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I’m a huge fan of customer advisory boards.  These boards are made up of significant customers: Individuals you believe can add value to your company.

A customer advisory board is different than a traditional board of directors.  This board is designed to help you improve your customer experience and provide services that you may not have considered. 

Setting up a customer advisory board requires significant skill.  I suggest that you find and retain a consultant who understands the dynamics of these boards and can help you get started on the right foot.  If a customer advisory board is set up well here are some of the advantages you can gain from them:

  • You can have customers who understand what you do.  Most of your customers understand what you do for them but they don’t understand what you do for others. 
  • Customers who understand what your company is about can introduce you to friends who you can help.
  • A customer advisory board can help you test ideas for products and services you want to sell.
  • A customer advisory board can tell you about things you’re doing that your customers don’t value very much.
  • A customer advisory board can help you define the important things about your customer experience.
  • A customer advisory board can tell you about things they wish you did that you don’t do.
  • A customer advisory board can tell you about how board members feel about doing business with your company.
  • Members of customer advisory boards are often invested in having your company be successful.
  • Customer advisory boards can help you save money by helping you learn what services aren’t important to them.

A properly structured and implemented board can provide huge value to companies that spend the time to invite customers into their advice circle.  We often ask our employees what’s important but rarely do we ask our customers what’s important.

A customer advisory board says to their members that they’re important and you value their opinion.  If you’re going to have a customer advisory board,you are going to have to be a good listener and be willing to test their suggestions.

If you’re willing to do this, you can gain a great deal of value.

Josh Patrick

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Topics: for business owners, value creation, business relationship management, collaboration with clients

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