A Customer Advisory Board (CAB) is a group of a vendor’s existing customers that is convened to provide feedback on the state of a product or service. Serving on a CAB can also benefit the individual members. Here’s 10 Customer Advisory Board benefits for serving CIOs.
Top 10 Benefits of Customer Advisory Boards
Influence Vendors’ Product Road Maps
By participating on vendors’ advisory boards, CIOs gain first-hand insight into their product and solutions road maps. They can learn about upcoming products ahead of the market and provide feedback to product managers. If implemented, their suggestions can benefit vendor operations.
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Learn Best Practices From Peers
Exchanging best practices with peers ranks as one of the top benefits of participating on CABs. These interactions often result in insights that CIOs can immediately implement in their own companies.
Gain Insight into Vendors’ Strategic Initiatives
As CAB members, CIOs can gain forward-looking insight into — and offer opinions about — their vendors’ strategic initiatives. These initiatives include bets on technology development or investment, strategic partnerships, and even merger and acquisition targets.
Have a Chance to Beta Test New Products
Companies often select beta users from CAB members. Participating CIOs test drive the latest products and provide feedback. Vendors sometimes offer financial incentives, such as discounts on the released products.
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Interact With Vendor Executive Teams
CIO CAB members observe leaders firsthand as they explain their strategies and rationales for business decisions. Because the setting often offers interaction over meals or other activities, CIOs can become acquainted with vendor executives on a personal level.
Improve Customer Service and Support
CIOs’ feedback can drive product services support. Their input typically comes from experience, which the CAB forum may tap as a real-world case study and craft improvements that could significantly benefit many CIO members’ operations.
Learn About Industry Trends
CABs provide CIOs with a rare opportunity to learn about developing industry and tech trends, and see to what extent they affect similar companies. This enables CIOs to benchmark trends against their own organizations and plan ahead.
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Help Solve Issues Affecting the Board
CABs are an opportunity to invite experts to solve business problems or leverage a business opportunity shared by all. Participating CIOs collaborate to think up solutions, processes or technologies to help themselves, the host company, and others in their fields or industries.
Opportunity for Thought Leadership
Host companies can turn CIO collaborations — and the solutions they generate — into innovative thought leadership. Resulting whitepapers and articles can communicate findings and be used for marketing and publicity. These customer advisory board benefits reflect the positive outcome of the initiative and shine a positive light on the participating CIOs.
Network for Personal and Professional Growth
CABs enable CIOs to interact with their peers and other executives to benefit their companies, as well as to network for personal and professional growth. It’s not unusual for advisory board members to join host companies or other member organizations.