February 8, 2021 | Written by Steve Whittington

Customer Council: Yay or Nay?

Roadmap has formed our own customer council and our President, Steve, is going to explain exactly what this is and why you should have one. 

The customer experience should be something every company strives to perfect and a customer council is a great way to get valuable insight into what is and isn’t working for your clients. 

What is a customer council?

The definition can vary depending on the context of usage.

A traditional customer council is strategically composed of the top customers of an organization to advise the companies' management on industry insights and set priorities and strategic initiatives for the organization. It can also be defined as a Customer Advisory Board.

Additionally, there are Customer Experience Councils. These tend to be internal to an organization and are comprised of cross-functional team members to review all touchpoints in the customer journey and work on creating improvements. They are essentially turning the moments of misery into moments of magic for the customer. 

As a Customer Experience (CX) Professional, I have argued that a company needs both, but why can't the traditional Customer Advisory Board introduce the CX focus? CX should be a top strategic initiative for every organization, so why not focus on it with your actual customers? 

Do I need one?

The statistics are blindly clear.

80% of companies think they deliver a great customer experience, but only 8% of their customers believe this to be true.

Combine this fact with your companies' churn rate, customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. You can quickly add up the real costs of not having a leading customer experience.

With that being said, we’ll leave it to you to decide if you need one.

What will I gain?

Invaluable Insights on:

  • What your customers value
  • Their loyalty; By making an effort to ask them how you can improve in an honest and genuine way
  • Insights as to their current and future needs so you can prioritize initiatives in your organization to meet their needs.  

In the end, insights are only words. The real value will be converting the learnings into actions and optimizing the opportunities your customers are giving you.

How often should the council meet

It depends on your organization’s capacity but twice a year is a good frequency to start with as it provides a reasonable amount of time to enact real change for the next meeting. 

CX changes take time to bake into a culture, give yourself space to make real change.

So why are not all companies doing this?

Quite frankly, because it is hard. Hard to organize, hard to create a meaningful experience for your customer to gather and provide their insights, and very hard for a company to hear the brutal facts about how they are (or aren’t) showing up. 

But nothing worth doing is easy and having a customer council is definitely worth  doing. 

If you are looking for support in this area, we are happy to help. Reach out and let's have a conversation about how to start your own customer council.  

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