A Customer Advisory Board (CAB), also known as a Customer Advisory Council (CAC), consists of your most important customers who meet on an ongoing basis to discuss industry trends and offer guidance and insights on products and services to the host 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 revenue 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 User Group or a Focus Group or a one-time meeting at a fancy resort. A CAB has 12 to 18 members focusing on strategic discussions, as opposed to a User Group or Focus Group that has many more participants that 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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