Part 2: Service Considerations When Hiring a Vendor for Online Customer Advisory Boards

Online customer advisory boards are a fantastic way for you to engage with key decision makers, key influencers, and important customers in a non traditional way. Instead of inconveniencing people and flying them across the country for single, “one-off” consultancy meetings, you can engage your advisors over a series of touchpoints using asynchronous online assignments. Engagement rates are much higher as you will allow your customers to engage when it’s most convenient for them–on any device, at any location, and at any time! Peer learning is an essential part of the entire process and we find advisors really enjoy sharing ideas through the online discussion forums. But to prevent these forums from becoming “digital ghost towns”, they must be meticulously managed and cultivated.

Two women on laptops, perhaps reviewing service considerations for online customer advisory boards


In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the 9 key technical questions that you will need to consider when hiring a vendor to assist you with creating your virtual customer advisory boards.

In this blog, I will share some of the service considerations that are also important when selecting your online customer advisory board or steering committee vendor. Some of the questions you should be asking are:

  1. How easily accessible and responsive is their technical support service?
  2. How much experience do they have in healthcare and do they have a keen understanding of the compliance and regulatory requirements in this space?
  3. Do they have direct experience in communicating and working with healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, as well as payers and patients?
  4. Do they have expertise working with medical and marketing managers and are they familiar with strategic brand life cycle management?
  5. Does the vendor have experience working with multiple therapeutic areas and do they have the medical knowledge and expertise to be conversant in these areas?
  6. Are they able to create a vision of the future and of what is possible for the brand or franchise?
  7. Are they able to ask smart, provocative questions; challenge the brand; and create compelling content?
  8. Are they seamless in their project execution, management, and reporting services?
  9. Do their data analysis and recommendations inspire their clients to try new things with their brands?

Check out my video below for a more detailed perspective on what service considerations you should be looking for.