Customer Advisory Boards are a fantastic program for customer marketers to get face-to-face time with their customers in order to get feedback and ideas about improving the customer-facing part of your business.
But how do you measure its success? The first key measurement for Customer Advisory Board success is through your post-CAB survey, and the second is a CAB scorecard, which is grounded in your key goals of the program.
You can also include a wide array of metrics:
- Satisfaction scores
- Number of ideas and changes implemented
- Number of repeat CAB members
- CAB members and advocacy
- and more.
CAB survey satisfaction scores
This is a simple one, but no less useful. Customer marketers are very used to conducting CSAT surveys for existing customers, so doing one for your CAB is a no-brainer.
On top of that, CABs are made up of a much smaller group than your total customer base and, as such, you’ll be able to not only analyze the results in a timely manner but also more easily reach out to specific customers in general – so, you can get an immediate detailed explanation for their choice of answer.
Number of ideas implemented
Ideas = Interest. CABs are made from customers who are already passionate about your product and services, and who have an active interest in improving your processes.
Monitoring the number of ideas that come out of your CAB meetings is a simple indication of whether or not your CAB is still engaged and invested in the program.
However, it’s also important to note that this isn’t the most accurate metric to prove success. Creativity and innovation come in ebbs and flows so, if you see increases and decreases in the number of ideas over time, don’t be too worried.
If, however, the number of ideas is lowering with each meeting, or significantly over a shorter period, this is an indication that your CAB may benefit from a change in structure, timeline, or even members.
Number of changes made to the roadmap
This is a way of seeing the results of your CAB in action. The roadmap for your company as a whole, for your customer marketing team, or other departments as a result of the ideas, pain points, and needs revealed in the CAB, is a very good indication of its success.
This type of metric is best used in the long term, as ideas will often take time to implement, and then proven to be a success. Perhaps use this as a metric in a yearly or six-month review.
Number of repeat CAB members
Now, while it's certainly important to switch up your CAB members to keep the program fresh, repeat members are also vital to the variety within your CAB.
They’re the ones who’ll be the most well-informed when it comes to your company culture, your brand presentation, your company processes, and more. These are the members that will be able to build on what's come before, understand each success and failure, and then use these to help inform newer members' ideas.
The number of repeat CAB members is also a fantastic indication for your CAB success as they’re direct evidence of your company’s ability to retain customers, turn them into advocates, and improve the overall lifecycle value of your customer base as a whole.
If you have a constantly rotating door of CAB members, it’s also likely that your existing customer base rotates, since those in your CAB are already the most invested customers you have. If they’re not interested in sticking around, your CAB is never going to be useful or successful.
If you see the number of repeat CAB members go down, be sure to do a thorough dissection of why each one left, and how you can improve things on your end to increase that number again.
Comparison between CAB members vs other customers
In most cases, the customers that make up your CAB board are already your most valuable customers. These are the ones who have become raving champions of your brand; your biggest of the big customer advocates.
So, if your CAB members represent a portion of your ‘ideal customers’, how does this compare to the rest of your customer base? What’s the rate of retention? What percentage of your customers is renewing at the same rate of your CAB?
If the difference is big, then consider how your CAB can work to make that gap smaller. That is, after all, a common reason why CABs are created in the first place.
If you begin your CAB and the percentage gap gets smaller over time, then you can consider your CAB a success. If the opposite is true, you need to go back to the drawing board.
Perhaps there’s a disparity between the purpose of the CAB and what your customer base actually needs from you. Are you taking in the feedback your CAB is offering, and then implementing it in the best way possible?
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Number of CAB customers that become advocates for your brand
Now, as we said before, it’s common for your CAB members to be the biggest advocates for your brand. After all, these are going to be the type of customers that are invested in your company.
But consider how much conversion takes place due to your CAB board. Is there a loyal customer who is close to becoming an advocate, and for whom a place on the CAB will be a motivating factor to convert to advocacy? Do your past CAB members remain advocates of your brand after they’ve finished their time as a CAB member?
These things will tell you a lot about the integrity of your company outside of your CAB, as well as your ability to retain customers and advocates once this super-engaged relationship changes to something more passive. Does your organization speak for itself when it comes to its value to your advocates?
Listen & learn
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