Seems like the customer was always right, after all. Innovation doesn’t start with brainstorming in a small room of executives, it starts with unmet needs in the market, then delivering solutions that meet or resolve customer needs. How do you figure out your customer’s unmet needs? You go to the source.

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) are formed when an organization invites key customers to a session to give their feedback on their customer experience to date and their desired needs. Product Management Advisory can include 1:1 client interviews, small facilitated sessions, post-session follow-ups and communications about anything related, with customer touch points in a product lifecycle and trends in the marketplace.

However, nowadays with social media and Google reviews, organizations may not see the importance in product advisory sessions because of the constant stream of information coming to them from reviews. Everyone has an opinion, and anyone can write a Google review. However, reviews can only provide a window into one customer’s experience at a certain point in time. Product advisory councils provide much more future-oriented feedback.

Here are five benefits to Product Management Advisory and CABs for organizations:

  • Informs existing product or service improvements
  • Opportunity for customers to provide their detailed feedback – improves customer partnership
  • Ability to prioritize what features/functionality and/or services matter most to your customers
  • Gather regional specific requirements and functional specifications
  • Validate and inform the future roadmap

At Ideba, we have always emphasized the importance of customer-driven recommendations. We have a dedicated and experienced team who specialize in voice of the customer, product/service strategy, and market research. We gain a deeper understanding of the needs of targeted customer segments. It is important to conduct product advisory and strategy research every quarter to keep a finger on the pulse on the customer’s needs and trends affecting the market.

Organizations need to adapt to changing trends in the marketplace; therefore, products need to change to be successful in the long term. That is why it is recommended to monitor this feedback quarterly to understand the changes needed to accelerate growth in the long run. If you want to learn more about how we can help you stay agile and inform your strategy based on to customer needs, send me a note at jocelynv@idebamarketing.com. I’d be happy to chat!

-Jocelyn van der Geest, Senior Research Analyst