Corporate AdvisoryGeneral Business

Do I Need a Customer Advisory Board?

Let’s say you have a solid customer base. Your business is moving along steadily, but it’s not spectacular. You know there’s plenty of room for improvement. You’d love it to be firing on all cylinders. So how do you go about it? One way is to listen to your customers. Do you actually know what their opinion is of your business? Do you know what they think of you, your service, your advice? Is your service up with the latest financial trends and forecasts? These are a few questions, that if answered could greatly change the way your business maintains its presence in an ever demanding service-oriented marketplace. This is where a Customer Advisory Board can play an important role.

Putting the customer first.

Having a Customer Advisory Board is an honest and clever way to enable you to get into the minds of your customers and find out what they really think of you and your team’s skills. And it’s so easy to implement. It’s a forum where you get priceless feedback from customers past and present, and prospective customers. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to tell you exactly how they feel and what they want.

It’s the ideal way to get feedback on your product, your service, the way you go about your business. You can then use all this information to refine or sharpen your business model. Create new tactics that will help your customers in the marketplace. You’ll discover where your weaknesses are and your strengths. And you’ll find out most importantly what you can do to improve your service offering to not only make your existing customer a lot happier, but attract more business.

Getting your Customer Advisory Board up and running.

Select a cross section of customers because they will all have different experiences. In that mix, focus on your ideal customers. They’re the ones that can help build your business. In your Customer Advisory Board, the ideal number is 8 to 12. To facilitate the session, the best idea is to get a good facilitator who will provide clear and concise feedback. Choose a neutral venue and make sure that it’s easy for your customers to get to and that it’s in keeping with your standing in the marketplace.

Your agenda.

Your facilitator gets the ball rolling with an introduction and then asks participants to complete a short questionnaire that touches on all the points of your business. And that includes the good and the bad. Constructive feedback is welcome. Set aside around 4 hours for the whole process which will cover everyone’s travel time. Your facilitator will usually put a report together at the end of the meeting. Some facilitators prefer to record the session so you can hear it for yourself.

The results of your CAB.

The good thing that comes out of these sessions is that issues have been identified and your facilitator will then turn consultant and sit down and work with you to identify any problems or issues. Together you can then build an action plan to address them. From this, you can focus on the positive feedback and work with your consultant to establish a plan of how to continue to provide a high level of service for your existing and new customers.


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Neil Parker
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