✓ Free forever starter plan
✓ No credit card required.

Customer advisory board: What, why, and how (2024)

This article explores the reasons for establishing a customer advisory board, the benefits of doing so, and how to go about creating one.

January 10, 2024
Team Blitzllama

Product teams often find themselves navigating the challenge of understanding customer needs and preferences. The struggle lies in deciphering what truly resonates with the end-users, leading to misaligned strategies and missed opportunities. 

Empathy for the customer experience is crucial, yet many product teams grapple with the how-tos of establishing a direct and meaningful connection. An effective way to bridge the gap between customer satisfaction and product development is through Customer Advisory Boards (CABs). 

In this article, we unravel the 'What, Why, and How' of CABs, offering a roadmap for product teams to leverage it effectively and enhance their customer-centric approach.

What is a customer advisory board?

A customer advisory board is a group of selected customers who actively engage with a company's product teams. Its purpose is to gather insights, feedback, and suggestions directly from customers.

Members share their experiences, preferences, and challenges, aiding product teams in refining and enhancing their offerings. These boards foster collaboration, ensuring that customer perspectives are considered in decision-making processes.

By maintaining open communication, product teams can better understand market needs and align their strategies accordingly. This proactive engagement builds strong relationships between customers and the company, fostering loyalty and contributing to the development of customer-centric products and services.

Now that we understand the essence of a Customer Advisory Board, let's delve into the benefits it brings to the table.

What are the benefits of a customer advisory board?

The benefits of a Customer Advisory Board are multifaceted. By engaging directly with key customers, product teams gain invaluable insights into market trends, user experiences, and pain points. This collaborative approach fosters customer loyalty, drives product innovation, and enhances overall customer satisfaction.

Benefits of customer advisory board

1) Getting the unvarnished truth from customers

A Customer Advisory Board (CAB) provides product teams with a direct line to unfiltered customer feedback. By engaging with a diverse group of customers, teams gain insights into their experiences, challenges, and preferences. 

This unvarnished truth allows teams to identify pain points that may not be evident through traditional channels. Hearing directly from customers, free from marketing gloss, enables teams to address issues promptly and enhance product features based on genuine user needs.

2) Understanding what makes customers tick

A CAB helps product teams delve into the psychology of their customers. Through discussions and interactions, teams gain a deep understanding of what motivates customers, their buying behaviors, and the factors that influence their decisions. 

This understanding goes beyond quantitative data, providing valuable qualitative insights. Armed with this knowledge, product teams can tailor their strategies to align with customer preferences, creating products and experiences that resonate on a more personal level.

3) Having a sounding board for ideas

A Customer Advisory Board serves as an invaluable sounding board for product teams. When teams brainstorm new features, improvements, or initiatives, the CAB becomes a forum to test these ideas directly with the end-users. 

This immediate feedback loop allows teams to gauge customer reactions, identify potential challenges, and refine their concepts before full-scale implementation. The CAB acts as a real-world testing ground, ensuring that the final product aligns with customer expectations and preferences.

4) Validate your assumptions

A CAB plays a crucial role in validating product teams' assumptions. Instead of relying solely on internal perspectives, teams can leverage the CAB to test their hypotheses with real users. This external validation helps teams avoid the pitfalls of assuming they know what's best for the customer. 

By seeking confirmation or correction from the CAB, product teams can fine-tune their strategies and ensure that their decisions align with the actual needs and expectations of their target audience. This validation process fosters a more customer-centric approach, leading to products that resonate more effectively in the market.

With a clear grasp of the advantages, let's explore how a product team can effectively leverage a Customer Advisory Board.

How can a product team effectively leverage a customer advisory board? (h2)

Effectively leveraging a Customer Advisory Board requires a structured approach. By incorporating customer input into decision-making processes, teams can maximize the impact of their CAB:

How can a product team effectively leverage a customer advisory board

Step 1: Establish goals

Define clear objectives for your CAB to align with your product roadmap. These goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Consider aspects like gathering customer feedback on new features, improving user experience, or validating product strategies. Having well-defined goals ensures that the CAB's efforts contribute directly to the product team's success.

  • Identify key areas for improvement based on product development goals.
  • Clearly articulate how CAB insights will influence decision-making.
  • Regularly reassess and refine goals to adapt to evolving product priorities.

Step 2: Determine eligibility

Carefully select members who represent your target audience and possess a genuine interest in your product. Eligibility criteria should include factors like product usage frequency, diverse demographics, and a willingness to actively participate in feedback sessions. A thoughtful selection ensures that the CAB reflects the diversity of your user base.

  • Define criteria such as product usage, demographics, and engagement.
  • Prioritize a mix of long-time users and those new to the product.
  • Regularly reassess eligibility to maintain a dynamic and representative CAB.

Step 3: Recruit customers

Craft a persuasive recruitment strategy to attract potential CAB members. Clearly communicate the benefits of participation, emphasizing their impact on shaping the product's future. Leverage various channels, such as email newsletters, social media, and direct outreach, to cast a wide net and engage a diverse set of customers.

  • Develop compelling communication highlighting the value of CAB membership.
  • Utilize multiple channels for recruitment to reach a broad audience.
  • Provide clear instructions for expressing interest and joining the CAB.

Step 4: Schedule customer feedback sessions

Efficiently manage and schedule regular feedback sessions to maintain an ongoing dialogue with CAB members. Utilize virtual meeting platforms to accommodate diverse time zones and ensure maximum participation. Structured and well-planned sessions enhance the quality of feedback and foster a collaborative relationship between the product team and the advisory board.

  • Establish a consistent schedule for CAB feedback sessions.
  • Utilize virtual meeting tools to facilitate global participation.
  • Allocate time for open discussions, allowing members to share insights freely.

Step 5: Set a customer advisory board agenda

Prioritize agenda items based on the product team's current focus and the CAB's expertise. Create a balanced agenda that covers both strategic discussions and tactical feedback sessions. This approach ensures that CAB members feel their time is well-spent and that their input directly contributes to shaping the product's direction.

  • Align agenda items with current product development priorities.
  • Mix strategic discussions with hands-on feedback sessions.
  • Provide pre-session materials to prepare CAB members for productive discussions.

Step 6: Incorporate feedback and solidify customer relationships

Act promptly on the feedback received from the CAB, demonstrating a commitment to their input. Implement changes based on their suggestions and communicate these updates transparently. Regularly update CAB members on the progress resulting from their feedback, fostering a sense of ownership and strengthening the relationship between the product team and the advisory board.

  • Implement changes based on CAB feedback promptly.
  • Communicate transparently about how CAB input influences decisions.
  • Recognize and appreciate the contributions of CAB members to reinforce their value.

Moving forward, let's outline what elements to include in your Customer Advisory Board agenda.

What to include in your customer advisory board agenda?

Crafting an effective Customer Advisory Board agenda is crucial for productive meetings. A well-structured agenda should include the following:

1) Purpose Statement:

Begin the customer advisory board (CAB) meeting with a clear purpose statement. Define the objectives and expectations to ensure alignment among all participants.

  • Clarify objectives: Clearly articulate the goals of the meeting, such as gathering insights for product enhancement or validating future strategies.
  • Align expectations: Ensure all participants understand their role and the desired outcomes, fostering a collaborative and focused environment.

2) Customer Feedback:

Allocate a segment to gather valuable insights directly from your customers. This section is pivotal for product teams to understand user experiences and expectations.

  • Customer success stories: Share success stories to highlight positive experiences and gather insights on what contributed to their satisfaction.
  • Identify pain points: Encourage customers to openly discuss challenges they face, enabling the team to address and resolve issues effectively.

3) Industry Trends:

Stay abreast of industry developments by dedicating time to discuss relevant trends. This ensures your product remains competitive and aligned with market demands.

  • Market analysis: Present findings on market trends, competitor activities, and emerging technologies that may impact your product.
  • Customer perspectives: Seek input from CAB members on how industry trends may affect their needs and preferences.

4) Product Roadmap:

Share your product roadmap to foster transparency and gather feedback on future developments. This not only keeps customers informed but also provides an opportunity for them to influence your product's direction.

  • Roadmap overview: Present a concise overview of upcoming features, enhancements, or releases, ensuring clarity on the product's trajectory.
  • Collect input: Encourage participants to provide input on the roadmap, prioritizing features that align with their needs and expectations.

5) Open Discussion:

Allocate time for an open and interactive discussion, allowing customers to voice their opinions, ask questions, and provide spontaneous feedback.

  • Encourage dialogue: Create an atmosphere where customers feel comfortable sharing candid feedback, fostering a sense of collaboration and partnership.
  • Address concerns: Actively listen to customer concerns and address them promptly, demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Now that we know how to structure the agenda, let's explore the integration of CAB learnings into product development processes.

Integrating learnings from CAB into product development processes

Integrating learnings from a Customer Advisory Board into product development is a dynamic process. It involves structured & regular engagement, prioritizing actionable insights, and incorporating them into the development roadmap. 

Integrating learnings from CAB into product development processes

This iterative cycle ensures that the product team stays responsive to customer needs, fostering continuous improvement and innovation:

1) Structured and regular engagement:

Meetings and workshops:

Regular meetings with CAB members extend beyond mere updates. They encompass brainstorming sessions, prototype testing, and in-depth discussions on specific challenges and opportunities. This collaborative approach ensures that the insights gained are not just observational but actively contribute to the product development process.

Surveys and feedback loops:

Frequent surveys and feedback channels maintain consistent engagement with CAB members. These mechanisms serve as continuous insight pipelines, offering a real-time understanding of evolving needs and expectations. By actively seeking input, product teams can adapt quickly to changing customer requirements, staying ahead in the development curve.

Dedicated channels:

Establishing dedicated online platforms or forums for CAB members fosters a collaborative environment. These spaces enable members to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and provide ongoing feedback. The value lies not only in the feedback itself but in the collaborative ideation that occurs, leading to innovative solutions that align closely with user expectations.

2) Actionable insights and prioritization:

Identifying key themes and trends:

CAB inputs undergo thorough analysis to identify recurring themes, pain points, and potential opportunities. This systematic approach allows for the extraction of actionable insights. These insights are then prioritized based on their impact, feasibility, and alignment with the company's overarching strategy, ensuring that development efforts are focused on what truly matters to customers.

Feature roadmapping and development:

CAB feedback isn't just collected; it directly influences product roadmaps and development cycles. This integration ensures that new features and functionalities are not just innovative but also directly address real customer needs and priorities. The roadmap becomes a dynamic tool that evolves with customer input, making it a blueprint for success.

Pilot programs and A/B testing:

Incorporating CAB members into pilot programs for new features or products offers a unique advantage. Early validation, feedback, and refinement from this engaged user group help in shaping products before wider release. A/B testing with CAB involvement ensures that the final product resonates with the target audience, reducing the risk of mismatches between expectations and delivery.

3) Building trust and transparency:

Clear communication and updates:

Keeping CAB members informed about the progress of their feedback is paramount. Clear communication on how their input is being incorporated into the product development process builds trust. This transparency ensures that users feel valued and that their contributions are making a tangible impact, reinforcing their commitment to the product.

Metrics and results sharing:

Sharing metrics and results derived from CAB feedback is not just a formality; it's a crucial step in reinforcing the importance of their input. Tangible results showcase that the feedback loop is not just a one-way street but a reciprocal relationship where user insights directly shape the success metrics of the product.

Openness to feedback and iteration:

Big tech companies leading in product development exemplify openness to feedback and iteration throughout the entire development process. Understanding that customer needs evolve, they recognize that CAB insights are indispensable for continuous improvement. Actively seeking and embracing feedback ensures that the product stays relevant and adapts to the dynamic landscape of user expectations. This iterative approach is a hallmark of successful, user-centric product development.

As we navigate the integration process, let's examine how leading tech companies leverage Customer Advisory Boards in their product development strategies.

How do the best tech companies leverage customer advisory boards (CAB) in their product development?

Leading tech companies recognize the strategic value of Customer Advisory Boards in shaping successful products. They actively involve CAB members in beta testing, prototype evaluations, and future feature ideation. 

By building a collaborative relationship, these companies tap into the collective wisdom of their CAB to drive innovation, enhance product quality, and maintain a competitive edge in the market:

Microsoft: Harnessing customer wisdom for product evolution

In the realm of technology, Microsoft stands as a prime example of how a customer advisory board (CAB) becomes a linchpin in shaping and enhancing product development. By actively engaging with their user base, Microsoft has cultivated a symbiotic relationship that fosters innovation and customer satisfaction.

Mircosoft's customer advisory board

Engaging user insights

  • Microsoft's CAB serves as a direct channel to tap into user insights. Through regular interactions and feedback sessions, the tech giant gains a nuanced understanding of user needs and pain points.
  • This direct engagement ensures that Microsoft is not making assumptions about what users want but is instead informed by real-world experiences and expectations.
  • CAB sessions facilitate candid discussions, uncovering unmet needs, and allowing Microsoft's product teams to address these gaps with precision.

Iterative product development

  • Leveraging insights from the CAB, Microsoft adopts an iterative approach to product development. Rather than releasing monolithic updates, the company refines its products incrementally based on CAB feedback.
  • This iterative process enables Microsoft to stay agile and responsive to changing user requirements. The CAB acts as a real-time sounding board, guiding the evolution of products in sync with market dynamics.
  • Microsoft's commitment to continuous improvement, fueled by CAB interactions, results in products that resonate with users and adapt seamlessly to the evolving tech landscape.

Fostering co-creation

  • The CAB at Microsoft is not merely a sounding board; it is a platform for co-creation. By involving users in the ideation and development phases, Microsoft ensures that its products align closely with user expectations.
  • Collaborative workshops, brainstorming sessions, and prototyping activities with CAB members foster a sense of ownership among users. This collaborative spirit contributes to the creation of products that users feel a genuine connection to.
  • The co-creation process not only refines the end product but also strengthens the bond between Microsoft and its user community.

Google: User-centric innovation through CAB

Google, a trailblazer in the tech industry, showcases a strategic integration of customer advisory boards into its product development lifecycle. The company's approach reflects a commitment to user-centric innovation and a recognition of the pivotal role users play in shaping technology.

Google's customer advisory board

Proactive user engagement

  • Google's CAB exemplifies proactive user engagement. Rather than waiting for users to voice concerns, Google takes the initiative to seek feedback actively. This ensures a steady influx of insights that inform decision-making across product teams.
  • Regular surveys, focused discussions, and beta testing opportunities enable Google to maintain a pulse on user sentiments. This proactive engagement model positions Google at the forefront of emerging trends and user expectations.
  • By staying ahead of user needs, Google can anticipate market shifts and align its product roadmap with evolving preferences.

Data-driven decision making

  • Google leverages the wealth of data generated through CAB interactions for data-driven decision-making. The insights collected from diverse user perspectives serve as a foundation for strategic product decisions.
  • Analyzing CAB data allows Google to identify patterns, prioritize feature requests, and make informed choices that resonate with the broader user base. This data-centric approach minimizes guesswork and ensures that product enhancements are rooted in tangible user needs.
  • Google's commitment to data-driven decision-making, propelled by CAB insights, enhances the precision and effectiveness of its product development efforts.

Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem

  • Google's CAB is not confined to a select group of users; it represents a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem. The company actively seeks input from users with varying backgrounds, experiences, and preferences.
  • This inclusivity ensures that Google's products cater to a broad spectrum of users, fostering accessibility and relevance. The CAB serves as a microcosm of the user base, ensuring that no demographic is overlooked in the pursuit of creating universally beneficial products.
  • By embracing diversity within its CAB, Google strengthens its ability to innovate inclusively and develop products that resonate with a global audience.

Amazon: Customer-centric evolution in action

Amazon, renowned for its customer-centric approach, integrates customer advisory boards seamlessly into its product development strategy. The e-commerce and tech giant understands that listening to customers is not a one-time effort but a continuous process that shapes the evolution of its diverse product portfolio.

Amazon's customer advisory board

Agile adaptation to user preferences

  • Amazon's CAB plays a pivotal role in its agile adaptation to user preferences. The company recognizes that user needs evolve rapidly, and the CAB serves as an early warning system for emerging trends and changing preferences.
  • By maintaining an open line of communication with CAB members, Amazon can swiftly pivot its product strategies to align with evolving market demands. This agility positions Amazon as a dynamic player in the tech industry, responsive to the ever-changing landscape.
  • The iterative development cycles, informed by CAB insights, enable Amazon to stay ahead of the curve and deliver products that resonate with the current pulse of its user base.

Personalized customer experiences

  • Amazon leverages CAB interactions to personalize customer experiences. By understanding the unique requirements and expectations of different user segments, the company tailors its products to deliver a more personalized and impactful experience.
  • The CAB serves as a forum for in-depth discussions on individual preferences and pain points. This personalized approach contributes to the development of products that seamlessly integrate into users' lives, enhancing overall satisfaction.
  • Amazon's commitment to personalization, fueled by CAB insights, fosters long-term customer loyalty and sets the stage for sustained success in a competitive market.

Coherent integration of user feedback

  • Amazon doesn't merely collect feedback from its CAB; it integrates this feedback coherently into its product development processes. The company ensures that user insights are not siloed but form an integral part of decision-making across departments.
  • The CAB's recommendations are considered alongside other relevant data points, creating a holistic view of user needs. This comprehensive approach ensures that Amazon's product enhancements are well-rounded and aligned with the overarching goals of customer satisfaction.
  • The coherent integration of user feedback positions Amazon as a company that not only listens to its customers but acts decisively on their input, creating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.

While the benefits are apparent, challenges may arise when implementing CAB insights. Let's explore these hurdles, both internal and external.

What challenges arise when implementing the learnings from the customer advisory board onto your product?

Implementing CAB insights into product development is not without its challenges. Recognizing and addressing these challenges is vital for successfully translating CAB learnings into tangible product improvements:

Challenges related to customer advisory board

Internal hurdles:

1) Prioritization:

  • Balancing CAB feedback with internal priorities, roadmaps, and resource constraints can be tricky.
  • Adjusting internal priorities based on valuable CAB insights might face resistance from existing plans and teams.
  • Striking the right balance is essential to ensure the incorporation of meaningful CAB recommendations without disrupting ongoing projects.

2) Change management:

  • Gaining buy-in from various teams (engineering, product, marketing) for CAB-driven changes is challenging.
  • Lack of understanding regarding the board's value can impede cooperation and hinder the seamless integration of suggested improvements.
  • Communicating the significance of CAB insights and their positive impact on the product is crucial for fostering a culture of change acceptance.

3) Limited resources:

  • Translating CAB insights into concrete action items requires adequate resources, including budget and personnel.
  • Allocating resources for execution, particularly in smaller companies, poses a challenge and demands efficient resource management.
  • Prioritizing and strategizing resource allocation based on CAB recommendations are vital for successful implementation.

4) Decision-making processes:

  • Slow or siloed decision-making processes within the company can impede the swift integration of CAB learnings.
  • Bureaucracy and delays in decision-making may hinder the timely implementation of changes suggested by the advisory board.
  • Streamlining decision-making processes is crucial to ensure the agility required for incorporating valuable insights promptly.

External hurdles:

1) Misaligned expectations:

  • Managing CAB members' expectations is crucial; some may anticipate immediate implementation of their suggestions.
  • Clearly communicating the implementation process and timelines helps prevent frustration among CAB members.
  • Aligning expectations by outlining the realistic timeline for incorporating suggestions maintains a positive relationship with the advisory board.

2) Varying opinions:

  • CAB members may have diverse needs and priorities, making it challenging to find universally acceptable solutions.
  • Prioritizing changes based on broader customer segments and potential impact helps address the varying opinions within the advisory board.
  • Balancing individual suggestions with the overall product strategy ensures the inclusivity of diverse perspectives.

3) Limited engagement:

  • Consistent engagement with CAB members outside of meetings is crucial for maintaining their interest and involvement.
  • Regular communication and updates on the progress of implementing their suggestions make CAB members feel valued and listened to.
  • Building a relationship beyond the advisory board meetings ensures sustained collaboration and a sense of partnership.

4) Metrics and measurement:

  • Demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) of CAB learnings poses a challenge without predefined metrics.
  • Defining clear metrics beforehand facilitates tracking the impact of changes made based on CAB feedback.
  • Establishing measurable outcomes ensures that the value derived from CAB insights is quantifiable and contributes to the overall success of the product.

Now that we've addressed the challenges, let's delve into best practices for managing Customer Advisory Boards.

Customer advisory board best practices

Adhering to best practices is essential for the success of a Customer Advisory Board. By following these best practices, product teams can maximize the value derived from their Customer Advisory Boards:

Customer advisory board best practices

1) Clearly communicate the agenda and goals of each meeting beforehand.

In your customer advisory board (CAB) endeavors, transparency is paramount. Prior to each meeting, ensure a clear communication of the agenda and meeting goals. 

This fosters anticipation and enables members to come prepared, maximizing the productivity of discussions. 

When objectives are articulated beforehand, the focus sharpens, allowing the product team and CAB members to align effectively on crucial issues.

2) Allocate time for open discussion and allow members to raise their concerns and ideas.

Active participation is the cornerstone of a successful CAB. Allocate dedicated time for open discussion during meetings, encouraging members to voice concerns and share innovative ideas. 

This inclusivity not only enhances collaboration but also provides invaluable insights. By fostering an environment where every member feels heard, the product team gains a deeper understanding of customer needs, enabling them to address challenges more effectively.

3) Keep members informed about how their feedback is being used.

After gathering feedback, transparency in communication is key. Keep CAB members in the loop about how their insights are being utilized. 

Provide updates on the actions taken based on their suggestions. This not only validates their contributions but also strengthens the sense of partnership. 

By demonstrating the tangible impact of their feedback, you reinforce the value of their role in shaping product development and deepen the trust between the product team and CAB members.

4) Measure the impact of your CAB by tracking key metrics like customer satisfaction, product adoption, and revenue growth.

Quantifying the success of your CAB is essential. Implement a robust measurement system to track key metrics such as customer satisfaction, product adoption, and revenue growth. 

By correlating CAB activities with these metrics, the product team can objectively evaluate the impact of customer advisory board initiatives. 

This data-driven approach not only showcases the tangible results of the collaboration but also provides insights for continuous improvement, ensuring that the CAB remains a strategic asset in driving product success.

Shifting our focus from practices to performance, let's explore the key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of a Customer Advisory Board.

KPIs to track the effectiveness of the customer advisory board

Measuring the effectiveness of a Customer Advisory Board is crucial for optimizing its impact. By regularly assessing the following metrics, product teams can gauge the CAB's effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to enhance collaboration and product development:

Customer advisory board KPIs

Engagement and Participation:

1) Meeting attendance rate: Regularly monitor the percentage of customer advisory board (CAB) members attending meetings. Calculate it by dividing the number of attendees by the total number of board members. For example, if you have 20 members and 18 attend a meeting, the attendance rate is 90%. Consistently high attendance indicates active member involvement.

2) Action item completion rate: Measure the percentage of tasks or recommendations from CAB meetings that members successfully implement. If, for instance, the board agrees on three action items, and all three are completed, the completion rate is 100%. This metric reflects the board's impact on actionable outcomes.

3) Survey participation rate: Track the percentage of CAB members participating in post-meeting surveys to gather feedback. If 15 out of 20 members respond to a survey, the participation rate is 75%. This measure gauges the effectiveness of feedback initiatives.

4) Level of participation in discussions: Assess the quality and quantity of member contributions during meetings. Count the number of meaningful contributions made by each member. This provides insights into the depth of engagement and helps identify influential voices within the board.

Impact on Product and Strategy:

1) Adoption rate of CAB-influenced features: Evaluate how often features or product changes suggested by the board are incorporated. If a new feature based on board feedback sees a 20% increase in usage, it demonstrates successful integration.

2) Customer satisfaction with CAB-influenced features: Measure satisfaction through customer surveys specific to CAB-influenced features. For instance, if 85% of users express satisfaction with a new feature, it signals positive alignment with customer needs.

3) Reduction in time to market for CAB-influenced features: Compare the time it takes to develop and release features influenced by the CAB versus those without influence. If a feature suggested by the board shortens development time by 15%, it showcases the board's impact on efficiency.

4) Alignment of CAB insights with business goals: Regularly review how CAB feedback aligns with strategic priorities. If the board consistently provides insights in line with business objectives, it reinforces the value of their input.

Business Impact:

1) Revenue generated from CAB-inspired initiatives: Quantify the direct financial impact of board recommendations by attributing revenue to specific CAB-influenced initiatives. For example, if a new product idea generates $500,000 in revenue, it reflects the monetary value of CAB input.

2) Customer retention rate for CAB members: Compare the retention rates of CAB members to the overall customer base. If CAB members exhibit a 10% higher retention rate, it signifies the board's positive impact on customer loyalty.

3) Net Promoter Score (NPS) among CAB members: Evaluate the likelihood of CAB members to recommend your product or service. If the NPS among CAB members is 15 points higher than the overall NPS, it demonstrates the board's influence on positive word-of-mouth.

4) Customer lifetime value (CLV) of CAB members: Compare the CLV of CAB members to the overall customer base. If the CLV for CAB members is consistently higher, it reflects the long-term value generated by their ongoing engagement and feedback.

With a grasp on performance metrics, let's wrap up with a quick checklist on how to get started with a Customer Advisory Board.

How to get started with CAB: A tl;dr checklist

Initiating a Customer Advisory Board requires careful planning. A concise checklist ensures that product teams cover essential elements, from selecting the right participants to establishing clear communication channels. 

Following this checklist facilitates a smooth and successful implementation of a Customer Advisory Board:

1) Define your goals:

  • What do you want to achieve with your CAB? (e.g., product feedback, customer insights, brand advocacy)
  • Align goals with internal stakeholders.

2)  Recruit the right members:

  • Diverse group representing your customer base (industry, size, etc.)
  • Engaged, influential customers with decision-making power.
  • Limit to 10-12 members for focused discussions.

3)  Craft a compelling charter:

  • Clearly outline CAB goals, responsibilities, and member benefits.
  • Set expectations for participation and communication.

4) Plan engaging meetings:

  • Interactive agenda with presentations, discussions, and feedback sessions.
  • Pre-meeting surveys to gather input and tailor topics.
  • Allocate time for open Q&A and networking.

5) Foster a collaborative environment:

  • Active listening and appreciation for diverse perspectives.
  • Open communication and transparency about feedback implementation.
  • Regular updates on progress and action items.


In conclusion, establishing a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) proves essential for product teams. CABs foster direct engagement with key customers, ensuring firsthand insights into needs and preferences. 

This proactive approach results in more informed product development, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. By leveraging the collective wisdom of CAB members, product teams can streamline decision-making and prioritize features effectively. 

Regular CAB interactions create a dynamic feedback loop, guiding teams in aligning products with market demands. Embracing a CAB approach is not just beneficial; it's a strategic imperative for product teams aiming to deliver solutions that resonate and excel in the competitive landscape.