Nearly a year ago, I wrote about what I learned from the pandemic, customer advisory boards and everyday life. Little did I know we were just in the beginning stages of a very lengthy pandemic. What I learned during the early stages of COVID still holds true today — the need to be more patient, shifting how and what to prioritize and understanding the very nature of what was quickly becoming a 24/7 technology-driven world.
My colleagues and I wrote blogs throughout 2020 about the benefits of shifting from in-person meetings to virtual so that our clients’ connections with their top customers — albeit different — could continue. Much more time has passed, and I have an even greater understanding of the value that our clients and their customers who participate in customer advisory boards gain from attending shorter, but more frequent virtual sessions.
We have had the opportunity to facilitate more meetings over the last year, as going virtual has created a certain simplicity (open calendar invite, click to join, and you’re in!). We see some of the value proven through participation numbers and engagement — as customer advisory board members are keen to join, knowing it will only take a couple of hours out of their day. It’s also clear that our clients find value and they look to hold more virtual sessions throughout the year to ensure the most pressing areas are covered.
While virtual customer advisory board sessions could never replace the value of in-person peer networking opportunities, they have proved to be a forum that fosters rich and engaging dialogue among participants. Now, just about one year later since things got turned totally upside down, I appreciate how technology has allowed us to continue to help cultivate our clients’ relationships with their top customers and more importantly, convene them together more often than not.