CABs or Customer Advisory Boards, might be the “secret weapon” you need for your company’s growth.

TPM Focus often recommends CABs for clients who are seeking to innovate, introduce new products/services, and need insights on industry trends and customer needs before moving forward.

What is a Customer Advisory Board (CAB)?

A Customer Advisory Board (CAB) is an organized, formal group of people composed of representatives from both the customer base and the company itself, which helps ensure a balanced view. CABs are typically composed of current or past customers representing different segments of the customer base who have agreed to participate in the board. This makes them invaluable for companies looking to stay current with customer opinions, trends, and ideas. Customers provide invaluable feedback and insight into how they perceive a given product or service, what features they may want to be added or removed, what their expectations are for pricing models or delivery methods, etc. This helps businesses make better decisions about how to meet customer needs in an ever-evolving marketplace best.

Generally speaking, members of a customer advisory board should be chosen based on criteria such as:

  • expertise relating to your company’s particular industry/niche;
  • willingness/ability/availability to actively participate in discussions;
  • aptitude for understanding complex concepts;
  • commitment level;
  • diversity (in terms of race/ethnicity/gender/age);
  • geographic spread (if applicable);
  • prior experience in similar roles;
  • consistency across multiple projects/engagements;
  • ability to articulate views clearly; 

It’s also important that each member brings something unique and helpful to the table. Though this is not an exhaustive list of consideration factors, these are a starting point when selecting members. TPM Focus does not advise going based on individual resumes alone.

What Do Customer Advisory Boards Do?

The primary role of a CAB is to provide feedback from customers on current products or services and any proposed ideas or changes that may be in progress. During these meetings, participants come together to discuss topics such as product features, ideas for improvement, new technologies being integrated into the product lines and other opinions about the company’s products/services. Through this collaboration with their target demographic, companies can gain greater insight into customer needs while understanding where they should focus their efforts when developing future products or services. Furthermore, having such direct feedback from customers about their experience should lead to more effective marketing campaigns. 

Which Types of Companies Benefit Most From Having a CAB?

Regardless of size or industry type, all businesses stand to benefit from forming a CAB due to its ability to facilitate better dialogue between companies and their customers while also tapping into valuable insights which would otherwise remain unknown. That being said, certain types of industries tend to find more success in establishing successful boards than others, namely those which rely heavily on customer or user opinions, such as software companies or online marketplaces that rely on experience ratings from each purchase made through their platform (think Amazon). Ultimately it boils down to what makes sense given your existing business model—your product, your target customers, your distribution channels, etc.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, when done correctly, setting up a Customer Advisory Board is one of the smartest strategic decisions businesses can make to bolster reputation, credibility, and improve relationships with stakeholders—all of which results in stronger overall business performance. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, when done right, employing effective customer engagement tactics like Customer Advisory Boards has proven to be incredibly beneficial because they provide real, tangible data to decision-makers who evaluate and decide upon implementation strategies needed to drive innovation within the organization. CABs create lasting impact.

If you’re interested in growth strategies for your company, reach out to our team. We would be happy to assist you.