Once a customer advisory meeting (CAB) meeting has concluded, host companies may feel a sense of relief that their hard work has been completed. And while holding an engaging and successful CAB meeting is cause for temporary celebration (or maybe relief), in reality, the program is now off and running and the real work begins.
That’s because your CAB members will want to know that their input, ideas and desires didn’t disappear but are actively being considered, prioritized and acted upon. In fact, they will want to learn of the status of these in their next engagement — if they don’t, they will ask about these and become disappointed if they don’t see progress.
Here are the top five things CAB managers must do after their meeting ends:
Plan for Ongoing Communication
Ideally at the end of your meeting (or soon afterward), you communicated the next steps in your CAB program that will involve members. This should include the timeline for your next in-person meeting as well as any interim conference calls or resulting subcommittee workflows that may tackle an issue or challenge raised in the meeting.
It’s not good if your members are not sure of when the next engagement will take place, or if the next touch point will be in a year or so. The key to a healthy CAB program is ongoing engagement to keep program momentum going between meetings.
Conduct Post-Meeting Survey
Here too, if not conducted (as is ideal) at the end of the in-person CAB meeting, be sure to send a post-meeting survey to members ASAP after the meeting (or virtual meeting) ends. You’ll want to capture their feedback — what they liked and what meeting improvements they’d like to see going forward — while the discussion is still fresh in their minds. Plus, you’ll want to capture any desired topics or content for your next planned meeting.
Ensure Customer Account Follow-ups
Often CAB meetings will uncover issues or problems customers may be having with your product or service/support teams. These may be simple product use or training issues, or perhaps go a bit deeper than that.
You’ll want to notify your sales or account rep teams immediately after the CAB meeting ends, to ensure any customer needs or complaints are rectified ASAP.
Share a Comprehensive Meeting Report
Using the notes taken by the meeting scribe, you will want to create a detailed meeting report summarizing the insights and ideas put forth by your members, and the potential takeaways and implications for your company.
Your report should include a list of all meeting participants, as well as received member survey results. The report (ideally as an easy-to-read PowerPoint presentation) can then be provided back to the members, as well as communicated internally within your company, so everyone can benefit from the insights gained from your customers.
Implement and Lead an Action Tracker
As your meeting likely uncovered an abundance of customer insights, ideas and desires, you will want to review and prioritize these with your internal team ASAP after the meeting. Such desires may be to your product, how they are supported, other potential new solutions, marketing messaging, business partnerships, etc.
As such, you will want all potentially affected departments included in your review. Be prepared to accept such actions, and commit to moving on them, and communicate their ongoing status. Don’t feel like you have to do all of them — perhaps it’s just the top 10 — and there may be some that you just can’t do for myriad business reasons. That’s OK; just know that you will want to communicate the status of these to your CAB members in your next engagement.
Conclusion: Take Action on Customer Meeting While It’s Fresh
Taking immediate action following your CAB meeting will keep ideas and insights fresh in the minds of all participants, and ensure your program momentum is not lost before you meet with members again. Communicating the results of your members’ input will ensure their satisfaction, and confirm your program is on track for success.
Rob Jensen is vice president of marketing for Ignite Advisory Group (www.igniteag.com), a consultancy that helps B2B companies manage their customer and partner advisory board programs. Rob has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and business development leadership positions with leading enterprise software and technology companies.