10 tips for putting the customer at the center of the Merger and Acquisition process.
Why is that M&A success rates continue to hover around or below the 50% mark year on year? What distinguishes those companies with a track record of M&A success? It’s a quest of mine to get to the very heart of M&A; understanding what makes some organisations successful and others less so. BTD frequently writes on the many factors that will help improve M&A performance. However, one factor that hasn’t been fully addressed, and it’s to do with the most important stakeholder of all: the customer. Customers determine whether companies thrive and profit or struggle and fade. So in this post, I’d like to share a few thoughts on how the customer can be made the centrepiece of the M&A process. Unlike business assets, customers cannot be bought or sold in the same way. The hope is that when an acquisition is made, customers come along too. It just can’t be taken for granted. Far from it. With barriers to entry collapsing in so many industries, allowing new entrants to the market, customers have become a keen and hotly contested focus of attention.
We are in the Age of the Customer
It was Forrester who coined the term ‘Age of the Customer’ as “A customer-obsessed enterprise focuses its strategy, its energy, and its budget on processes that enhance knowledge of and engagement with customers and prioritizes these over maintaining traditional competitive barriers” The ‘Age of the Customer’ calls for a realignment of the firms operating model so that people, products, processes and technology deliver upon a compelling and unified customer experience. While it may sound difficult, many firms have got the message and recognise customer experience as a serious business discipline – and a profitable one too. So when it comes to M&A, we also need to take this customer centric approach with a strong focus on what customers value most. With this in mind, I’ve put some thoughts together on how this can be practically achieved.
10 Tips for putting the customer at the center of your M&A process
A few final words…
Customer experience is something that is fundamental to the success of every business. However, M&A can easily alienate those treasured customers and kill off value in the process. With the benefit of strong customer advocacy and the practical steps suggested here, post-merger success can be more readily secured.