What Makes a Customer Advisory Board Unique and Effective?

As you look to what your priorities are for the future — whether for the rest of this year or next, or five years on the horizon, have you wondered whether you’re making the right decisions? Is your strategy for X, Y, Z sound, and if not, how should you tweak it? How can one gather outside perspectives, advice and feedback that are unbiased? Maybe, starting a customer advisory board is the right answer.

Below are some top values of a customer advisory board that may help you determine whether a customer advisory board is the best solution for you:

  • Diverse Group of Peers. What makes the customer advisory boards and councils we work on at Farland Group unique is that each one involves a diverse group of board members. Members from multiple industries come together to discuss and share perspectives on a number of given topics. We find the best advice is garnered when those in the room come from varying backgrounds — whether it’s financial services, manufacturing, retail, etc., having those different perspectives is key.
  • Co-created Meeting Agenda. We talk to our customer advisory board client host and members of that board prior to each meeting as we iterate the meeting agenda. Having input from both sides of the aisle ensures everyone has skin in the game, and that topics are relevant to a majority in the room.
  • In-person Meetings. In today’s world and technology-enabled meeting options, it’s easy to see why face-to-face meetings aren’t the easiest to pull off. However, if you plan well in advance, chances are you’ll have a good number of attendees at your customer advisory board meeting. The value of affording your clients the opportunity to be open and offer honest feedback in-person is immeasurable. Those around the table are spending time away from their own office, which means they’re invested and truly want to help. Additionally, the board host is also invested, so the feeling is reciprocated.
  • Third-Party Facilitation. Maybe you’ve determined that a customer advisory board is the answer. But, should you be the one facilitating the meeting when it occurs? That’s where Farland Group comes in. The advantage to having a third party consultant means that there is a neutral referee in the room to make sure all conversations stay on track, and on subject, without going down a rabbit hole. It helps to have someone in the room who does not have direct relationships with your clients to probe and ask questions that keep the dialogue flowing freely among all participants.

Related Stories

Do You Really Want to Launch a Client Advisory Board?

Posted on 10.3.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards, Featured

Client Advisory Councils can be incredibly powerful vehicles to gain real insight, embed clients in your strategy and deepen important relationships. But, if it is not the right time, and the foundation is not in place, you can lose ground  

Continue Reading »

Three Ways to Operationalize Client Advisory Council Actions

Posted on 07.11.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards

You just wrapped up a client advisory council meeting – discussions were dynamic, everyone was engaged, and as a result there are many ideas and potential actions to move forward. It’s exciting and daunting at the same  

Continue Reading »

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 »

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 »


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 »