|Merger Integration Consulting – Putting the Customer Experience First|
Mergers in the financial services industry are nothing new. Since 2000, nearly 25% of the firms that Corporate Insight tracks have been acquired in a variety of different mergers that have fundamentally reshaped the industry. Consolidation shows no sign of abating either. In the first few months of 2012, the Federal Reserve approved Capital One’s $9 billion acquisition of ING Direct, while Raymond James announced it would be buying regional brokerage rival Morgan Keegan.
For financial services firms, integrating an acquired firm’s customers, branches, products, support staff and web capabilities into their own presents numerous challenges. In the months after a deal is announced, it’s easy to lose the good will of new clients by failing to set clear expectations, or by delivering a disappointing customer experience once the firms are finally combined.
At Corporate Insight, we understand that the merger integration process is a delicate balancing act, and we are here to help. With 20 years of experience tracking the financial services customer experience, we have a deep understanding of the impact mergers have on consumers. This firsthand viewpoint is what makes our merger integration consulting unique.
In prior engagements, we have assisted financial institutions in three different phases of the merger integration process:
Phase 1 - Understand: Objective Comparison
Corporate Insight’s comparative benchmarking helps clients quickly understand the strengths and weaknesses of their newly acquired firm’s website versus their own. Using our proprietary Website Audit service, we grade sites based on hundreds of attributes. The result is a head-to-head comparison, including gap analysis that helps executives make better-informed decisions on which aspects of each site to keep when consolidating platforms.
Click here to read a case study of a merger project focused on comparative benchmarking
Phase 2 - Develop and Test: Usability Consulting
When two firms integrate their technology and online platforms, they are faced with the challenge of making many different pieces fit, often under aggressive time constraints. To identify resulting user experience problems before they become an issue for clients, firms seek out Corporate Insight to perform usability testing on their website.
Through our usability lab, Corporate Insight can test a sample of the client’s customers on a specific set of key tasks. This can be done either in comparison to major competitors, before and after the implementation of major website changes, or both.
Phase 3 - Implement: Rollout and Communication Strategy
Client communication is critical when it comes to retaining customers and effectively integrating them into the fold. Corporate Insight has experienced dozens of financial services firm mergers from both sides of the transaction, as customers of the acquired company and as customers of the acquirer. This unique perspective informs the guidance we provide companies on their rollout plans and communication strategies, which has typically focused on: