Getting back to my list of keys to success in customer advisory board implementation, here's a look at the second step: Cross-functional support and alignment
. Getting internal executive involvement across functional areas of the organization is essential and will:
- Align the executive team to the goals and direction of the program
- Give leaders an opportunity to convey where they feel customer input could help drive decisions on strategic issues for their area of responsibility
- Provide a reference point for key decisions required to build a sustainable and productive advisory board program
Taking the time to accomplish this important step will lay the foundation for ultimate success. Once your executives are "on board" and engaged with the customer program, be sure to set the precedent early that you will only call upon them when you absolutely need their input or guidance to move something forward. We've found that most successful programs involve the executive team at the right time
and for the right amount of time
to drive a world-class customer program.