As we enter a new year, it's a good time to reflect on Customer Advisory Boards…
Due to the recent virus preventing travel, there is an increased need to create a more compelling online experience for Customer Advisory Board members. We got thinking about the different ways you can engage CAB members digitally. Here are some ideas on how you can digitally enable your Customer Advisory board program to engage members without the need for them to attend an in-person meeting:
- DELIVER MORE ENGAGING VIRTUAL MEETINGS – we have several posts devoted to best practices on this topic already, there are lots of tips on how to improve engagement and results from virtual meetings, however in order to improve the experience you should measure your success. The image above is a great example of the kind of metrics you can use to measure the success of your online meetings using Zoom, Skype, GoTo Meeting or whatever platform you choose.
- ESTABLISH A PLACE ONLINE FOR MEMBERS TO INTERACT – With the click of a button, CAB members should easily be able to discover who the other members of the advisory board are, then drill down into their current roles/responsibilities and work history (bios) and access contact information so they can engage via email etc. If you do not have official bios for each member you can create a webpage that links directly to the members profiles on LinkedIn as an alternative.
- CREATE VIRTUAL WORKING GROUPS – Create customer-driven thought leadership through virtual customer advisory board member working groups using collaborative tools with your internal teams. Collaborative document editing through Google Docs for example is a great too here, enabling everyone, internally and externally (customers) to collaborate on creating best practices guides, reports, thought leadership etc. the opportunities to co-create a deliverable with CAB members is endless! But first you should establish a working group charter, determine the objectives and outcomes, facilitate working group meetings online, and have a plan to capture the key insights to create the predetermined deliverable.
- PUBLISH THE CUSTOMER ADVISORY BOARD SUCCESS ONLINE – There is no reason to hide the fact you have a Customer Advisory Board online. Design a dashboard showing who the members are, some stats on the products they use as a whole, progress on the top action items the CAB is working on, the top insights that have been implemented to date etc. The dashboard can be updated in real-time and published internally, or if you are looking for more transparency allow all your customers to see the results of the Customer Advisory Council program, by publishing the dashboard on your customer community site.
- MAKE YOUR PROGRAM SCALEABLE USING TECHNOLOGY – Do you have a central place where anyone in your company can go to access the templates you have created for your CAB program? Is there an opportunity to make the Customer Council program more scaleable by automating many of the tasks the CAB manager performs? Now is the a good time to look at how you can “digitally enable” your CAB program to make it more efficient and scaleable in the future.