“B2B companies that have active and successful customer advisory boards enjoy a 9% increase in new business. These percentages can translate to hundreds of millions of dollars of incremental revenues for the hosting companies,” – Eyal Danon
A customer advisory board represents a B2B strategic initiative that helps to drive customer loyalty and boost revenue numbers. The relevance and significance of such boards stems from the fact that modern customers demand deeper relationships with their businesses to ensure a continual dialogue. These devices can help companies to understand their customer’s point of view, improve products and services, generate constructive feedback, and to validate new ideas. In addition, the customer advisory board can offer advice and business recommendations, thereby boosting the value quotient. Increasingly, modern commercial operators and trade organisations are working with these boards in an attempt to reinforce their value propositions.
Enterprises that operate in the domains of electronic mass media can benefit by creating a customer advisory board. The said board can help the captains and managers of the mass media industry to understand their points of view. Advertisers could inform the captains on their choice of programming and when such information is incorporated into business plans and operations, it can help the media houses to boost their revenue numbers. The customer advisory board can also be instrumental in helping said media businesses to gauge public opinion and public preferences in terms of broadcast formats and products. In light of the above, we may state that the advisory boards fulfil a critical role in boosting corporate performance.
The customer advisory board program can be deployed to elicit validation for enhancements and expansions. This implies that the board can be used to test the reactions to new products that will be released in the market. For instance, an automobile maker can choose to create a new line of automobiles in response to perceived market demand. Naturally, the brand or business will have to invest significant corporate resources in the various processes that must be executed before the new line of automobiles enter public markets. The advisory board can be requested to assess the new product and offer feedback on its commercial efficacy, possible market reactions, and the response from market competitors. These inputs from the customer advisory board can assist the carmaker to refine its product strategy and gain higher chances of market success.
Every commercial entity can benefit from steady access to industry expertise. This access can help brands and businesses to envision and create the latest product offerings in a market, thereby boosting the revenue numbers. A customer advisory board can enable brands and businesses to gain unfettered access to relevant industry expertise because the board members identify their own success with that of the brand or company that convenes said board. That said, we must note that access to expertise should not be over-leveraged because every brand or business should continue to nurture and strengthen its core value proposition and must view this as a long-term business asset.
Listening must comprise a core activity of a customer advisory board. The business heads, product managers, and senior executives of the host company should pay close attention to the thoughts, views, opinions, and concerns put forth by the constituents of the advisory board. These actions should become ingrained in every meeting of the board because the inputs can provide a priceless competitive edge for a brand or enterprise. An enterprise stands a significant chance to gain higher revenues when it acquires and exploits a competitive edge in the market. In light of the above, brands and businesses would be advised to offer their undivided attention to the inputs provided by a customer advisory board.
Host businesses must enable a customer advisory board to network amongst themselves at such events because this activity is crucial for entrepreneurs and business people. The chance to connect with like-minded people should help to attract more and more business and trade luminaries to these advisory boards, thereby ensuring the success of the entire exercise. We must note that lively and animated discussions at these board meetings offer benefits to all participants. The exchange of ideas and best practices can seed change in most organisations and therefore, boost the chances of earning higher business revenues. In addition, we must note that a customer advisory board must encourage a diversity of views and opinions because such diversity encourages multiple points of view, thereby creating the grounds for fruitful interactions in the future.
Customer priorities and future investment options should figure prominently in the agenda of a customer advisory board. The significance of such topics stems from the fact that these topics are critical to the success of every business operation. These also cast a long shadow on the eventual success or demise of a business enterprise. Therefore, every brand or business that hosts an advisory board should make it a priority to examine customer priorities in fine detail and encourage debates on future investment options. The outcomes of such discussions will likely provide valuable guidance and direction to the brand or business hosting the board. In addition, a close look at evolving customer priorities enables businesses to effect course corrections if required and to define and create innovative products that may help to boost the business bottom line.
Every customer advisory board meeting should be planned meticulously so that the best ideas and thoughts can be elicited from the brains trust. This methodical approach is important because members of an advisory board do not have the luxury to attend these meetings frequently. Therefore, the board meeting should be fixed months in advance and the commitment to attend should be sought from each individual attendee. We must bear in mind that senior business executives typically attend these advisory board meetings and their time is both limited and precious. In light of the above, brands and businesses should invest time and effort to determine the agenda of such meetings in an effort to extricate that maximum value from such congregations.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have discussed some of the means through which customer advisory boards can boost revenues for a host company. Every brand and business must realise that such meetings are important in their own right, and therefore deserve a lot of attention. Interesting ideas, feedback, and initiatives can be gleaned from such meetings and such inputs can be considered when businesses evaluate future directions, assess the scope for optimisation of business processes, and evaluate the efficacy of business operations. Brands and businesses must encourage every attendee of the board to speak his or her mind and to present an unvarnished version of their opinions and points of view. This stance encourages the fair and free flow of information, which can benefit brands and businesses. Feedback gathered from advisory board meetings should be carefully documented and reviewed across the highest levels of decision-making. The information gained from such interactions should be transmitted across various departments and business verticals because such information can help to benefit all members of the corporate organisation. That said, we note that host companies should invest greater resources to boost the significance and outcomes of customer advisory board meetings, if only in the interests of preserving the norms of propriety and continuity.