Customer advisory boards can have become immensely useful for businesses and companies these days from a sales and marketing perspective. These boards are very different from focus groups, user groups or other promotional groups that are mostly temporary. These groups are actually consistent and enduring and can add significant value to the business’s relationship with its clients. There are some very important reasons for a business to establish a customer advisory board and top 8 are listed below:
1- Customer Insight
The primary reason for establishing a customer advisory board is to have a group of faithful and committed customers at hand on whom a business can test new ideas and assumptions. However, a business should keep in mind that while taking their feedback into account is useful, it should never be used for driving the development features of the product because not everyone may share their opinion.
2- Customer Referrals
A business benefits from the referrals that are given by the members of the customer advisory board. When they are involved in the development and design of the product, they will pass them on to other potential customers. This can lead to word-of-mouth advertising and assist a business in widening its audience.
3- Operational Feedback
While the most important function of the customer advisory board is to provide feedback about the design, features and functioning of a product, they can also be used for getting some operational feedback. This is feedback about the sales process and the quality of the after sale service. This can be used to eliminate any problems in the aforementioned procedure and is also beneficial when a business is planning to make changes to its operations.
4- Marketing Planning
Customer advisory boards can also provide excellent help in choosing the right channels and medium of marketing. These days, there are a variety of avenues that can be used for marketing a product or service, but using them all is costly. A business needs to use the channels that will grant it access to its target audience. Members of the customer advisory board can enable a business to learn about the social networks they use, the kind of conferences they attend, the publications they read and the search terminology they are more likely to use. This can enhance marketing efforts.
5- Increasing Customer Spending
Meetings with the customer advisory board are a two-way dialogue and not a way to promote sales. However, this is simply a side benefit. Customers who are inducted as members are motivated and committed to the business and its products and are more likely to buy more as they know they have also contributed to the product. This can lead to greater sales for the business.
6- Information about New Markets
Having a customer advisory board also allows a business to question members about other markets, their interests, spending habits and purchases. This can actually open up new avenues for the business that can be explored for increasing sales and profits in the long term.