Here's our weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views:
Given their recent appearance in the news this week our topic is mergers and acquisitions.
Within the last month several big names have announced mergers and acquisitions including Berkshire Hathaway acquiring Heinz Food, US Airways and American Airlines seeking to merge, and Office Depot merging with Office Max.
Inc Magazine reported that large companies spent a total of 84 billion last year alone in acquisitions of smaller companies with the top five being Facebook, Google, Groupon, Twitter, and Cisco respectively. For many companies making acquisitions is just part of their corporate strategy, and for many more being acquired is their strategy.
Mergers and acquisitions can often be long drawn out affairs depending on the sizes of the companies, and can certainly be a headache for all parties involved. However, despite the difficulties that businesses ma face during a merger and acquisition it’s crucial that they don’t lose sight of the most important thing: the customer.
Many acquired customers are often lost primarily due to poor communication regarding the acquisition process. If it’s a bigger company, customers might hear about the merger or acquisition themselves and immediately fear service or quality changes. With smaller companies the problem often arises when the customer tries to make contact and struggles to find the new department, service, or even company.
It’s the responsibility of all parties involved in a merger or acquisition to re assure the customer that things are going to stay the same, or improve for them. People tend to fear change and a customer finding out that their new provider is some random merger who “acquired” them might be put off. Often mergers and acquisitions mean disruptions in service for customers and strategist guru Joe Lamantia explains in an article on the subject how “Much of the disruption is easily managed in advance by communicating upcoming changes to customers”.
They key of the whole process is communication. American Banker sums it up saying “The value of communicating to strengthen customer retention through the post-acquisition integration process is quite clear.” Keeping customers informed means keeping customers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs atFordham Nights and can bereached at JMarino@iirusa.com.