The most important part of ensuring that your company is successful is customer satisfaction – if the customer experience isn’t perfect, or your customer is unhappy, your business could fail.

However, those businesses that implement a Customer Advisory Board can get ahead of any issues by trying out products, services, operating policies and features before they are released to the general public.

What is a Customer Advisory Board?

A CAB, or Customer Advisory Board, is a group of trusted customers that can give honest feedback about your product or service.

For SaaS companies, CABs become essential, sometimes playing a key role in your company’s growth. CABs can help your department leaders and top-level executives quickly gain a deeper understanding of the whole customer experience.

It is essential to build your CAB with the right group of customers. You’ll need current customers that represent a variety of characteristics. You’ll want new clients, as well as those who have been there from the early days. Both big and small customers are important in developing a clear understanding of your current customer base.

Benefits of a Customer Advisory Board

Customer Advisory Boards are an ideal way to gather customer input on new product developments.

Prospective clients are often eager to join a CAB, as it can show a high investment of the company in its customers. In typical B2B companies, only 13% of their customers are considered fully engaged, whereas those with CABs see 23%, according to Gallup.

CABs are a great way to gather insight and feedback on current and future rollouts of your software or products. These boards can help improve your product roadmap, giving a unique view of what your customers want and how they really use it. These real-life use cases can be invaluable in moving forward.

Customer Advisory Boards are the best resource for your business strategy, giving you frontline improvement suggestions for new products and instant feedback for new ideas and products.

By including these customers in your business’ growth strategy, you enable your customers to feel more connected to your business. Not only does this build stronger relationships between your company and your customers, but Customer Advisory Boards also deliver incremental revenue. Since these customers are privy to your company’s growth strategy, they feel a stronger bond with your business and will be more willing to increase their business with your organization.

A Customer Advisory Board increases client engagement as your customers become brand champions for your product. These trusted advisors turn into fans of your company and product, promoting it to their peers and potential prospects.

How to run an effective CAB

Here are seven tips on how to run your Customer Advisory Board effectively:

  1. Have clear, predefined objectives
  2. Don’t think you’re bothering them
  3. In-person sessions should be high quality
  4. Send a survey gathering relevant information beforehand
  5. Consider both executive and practitioner tracks
  6. Continue the conversation after the session ends
  7. Track your results and participation

After your CAB sessions, make sure to show your company’s appreciation for those who participated. Recognition and thank-you gifts are appropriate and deserved!

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