Earlier this year, Mailchimp launched its inaugural Customer Advisory Board (CAB), an initiative focused on allowing the customer voice to guide the company forward. Composed of 11 high-interest customers and partners across a wide range of industries, business sizes, and locations, the board meets once per quarter to discuss various Mailchimp initiatives and their impact on the user experience. In between these official meet-ups, members also stay in touch through ad hoc spotlight opportunities, in-depth feedback as desired, and quarterly business reviews with Mailchimp’s customer success team to help them reach their goals.
Whether the board is digging into the latest product changes, dreaming up new reporting tools, or critiquing customer education resources, these highly engaged users offer ongoing guidance on how Mailchimp can be its best.
“We prioritize calls with customers, but this ongoing relationship is something truly special,” says Carine Roman, Mailchimp’s Chief Customer Officer. “Having a direct line to our customers and their feedback gives context to their experiences and teaches us more about what they need from us to continue to enable our mutual success.”
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Assembling the Customer Advisory Board marks a key moment for Mailchimp's increasing emphasis on customer-driven innovation. Where customer visits and conversations have been an important part of Mailchimp’s success from the beginning, the CAB formalizes the cadence of those discussions and enables Mailchimp to regularly collect honest, actionable feedback from customers who are highly engaged with the product and could directly benefit from improvements. And understanding how they use Mailchimp is just the beginning. From their goals and challenges to their day-to-day workflows or common headaches, learning more about customers and their businesses can help Mailchimp dream up solutions to some of our customers' most pressing problems.
Working with the CAB also offers Mailchimp leadership a unique opportunity to deepen customer relationships: The more insight Mailchimp gains into its customers’ priorities, the more the company can ultimately forecast and build the tools and services that users really need.
Over the course of the first two meet-ups, CAB members have already educated Mailchimp teams on potential pain points and offered actionable feedback on CX improvements. They’ve also shared what inspirational and educational tools most resonate with them. But the meet-ups aren’t just about educating Mailchimp’s marketing, product, and customer teams. CAB roundtables also offer this top-notch roster of marketers the opportunity to trade insights across industries, often revealing new perspectives and tips.
From the Mailchimp peeps who host the conversations to the customers who participate, everyone involved in the Customer Advisory Board is mutually invested in making Mailchimp better for customers—and, often, learning something new along the way.
WHO SITS ON THE CUSTOMER ADVISORY BOARD?
“Our Customer Advisory Board is composed of some of our most engaged users,” says Roman, who worked closely with teams in research, partner account management, and customer success to recruit this year’s members. Mailchimp looked for candidates who were actively scaling their businesses, using Mailchimp in an innovative way, and acting as marketing leaders across a wide range of fields. The team also considered how long candidates had been Mailchimp customers, opting for both long-time users as well as relative newcomers to the platform.
“They might love Mailchimp, or they may be our greatest insight into how we can improve,” Roman explains. “All feedback is a gift, and I am so grateful to this group for offering their input.”
Among others, the inaugural Customer Advisory Board includes Mike Hourigan, Director of Growth at Grow Fragrance; Óscar Fernández, Head of Communications at Civitatis; Jasmine Crowe, Founder & CEO, and Aliya Nealy, Marketing Manager, at Goodr; and Becca Nelson, Marketing Director at The Produce Box. Freelancers who are Mailchimp partners and pro partners make up a strong contingent of the group, too: Alessandra Farabegoli of Palabra, Kristy McCarley of Pure Firefly, Emily Ryan of Westfield Creative, Adam Holden-Bache of Enventys Partners, and Simon Harper of SRH Design each bring a unique agency perspective to the CAB conversations, advocating on behalf of partners and their many clients who use Mailchimp as well.
"I am thrilled to be asked to be part of the CAB this year—to be able to hear from customers and other partners, all of us who are in the platform all day every day," says Ryan, co-founder of Illinois-based Westfield Creative. "It's so nice to be able to provide feedback and to get to hear from all of the folks at Mailchimp, from the head of marketing to product managers."
The CAB was designed for founders, entrepreneurs, and marketing leaders from start-ups, small businesses, agencies, and mid-to-large organizations who are innovatively using Mailchimp, looking to scale their business and drive a direct impact to the development of Mailchimp’s products and services. Each year, Mailchimp will assemble a new board in order to gather fresh, diverse insight for continuous growth. CAB is a one-year commitment, and customers who are interested in next year’s CAB recruitment process can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.