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Common Mistakes of Customer Advisory Boards

Creating and maintaining a successful Customer Advisory Board is a multifaceted task that requires careful planning, ongoing engagement, and a commitment to delivering value to both the host company and CAB members. By avoiding these top mistakes, businesses can ensure that their CABs remain a valuable asset in their customer-centric strategies.

  1. Fly-in / Fly-out Mentality
  2. Not Having the Right People in the Room
  3. Meeting Discussion Topics that Aren't Compelling
  4. CAB Members Don't Experience WIIFM
  5. Poor Post-Event Follow-up
  6. Members Feel Their Feedback Isn't Seriously Considered
  7. Host Company Unable to Quantify ROI
  8. Budget Cuts

Read our guide on the essential elements of a successful customer advisory board.

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Fly-in / Fly-out Mentality

One of the most common mistakes companies make with CABs is adopting a "fly-in/fly-out" mentality. This includes poor planning, an inconsistent meeting cadence, limited communication between meetings, and more. Companies should create a structured and predictable schedule to avoid this mistake, fostering regular and meaningful interactions.

Learn how to create the perfect CAB invitation letter.

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Not Having the Right People in the Room

The success of a CAB largely depends on the participants. Discussions can become irrelevant or unproductive when the host company and CAB members aren't the right fit. It's crucial to carefully select members representing your target audience and aligning with your goals.

Decide who to invite to your CAB with our detailed guide.

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Meeting Discussion Topics that Aren't Compelling

Meeting discussion topics must be compelling, relevant, and valuable to keep CAB members engaged and invested. Companies should continuously evaluate and adapt their agendas based on the prominent questions being asked internally, feedback that is most actionable, what will benefit your CAB members, and changing industry or competitor dynamics.

Follow this guide to set up the perfect CAB agenda.

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CAB Members Don't Experience WIIFM

CAB members must feel the "What's In It For Me" (WIIFM) factor. They should enjoy themselves during meetings, feel appreciated for their contributions, and understand how their participation benefits them. Neglecting this aspect can lead to high turnover within your CAB.

Poor Post-Event Follow-up

After CAB meetings, follow-up is crucial. Failing to provide timely recaps, action items, and progress reports can undermine the value of the CAB and diminish member engagement. Establish a robust post-meeting follow-up process to keep the momentum going.

Members Feel Their Feedback Isn't Seriously Considered

CABs are a platform for gathering valuable insights from customers. However, members may lose interest if their feedback isn't taken seriously or acted upon. Companies must demonstrate that they value member input and are committed to acting on their suggestions.

Host Company Unable to Quantify ROI

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your CAB is vital for its long-term sustainability. Many companies overlook this aspect, which can lead to budget cuts or a lack of senior management support. Develop clear KPIs and metrics to quantify the impact of your CAB on business outcomes.

Follow this guide to find the ROI of your CAB.

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Budget Cuts

Speaking of budgets, another common mistake is cutting CAB budgets when faced with financial constraints. While it may seem like a quick cost-saving measure, it can have long-term consequences, including impacting the perception of your company among CAB members, and missing out on important customer insights. Explore creative ways to optimize CAB costs without sacrificing quality.

To save on budget, learn how to run a virtual CAB.

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