A Strong Pipeline is the Key to Revitalizing Customer Advisory Board Membership

Retirements and role changes in the C-suite can wreak havoc on Customer Advisory Board membership, taking it from robust and static to multiple open seats in the blink of an eye. While this might cause panic at first, it is an ideal opportunity to look at the current membership and take stock of the industry, geographic, and diversity gaps that need to be addressed.

Having a strong Customer Advisory Board membership pipeline is always important; sudden member turnover highlights just how imperative it is to have a view to who might be filling those seats at the board table next. Below are a few avenues to consider when looking for new members.

Explore options with the executive team. Provide the senior leaders with a view to the existing gaps and offer clear membership criteria; they very likely have ideas of candidates they feel might be a prime Customer Advisory Board member.

Check in with the account leaders. There may have been ideal candidates who previously could not commit to board participation, who can make the commitment now. Keep track of individuals / companies that you would want on your ideal board and follow up. Client leaders who interact with their customers regularly also have a perspective on potential new members and may help uncover someone that you may not have considered.

Regular research. Regularly read up on who the leaders are in the specific role that the advisory board focuses on. This is a great way to bring forward fresh new ideas for membership candidates.

Additionally, here are a few things to NOT do:

  • Do not agree to take on delegates.
  • Avoid turning to replacements without considering the broader mix to ensure you have the best quality board.
  • Shift the focus to prospects if you haven’t done that before – as that takes a careful touch.

An unexpected and significant departure of advisory board members can feel overwhelming, but by putting together a concrete action plan and consistently following up you will be on your way to a revitalized membership base.

Related Stories

The Power of In-person Customer Advisory Board Meetings

Posted on 06.22.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Over the last 2+ years, we have all experienced an uptick in technology use — whether for work-related purposes, educational, or grocery shopping via your mobile device — COVID accelerated the use of technology in both business and personal life.  

Continue Reading »

Is it a Good Time to Launch a Customer Advisory Board?

Posted on 06.6.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Not sure whether a Board is right for you? Here are some trigger points to consider.

Continue Reading »

Extending Client Relationships: An Interview with Andrew Greenwood, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, ZS

Posted on 05.10.2022 by in Client Interviews, Customer Advisory Boards, Featured

Andrew Greenwood is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for ZS Associates, a management consulting and professional services firm focusing on consulting, software, and technology, providing services for clients in healthcare, private equity, and technology. He has more than 20 years  

Continue Reading »

The Power of Peer Networks: An Interview with Katharyn White, Former CMO, T-Systems (Part II of II)

Posted on 03.29.2022 by in Client Interviews, Understanding the C-Suite

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Katharyn White, Former CMO, T-Systems and now IBM General Manager, Federal Ecosystem about some of the challenges and growth that she experienced in building an advisory network at T-Systems amidst a pandemic.  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards are powerful engines of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

Meeting Facilitation: Virtual and In-Person Boards » Taking Your Customer Advisory Board Meetings Virtual »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Building C-level programs that are meaningful and bring value to you as well as to your c-suite customers is challenging. Veiled sales pitches won’t win the day with this audience. Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

Building a C-Suite Client Experience Strategy » Do you Know What Your Customers Value? »

Learn More »