Help, My Customer Advisory Board is Shrinking!

What do you do when you find that a large portion of your customer advisory board has suddenly turned over due to retirement and role changes? Panic, is the first thought that comes immediately to mind. But once that initial jolt passes, it is time to look at the current membership and take stock of the industry and geographic gaps that need to be addressed.

I’ve shared perspectives on the importance of a strong customer advisory board membership pipeline before, but a sudden and dramatic member turnover really shows how imperative it is to have a view to who might be next filling those seats at the board table. So, what do you do?

Reach to the executive team. Provide the senior leaders with a view to the gaps and share clear membership criteria, and they very likely will have ideas of who they feel might be a prime advisory board candidate.

Check in with the client leaders. Perhaps that ideal candidate that could not previously commit due a heavy workload or a conflict of interest is able to make the commitment now. It pays to keep track of those that you would want on your ‘dream team’ and to follow up. Client leaders who interact with their customers regularly also have a view to potential new members and may help uncover someone that you may not have considered.

Research, research, research. Regularly reading up on the experts in the topical space of focus for the advisory board. This is a great way to bring fresh new ideas for membership candidates to the table.

Additionally, here are a few things to NOT do in your moment of panic:

  • Do not agree to take on delegates.
  • Avoid just 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 – it takes a careful touch.

An unexpected and significant departure of advisory board members can feel daunting, but a consistent and persistent plan of action can help you get over this hurdle and on your way to a revitalized membership base.

Related Stories

Customer Advisory Board Agenda Development: It’s a Balancing Act

Posted on 07.16.2018 by in Customer Advisory Boards, Featured

The spring meetings have wound down, the heat of summer is in full effect, and now it is time to turn our attention to the fall, with another round of customer advisory board meetings just around the corner. With many  

Continue Reading »

Customer Advocates are Your Content Engine

Posted on 06.5.2018 by in Engagement Strategy

Content marketing is a growing area of investment. Building content that connects to prospects and customers can be most powerful by enlisting your customer advocates.

Continue Reading »

The Power of Customer Input: It Doesn’t Have to be All Good

Posted on 04.27.2018 by in Customer Advisory Boards

I am an ardent believer in providing feedback to companies I purchase from.  I tweet about the amazing, personalized, almost-like-opening-a-gift experiences with shoe retailer M.Gemi or stationer Felix Doolittle.  On the flip side, I also do not hesitate to call  

Continue Reading »

Customer Advisory Boards: Invest in Your Customer

Posted on 04.16.2018 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Deeply understanding the needs and requirements of your customers requires an investment. Investment of time to establish strong relationships and trust with your customers; that trust will lead to hearing their honest assessments of your business model, products, services  

Continue Reading »

Customer Advisory Boards

An advisory board is a powerful engine of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

A Board Success Factor: Business and Industry Expertise » Advisory Boards: How to Extend the Value »

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

Want to improve your standing with your C-suite customers? Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

C-Suite Insight: Digital Disruption » Looking to Engage Executives? First, Understand What They Want »

Learn More »