A Customer Advisory Board (CAB), also known as a Customer Advisory Council (CAC), consists of a group of decision makers who meet on an ongoing basis to discuss industry trends and offer guidance and insights to the sponsoring company.

What are the benefits of a CAB?

A well designed and managed CAB enables B2B companies to:

  • Gain internal alignment on go to market.
  • Deepen relationships with top key accounts.
  • Generate customer referrals and increase in revenues from existing customers.
  • Increase customer loyalty, retention and satisfaction.
  • Validate strategy and gain feedback for new ideas and product development.
  • Receive market intelligence on competitor’s strategies.
  • Develop customer advocates.

A CAB is not a gathering of friends, a User Group or a Focus Group or a one-time meeting at a nice place. A CAB has 12 to 18 members focusing on strategic discussions, as opposed to a User Group or Focus Group that has many more members that may focus on a product, features and functionality.

What are some key ingredients for a successful CAB?8

  • compelling and strategic theme to attract the right executives
  • CAB Members are peers of equal stature – members want to be with other members who have similar responsibilities.
  • Overall management of the CAB – you must manage the recruitment campaign, bringing the members onboard and overall program management with constant attention and care.
  • Listening! Use the 80/20 rule. Let the CAB members talk for 80% of the time while you are talking 20% of the time. Fostering deeper relationships with top customers starts with listening to what they have to say. Your top customers will see you as a company that cares about what they have to say and is interested in developing a long term partnership.

A successful CAB results in creating a sense of a shared future between you and your top customers, with a mutually beneficial and growing partnership.Download our CAB Readiness Guide if you are thinking about starting a Customer Advisory Board or to review your existing Customer Advisory Board.

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