10 signs your company may be ready to host a Customer Advisory Board

Is your company ready for a Customer Advisory Board? That may seem like a silly question, but CABs are not appropriate for all companies. This is not to imply any judgment, as there are perfectly good reasons for not pursuing a CAB initiative. So, to help guide you in your assessment, here are 10 signs to consider.

  1. The industry is going through significant change (e.g. an economic downturn or recovery, influx of new regulations, entry of new technologies or competition), and your customers are rethinking their strategy.
  2. As a strategy-level focus group, the CAB is a welcomed complement to our other voice-of-the-customer or customer engagement efforts, including surveys, product focus groups, and user group meetings.
  3. We are honestly interested in knowing what customers think.
  4. We are willing to take action based on customer input and feedback.
  5. We are willing to make a financial investment and a resource commitment to support a CAB initiative.
  6. The entire executive staff is onboard and eager to support a CAB initiative.
  7. All department heads from marketing, product development, engineering, customer support, and sales are engaged and supportive of a CAB initiative.
  8. We are ready to engage customers in a strategic business-focused conversation; we have discussion topics worthy of an agenda.
  9. The timing of our first/next CAB meeting fits well with regard to other strategic planning meetings and events that have been (or will be) scheduled.
  10. We have a critical mass of customers that we can choose from to invite to our CAB.

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