FREE Strategy Guide

First published in 2010 it is widely used today by Customer Advisory Board .org members and beyond to:

  • Evaluate and assess their organization’s Customer Advisory Board program through gap analysis

  • Understand the expertise and skill sets required for successful advisory council development

  • Develop a road map to advance Customer Advisory Board efforts in their organization

  • Educate and manage expectations for the advisory board among executive sponsors, stakeholders, sales and account management

  • Create training for those tasked with developing or improving a Customer Advisory Board or facilitating an advisory council meeting

Table of Contents:

  • 1.    What is a Customer Advisory Board?

  • 2.    Why create an Advisory Board?

  • 3.    Challenges in creating a highly engaged Advisory Board

  • 4.    Types of Advisory Boards

  • 5.    CAB Costs & Benefits (ROI)

  • 6.    Evolution of a World Class Customer Advisory Board

  • 7.    Organizational Structure Required to Support a CAB

  • 8.    Methods to improve an existing CAB

  • 9.    How To Get Started

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Inside the report you will find research that supports three key findings:

  • Customer Advisory Board maturity impacts business value

  • World class CAB programs continuously engage members throughout the year

  • Executive participation and sponsorship is the biggest determinant of ROI

In addition to the high level key findings, the report includes data, analysis, actionable insights and recommendations related to the 7 maturity competencies in the Customer Advisory Board Maturity Model. This research is invaluable in benchmarking advisory board programs, to find immediate areas for improvement, regardless of your organization’s size of industry.

customer advisory boards

Top 6 Customer Advisory Board challenges

Designing and running a world-class Client Advisory Council requires continuous activity throughout the year.  Our members report that their top 6 challenges are:

  • Getting the right members: Recruiting the right executives from the customer base is no easy task. Have you developed an effective plan and communication program to recruit and keep the right members?

  • Having the right conversations: How are you organizing your agenda to make sure you get the most from the limited conversation time you have available?

  • Providing enough value: What are you doing to make sure members receive as much tangible value from their participation as you receive?

  • Capturing strategic insight: How are you organized to make sure you can separate the truly important from the merely interesting and useful insights?

  • Leveraging insight and relationships: Do you have an effective process in place to leverage what you accomplished with board members across your organization and track progress?

  • Measuring impact: How can you be sure you’re getting a real return on the time and resources invested? Do you have appropriate metrics and an effective measurement system in place?

FAQ: "Is a Customer Advisory Board a focus group?"

No! Here's why:

Membership is typically made up of 10-15 senior executives (not necessarily the end product users) normally representing the 20% of your customers that generate more than 80% of your revenue.

Topics of discussion tend to be more strategic than tactical.

Customer Advisory Council members participate on a voluntary basis for the opportunity to influence the company’s direction, in a way which is beneficial to their own needs, as well as the wider customer base.

There is an expectation that the organization will follow through on key recommendations made by its Customer Advisory Board members to ensure their continued participation and client satisfaction.

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