Let’s face it, going through a merger or acquisition isn’t a walk in the park. With many moving pieces involved in M & A’s, communication and document processes is usually not the top priority of things that most companies think about.
More often than not, companies who are undergoing this type of transformation can’t easily consolidate their core enterprise systems (in an effort to normalize their business while reducing cost and redundancy). Locating, assessing, and comparing all the customer communications issued by each entity and introducing customers to a new corporate brand is complicated when old messaging and branding is still in use. Finding and eradicating obsolete documents and forms scattered throughout the merged enterprise is no small task.
Here are my tips for integrating your customer communications and document systems post-merger or acquisition.
1. Make a list and check it twice.
Review and audit your library of documents, forms and templates and make a list of what should be kept, rewritten, combined, or purged. Don’t forget about your automatic documents such as printed or electronic documents that are triggered by systems, internal staff or by customer actions. For instance:
- Automated systems generating large volumes of documents such as bills, policies, claims, or statements.
- Lead nurturing systems that contain branding elements that need to be updated post-merger.
Once both sides have complied a list of the documents, forms and templates they want to keep, put a plan in place to eliminate what’s not needed.
2. Focus on the “new” business vision and needs.
If both sides have a customer communication management or document system in place and the plan is to choose between them, step number one would be to determine what the newly-merged organization’s communication needs and requirements will be and if the systems in use can handle those requirements.
- Does the current system or systems integrate with the chosen core enterprise systems? (CRM, PAS, CPQ, ERP etc.)
- Will the volume of communications increase?
- Will the types of communications/documents change?
- Will the deliver mechanisms change?
Alternatively, you may find that both systems will not meet the new organization’s customer communications and document management needs so you’ll need to start looking at other options.
3. Communicate and Communicate often.
Whether you chose to integrate the current system(s) or implement a new system post-merger, it will require the involvement of many teams from different parts of the newly-formed organization. The biggest factor in assuring success is clear and constant communication.
Check out next month’s blog on what to look for when selecting a Customer Communication Management system.