Mergers are an exciting time in the history of your organization. There is excitement about the possibilities of two organizations coming together as one to expand the products and services delivered to your customers.
The true test of a merger’s success is often not seen until after several months of post-merger trends are analyzed. Customer retention during the months leading up to and immediately following a merger is critical or you risk losing the loan and deposit base originally projected to make the new organization profitable.
After announcing your merger, the real question is do you have a plan for retaining your existing customers? As you go through the merger and carry on for the first 12 – 18 months, your most valuable customers will be making a decision to either stay with the new organization or look for banking services elsewhere.
Communication is Critical - Start effective communication now!
During this important time, customer communication is absolutely critical. Sure, you can send them a letter or drop a flyer in their statement to tell them about the merger, but is that how you would like to be treated as a customer? If you are a community bank or credit union that prides yourself on building close relationships, this will be a defining moment to prove it. Customers don’t leave during a merger because their financial institution has over communicated merging information. Instead they leave because there is apprehension of the unknown.
Retain more of your most profitable customers
Quest provides a complete merger retention solution to help achieve retention success prior, during and after your merger/acquisition. Quest’s solution is a unique combination of consulting, training and technology to make sure your customers stick with you.
The Quest merger retention solution begins by providing customized training for your branch and customer facing associates. This training program includes the assignment of a Quest customer retention coach dedicated to your organization for the merger. The coach will provide training seminars, group workshops and individual branch coaching sessions to help your front line associates properly communicate information to your customers about the merger. Each branch associate will know exactly what types of questions to ask to find out if customers are feeling apprehension about the merger. Branch associates will be trained to communicate the right amount of information about the merger with every customer.
Directly following the merger, it will be important to continually identify customers that are beginning to change their banking behavior in a negative way. Quest will implement our Critical Care Attrition product to actively detect attrition related behavior so the most valuable customers can be contacted quickly before they make a final decision to leave.
If you have just announced your merger, time is of the essence. Don’t allow your competitors to take your most valuable customers. Contact Quest today to schedule a call with our merger retention specialist.
The bottom line, if you take no action, the customer will eventually leave your organization. Our Critical Care Attrition application has proven this to be true. So, your options are limited. You can let the customer walk or have your associates take preemptive action to save your valuable customer relationships. With the Quest retention and loyalty solution, your organization can have a major impact on slowing attrition and showing that your financial institution cares enough to call and value the relationship.
Customer communication at all levels of the organization is critical to retaining customers during a merger or acquisition.