Skip to content

The Role of Customer Advisory Boards in Product Development

The Role Of Customer Advisory Boards In Product Development

The Customer Advisory Board (CAB) serves as a valuable listening post that allows product (and other) leaders to establish a direct link to the voice of important customers. A CAB is a group of key customers whom you invite to engage with the organization and solicit candid, unfiltered feedback about your vision, roadmap, strategy, and positioning. The purpose of establishing this group is to meet with hand-picked customer contacts regularly (typically two to four times per year) and allow them to react in an open forum to your company’s priorities and likely investments.

Here are a few ways your Customer Advisory Board can drive product development success within your organization:

The Truth About Your Product

If you’re going to invest in a CAB, make sure you’re willing to listen to the unfiltered truth about your product. Sometimes, this truth may be difficult to hear, but you must always encourage CAB members to be open, honest, transparent, and sometimes blunt.

Customer Centric Thinking

A CAB ensures that you keep your customers at the forefront of your product development thinking and process. Those customers who are willing to join your Customer Advisory Board are the “hand-raisers” out there who enjoy providing feedback because they know you value their opinion, and their time and effort will help other customers like themselves.

Product Features

As your product evolves, your product roadmap will contain a list of potential new features that can be added to drive product benefits. A CAB presents an excellent opportunity for you to validate the new features before investing in them to ensure the cost of the addition will drive the intended benefits.

Better Design

CABs allow you to review new product designs before fully investing in the build process. Your CAB can help to identify design concerns or flaws prior to starting the process. Whether a physical or digital product, it takes time to determine whether it makes sense to begin to build something based upon a design that, from the customer’s perspective, could potentially be flawed upon completion.

Industry Trends & Competitive Intelligence

The industry in which you compete is constantly changing, and access to CAB members provides the opportunity to stay engaged with customers operating within the industry your product targets. Your CAB can also share valuable insights about what they are hearing or seeing regarding your key competitors. Having that knowledge can help product leaders understand whether customers believe your offering has prominent gaps compared to alternatives, which should help guide important investment decisions.

Product Roadmap Optimization

Your product development roadmap can benefit from implementing a CAB as well. The insights you gain from board members can help validate the roadmap, allowing you to adjust as needed based on the insights you gain.


Companies that are committed to voice-of-customer-driven improvement tend to outperform their competitors and often achieve higher valuations in the private and public markets. Product Managers must add an element of customer obsession to their research mix, and a Customer Advisory Board can help your leadership team acquire actionable insights by engaging with your customers in an intimate setting that promotes candid feedback. Contact Satrix Solutions if you’d like to learn more about this very impactful VoC program.

Start A CAB Today