While generally positive for businesses owners, mergers and acquisitions often result in mixed emotions among the firm’s employees and clients. Here are recommendations for how to retain employees and clients during a transition.
Employees may question their job security and feel uneasy knowing their benefits may change. Similarly, clients may fear changes in their service, relationships and fees. In some cases, these responses could result in losing the trust and devotion of the firm’s top employees and key clientele.
Easing Initial Fears to Retain Employees and Clients
While most firm owners have months or years to prepare for a merger or acquisition, the majority of employees and clients are told about the impending changes at the tail end of the process. This announcement may represent new opportunity for some but distress and anxiety for others.
It’s common for firms to get caught up in the financial aspects of the decision and they lose sight of the human aspect. Constant communication is critical to making employees and clients feel valued and mitigating rumors and leaked information.
To maximize client retention, firms should proactively address questions such as:
- Will the successor firm be able to provide the same services that have been provided in the past?
- Will my fees increase?
Addressing these concerns in initial correspondences will help answer major concerns and ease the nerves of anxious clients.
When You Have to Cut
Regardless of how expertly crafted a merger or acquisition may be, cutbacks may be unavoidable. Whether this means title demotions, pay cuts or decreased fringe benefits, the firm should evaluate both sides of the merger or acquisition and aim to take as little as possible away while making up for losses (such as health benefits) with additional compensation.
It’s also vital to address the fact that two different firms are melding into one. Identifying differences in the culture between the two firms will help create a more fair and balanced work environment.
Combat Negative Responses
Proactive communication and an overall positive message should be enough to maintain healthy relationships among employees and clients; however, negative responses are often inevitable.
The truth is, M&As presents an unlikely opportunity for people to rethink their position and realign with what they care about — even if that means moving in a different direction. There are some that might have already had one foot out the door, or those who anticipated this would happen; it’s out of your control and are not a reflection on the merger.
Marketer’s Role in Retention
Marketers play a significant role in communicating positive changes to clients and building a cohesive brand identity between both firms. This communication will be paramount in how the new firm’s clients view and ultimately trust the new brand.
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About Becca Sensiba
Becca Sensiba is owner of Ink Craft Content. Contact information: 408-482-2077 or [email protected]
About Becca Sensiba
Becca Sensiba is the Owner, Content Creator, and Freelance Writer at Ink Craft. Ink Craft creates custom content that builds trust, strengthens brands and drives revenue. Every word your audience reads is an opportunity for a conversation, and great content has the ability to spark a dialogue with your target market and build a relationship with your audience.