Like 20 years old CIO and advisor to several startups, I have served on many Client Advisory Committees (CABs) and seen how they are formed. Some companies have very successful CABs, others simply serve as feedback loops. Any startup that strives to connect directly with its customers would benefit from creating one.
Here are some considerations to make sure your client advisory board is a success.
Why are CABs important
For those who are not familiar, a client advisory committee is a group of clients who come together to share their experiences, ideas and advice with an organization. First, the CAB works to recognize and include the voice of the customer, an essential part of your business journey, as customers interact more closely than anyone else with your product or service.
It’s best to nominate early adopters to be part of the board – those who took a chance on you and were on the front lines as your business grew – as well as some new clients.
While creating this group is a sign of appreciation and respect for your customers, it also gives you the opportunity to formalize and structure the feedback you ask them. You can ask for validation of product ideas or advice on roadmap development, test marketing messages, and even harness market intelligence.
The biggest benefit of a CAB, however, is creating champions for your brand. These loyal partners will eventually offer testimonials, references and references. The key to this partnership is the shared feeling of playing a small role in building the future of your business.
The biggest benefit of a CAB is creating champions for your brand.
Assembling your CAB superteam
The best way to assemble your CAB is to start with a very small group and grow slowly. There is a bit of nuance in choosing who to include. Are you going after the executive that sponsored you, the one that saw a vision and thought your solution would fit?
Perhaps. But that person may not use your product every day, be deeply involved in its operational aspects, and / or have their finger on the pulse of the end user experience.