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How Client Advisory Boards Can Help Your Organization

Image of Tiffany Joy Greene, M.B.A (aka Manic Maple)
Tiffany Joy Greene, M.B.A (aka Manic Maple)

Do you have a strong desire to serve your clients better? Ever wonder what they really think about working with your company? You probably need to deploy a client advisory board.

The mission of a client advisory board is to provide a foundation for future strategic planning for products, services, and market positioning. It also provides valuable information that can enhance the value of what your clients receive.Download Strategic Planning eBook

Client advisory boards are different from focus groups in that a focus group is a one-time gathering of information from a segment of your client base. And advisory board is a focus group that continues over time.

Who Benefits from a Client Advisory Board?

Small and mid-sized organizations seeking assistance with marketing and customer research efforts benefit from conducting client advisory boards. Business owners/partners and executives (including marketing and sales directors) seek information provided by a client advisory board to be get feedback on their products, services, and brand.

The client advisory board meetings also benefit those in attendance as they feel like valued clients whose perspectives are respected.

What do client advisory boards offer an organization?

  • Validate product or service ideas
  • Provide insight to other product or service ideas
  • Shape or reshape marketing and brand messaging
  • Gather market intelligence
  • Provide information on the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

What is the benefit of having an independent organization conduct client advisory board meetings?BENEFITS OF HAVING AN INDEPENDENT CLIENT ADVISORY BOARD FACILITATOR

An independent organization that has an experienced client advisory board facilitator will be able to:

  • Know what open ended questions to ask
  • Follow up on open ended questions
  • Know what to drill down into
  • Manage a dynamic group of people
  • Ask difficult questions where members can answer honestly without worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings or feeling like they are being sold to

Who serves on a client advisory board?

A broad sampling of an organization’s customers/clients/patients should serve on the board who have a wide array of expertise and vantage points to draw from. The more perspectives the better! Your client advisory board can also include prospects who are centers of influence in your target market.

Factors to consider when choosing who to invite:

  • Ideal size is 6-12 people
  • A combination of older and newer clients
  • A wide variety of social demographics represented such as age, marital status, race, gender and socioeconomic status
  • A combination of retired, self-employed, and employed clients in a variety of positions
  • Those with personalities that will speak up
  • Consider work schedules when determining when and how you will meet (Virtual meetings can really help those with hectic schedules but may present a barrier to those who are older or in lower socioeconomic tiers.)

How often does a client advisory board meet?

A client advisory board can meet annually, biannually, or quarterly.

MPWRSource has experience in conducting Client Advisory Board meetings and can help you process the information gathered in the meetings so that you can help your business grow. We will help you process the findings and shape a strategy that will help your business evolve to serve its clients better.

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