.Richard Natoli

  5. Adopt the tools that best suit YOUR customers’ needsRoy Atkinson

Are there quotes, tweets and blog posts that have inspired customer advocacy in you?

If so, I’d LOVE to see them here.

13 Responses to “Influence and Advocacy”

  1. Tristan, ⒼⓇ⑧ ✪ post. For me you are right on point and ring many bells in my heart. I adore you message of “Bringing humanity back to business.” So, so needed.

    As to Advocacy (and this is a word dear to my heart as well) here is my 10c to add to your great advocates quotes.

    Listen first with all your senses, to understand peoples needs, then support with heart; and lead.


  2. Congratulations, Tristan! What an honor to be included on a list of this caliber, and up at the top! Well-deserved!

  3. What a great post, Tristan…thank you for honoring those who inspire us with great thoughts about customer service, and for being a model yourself of the belief in an honorable relationship with every customer. To me, every customer is a colleague, and no sale is truly complete if respect and integrity aren’t shipped right along with the product.

    • Thank you, Lori.

      I couldn’t help but take to the Twitter with some of your amazing prose. Love this comment! Always a pleasure to read your words.



  4. Lovely point…my clients get special attention precisely because they need to have a connection with a person who can support their personal transformation…a coach.
    I write, call and answer mails as necessary to send a message of care and attention. Appreciating your coachees’ emotional needs is the first step for their progress!
    Conflict Coach

  5. My boss always says “Customer service isn’t a department, it’s a philosophy.”

    • Indeed, Alyson. I often call it a “core value”, rather than a team. The ethic of service permeates the culture of all the best organizations. I appreciate you input! 🙂

  6. Tristan, Thank you for the collection of customer service quotes as they relate to a “customer first” mentality. Keep up the great work.


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    […] Tristan Bishop discusses influence and advocacy […]

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