Have you ever thought about starting a customer advisory board? Where would you even begin? Who do you contact for help? And what is the benefit of establishing a board in the first place?
Our company Farland Group helps to cultivate and facilitate board meetings. Farland Group founder and President, Jane Hiscock, recently wrote about the value a customer advisory board can bring to your business. The following points are additional opportunities, advantages and benefits that a board can produce over time:
Value to Client Board Members
- You want your clients to want to join your board as a member. So what’s in it for them? For starters, members have the opportunity to meet and network with a diverse group of peers from various industries, and geographies. It’s one of the most positive pieces of feedback we hear from members of boards we facilitate: the participants truly learn from and enjoy hearing from one another.
- Board members have the chance to influence the direction of your business strategy. This is an important benefit for members — but equally important for you as the advisory board host. Because these clients are using your services, product, etc. within their own company, you want their candid thoughts on next steps and the direction going forward.
- Board members have access to some of your top executives. You’re inviting some of your top clients to become members of an advisory board, and they’ll take it seriously knowing they can get some extra time with your leadership team.
Value to Your Business
- How can you improve your client’s overall experience…because at the end of the day, they are your customer? What could be done better on your end as the provider? To get to the root of any problem that needs to be solved or area that needs to be enhanced, hearing from your clients in-person is an extremely valuable communication tool. In-person customer advisory board meetings allow you to talk to your clients face-to-face, hear their tone, and understand their pain points in a way you cannot get to with phone conversations or emails.
- A regular cadence of board meetings enable you to forge stronger relationships with your clients. In turn, this could potentially uncover additional business opportunities — whether with your clients, via your clients advocating for you, and so on.
- Before you go-to-market with a new product or service, wouldn’t it be great to gather advice on your specific strategy? Advisory boards afford you the chance to test your plan in advance and potentially shift your marketing strategy well before customers have consumed your product or service.