I play recreational softball on Wednesday nights during the Summer and my family usually comes to watch — that includes my husband, who lets me know when I have a great game, and also when I don’t. Do I always like what he has to say? Nope. But, in the end it makes me a better player.
It’s one reason why customer advisory boards are so important. No, we don’t have a session on Softball 101, but we do ask for open, transparent and honest feedback — in pre-meeting calls, during the meeting discussions, and in post-meeting calls.
During a recent council meeting, both our client, and their customers in attendance, acknowledged that it’s difficult to hear the negative advice, and much credit was given to our client for listening to the more challenging feedback. Both parties appreciated the openness of this type of forum, and agreed that if the candid advice turns into actions and outcomes, it’s a win for all participants.
Whether a particular agenda item is well received or not, I’ve noticed that one characteristic of advisory board meetings is always clear — we consistently hear how helpful the meeting was. In short, any and all feedback can only help to improve our client’s strategy going forward. If we take the board’s advice and act on it for a future meeting, the session we once struck out on could be a grand slam the next time around.