September 12, 2023

Customer Advisory

Customer Advisory Meaning

Customer advisory board (CAB) is a set of pivotal customers that a business invites to meetings (usually regularly) to provide feedback on products and advice on the business overall. The CAB typically comprises high-level executives representing their organizations and who can share extensive market insights. It is also called the client advisory board, customer advisory council or product advisory board.

The CAB should be broadly representative and include customers from the different market segments that the product and business targets. CABs usually have between 10 and 25 members depending on business size and complexity.

Companies use a CAB to:

  • A part of the business’ market, customer and product research efforts.
  • Improve product quality, validate product concepts and refine the product roadmap.
  • Shape their marketing message.
  • Deepen customer relationships, increase customer loyalty and create product champions.
  • Guide strategic direction.

To set up a CAB:

  • Create CAB bylaws that govern how the body will operate including membership eligibility, length of membership tenure, frequency of meeting and any membership compensation/rewards.
  • Define specific goals for the CAB such as understanding trends, validating product strategy, unpacking specific verticals’ needs and identifying new opportunities. If there are too many objectives for the CAB, consider assembling multiple groups each representing a specific objective, topic or segment.
  • Develop a list of ideal members and invite them. This list should be much longer than the intended number of members to take into account the many executives who will decline participation due to time constraints.
  • Prepare a detailed agenda. Members of the CAB should be encouraged to have open-ended conversations that could bring up issues the management had not previously thought of. However, Directionless, unguided meetings will gradually discourage attendance.
  • Allocate some time for networking and socializing between members.

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