Executives lament that they spend far too much time in ineffective meetings. You can’t afford to have your Customer Advisory Board meetings fail to deliver value to you and your customers. Within the structure of world-class CAB meetings, there are 4 guiding objectives to choose from. Here’s what you need to know.

Step 1 for planning your next CAB meeting: chose the right objective(s)

A customer advisory board (CAB) requires careful planning in order to ask the right customers the right questions. So, before you start threading slides together, take a moment to clarify the specific objective(s) for each CAB meeting. If you are planning your company’s inaugural CAB meeting, then you will want to focus on objectives 1 and 2. If you are a seasoned pro, then you might consider up-leveling your CAB to focus on objectives 3 and 4. Your objectives will evolve as your CAB evolves.

1. Gain a better understanding of the trends, drivers, and priorities shaping your customers’ businesses, and to explore how your company can become a more valuable partner in light of these influences.

2. Validate your company’s value proposition and strategic direction, ensuring your business is in sync with your customers’ needs and expectations.

3. Review, assess, or brainstorm product direction and opportunities, improving solutions, interaction, and customer satisfaction.

4. Collaborate on shared business issues, thereby strengthening the relationship between your executives and these customer decision makers, and fostering peer-to-peer networking opportunities between your customers.

 

Why is this step so important?

Your CAB requires a strategic investment in time, money, and thought. If you are running to execute a CAB because it is on your companies “to do” list, then you may be missing the finer points in what you want to achieve. The objective(s) you chose will lay the ground work for who you should invite, what the agenda should look like, and what specific facilitation tools/style you want to apply. There are different business outcomes for each of the above objectives. And, there are very different engagement styles that can be applied to help you achieve your desired outcome. Let your objective be your guide. This should always be your first step. Don’t fall victim for driving the invitation list before you set your objective. After all, how can you make a compelling case for them to attend your CAB meeting if you haven’t already carefully considered your objective.

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