Continuing on here with this unofficial series on holding a Customer Advisory Council. Today’s topic – setting the agenda for a two-day event, and our approach was pretty simple.
Day 1 – Looking Inward
The purpose – Talk about everything that was going on at the company. Each department had a specific amount of time to share their current roadmap and vision. Our CEO kicked the day off, followed by CFO, and on down the corporate ladder. We concluded the day talking about our product roadmap.
Normally, the smart advice is against talking about yourself first, and then against talking about yourself over and over again. And perhaps we did a little too much of that on Day 1. Despite how entertaining we might be as speakers, listening [and not engaging] all day gets tiring.
We opted for this approach in order to tackle our customers’ questions and concerns up-front, leaving room for Q & A throughout that first afternoon. Knocking this out early allowed us to completely shift focus the next day to bigger picture topics.
Perhaps one of the most important elements of the day was the entire company being open and honest about our progress and struggles. From our customer’s perspective, if you had devoted two days away from your family, would you want to hear fluffy, positive spin from your vendor, or the honest truth?
Day 2 – Looking Outward
After a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, and BoBerry Biscuits [actually not that healthy], we spent the entire morning of the second day hypothesizing, theorizing, and pontificating on where the mobile industry is headed. Our customers delivered incredible feedback and advice, and truly opened our eyes. The end result was a shift in focus on product development.