Fireside Chat with Jeff Rankin of US Bank

In a recent fireside chat, Ignite’s Rob Jensen, Senior Consultant & Facilitator, spoke with Jeff Rankin, a former banking executive. Jeff was the former executive sponsor of the US Bank Large Market Client Advisory Panel that has been going strong since its inception in 2014.

Customer Advisory Board Best Practices & Key Takeaways

“The value that we gained out of the Client Advisory Panel paid off to a level that even we didn’t anticipate.”
Jeff Rankin, former banking executive at US Bank

Take the time to establish the CAB strategy and plan for meetings. In the lead-up to the inaugural advisory board meeting, US Bank spent 6 months, together with Ignite, to strategize, plan, and recruit the right CAB members. Here are several key elements that took place:

  • Board objectives – US Bank created its advisory board to deepen customer relationships with the bank’s decision-makers.
  • Using a third party – Using Ignite established credibility and ensured US Bank wasn’t just talking at customers, but engaging in dialogue and listening.
  • Recruitment – Selecting the right customer advisory board (CAB) members is critical. US Bank hand-selected 15 C-level customers to join the board.

Focus on providing value to customers. At each meeting, advisory board members presented use cases. Hearing others’ challenges and the exchange of ideas was valuable to CAB members. To give CAB members more air time and dialogue with each other, US Bank limited the number of internal employees at meetings to no more than half the number of CAB members attending (2:1 ratio). CAB members also found value in the outside speakers that presented relevant industry topics and engaged with them. Getting the right speakers is key. Through feedback surveys at the end of meetings, US Bank was able to validate the value customers got and tweak any items for future CAB meetings.

Don’t sell your services at CAB meetings. Sales conversations were kept out of CAB meetings, no one at US Bank would ask a customer about the status of a bid or RFP. All the follow-up conversations requested by CAB members coming out of CAB meetings made the board valuable to US Bank. As Jeff said, “The value that we gained out of it on behalf of our customers paid off to a level that then even we didn’t anticipate.”

Deliver a unique customer experience. Jeff shared some favorite experiences that the CAB members enjoyed: TopGolf in Denver, a Capitol building tour in Washington, DC, and a behind-the-scenes CNN tour in Atlanta. As a token of customer appreciation, US Bank always provided a location-specific memorable gift, and it wasn’t a huge expense.

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If you are looking for help in customer advisory board design, recruitment, customer-driven agenda creation, meeting facilitation, or ongoing management, we can help. Schedule a free consultation to talk to an Ignite CAB expert.

Ignite Advisory Group is the leading global authority on Customer Advisory Boards and Customer-Led Boards. Ignite’s proven methodology for managing and evolving Customer Advisory Boards includes a 4-stage process, encompassing 48 deliverables and measured by 20 metrics to deliver a clear ROI. To learn more about Ignite, visit our website, read our blogs, and follow us on LinkedIn. To find out how your company can benefit from Ignite’s CAB methodology and process, contact us today.