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In my role as a Customer Success Advocacy and Education Manager I was tasked with creating, planning, and launching a Customer Advisory Board for six different product lines in one organization.
The board said, “build a Customer Advisory Board.”
That was the only direction.
We didn’t do the homework of asking customers if they wanted to participate in this.
We didn’t have a defined give-to-get strategy.
What did we do instead? We met in a room, just internal employees, and created the cadence, agenda, and invitee list. Customers were never consulted.
What happened next? A product with thousands of users and hundreds of Enterprise level customers had three people attend the first CAB meeting.
Plus, it was a virtual meeting and nothing notable or fancy besides free tickets to the annual conference.
So what did we do wrong?
- Mistake #1 – We set up our CAB with zero input from customers.
- Mistake #2 – We didn’t define what was in it for the key stakeholder, the customer.
- Mistake #3 – No executives were present during the virtual CAB meetings, only myself, the Product Marketing Managers, and Product Managers.
No program is successful without customer buy-in and support from C-level. (Painful) lesson learned on what not to do when launching a CAB.
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