How not to Buy a Dog

By Laura MacDonald | 23/09/2020

There are big dogs and little dogs, fluffy dogs and small dogs and they have all different temperaments.  How is it possible to choose? There’s a lot of information out there but still it’s easy to make a mistake and end up with a dog that doesn’t fit your home or lifestyle.  If it’s so difficult to find the right dog, then consider how hard it is to find the right company to acquire.

Although legal and financial due diligence are performed, customer relationship due diligence often only scratches the surface.  A company can seem the perfect choice from the outside; a similar vision and mission statement, an excellent client list, the product lines are complimentary, and the potential synergy cannot be denied.  But what’s this? The deal is done, you’ve brought home your new addition but it’s not quite as you expected- it’s just not fitting in and you’re struggling with house training…

Our new customer experience assessment was born out of the frequent complaints heard from clients and friends involved in M&A.  One successful insurance consolidation CEO remarked that it was not often (if at all) that a company turned out to be exactly what it had appeared at the outset.  When I started discussing our solution it was met with enthusiasm.  The inclusion of our due diligence within pre-deal information means that greater confidence is possible.  Easier integration planning is achieved, with side by side comparisons and the identification of relative strengths and weaknesses.

It is often the case that a company’s product range can seem perfect for consolidation and extending existing lines and growing a customer base.  However, unfortunately sometimes it is discovered after completion that the target company provides below expected levels of customer service.  Their existing customers have had enough and there is no way they’ll be buying your exciting new range.   On the other side of the same coin, the target company might provide a level of CX far in advance of your own.  If you don’t identify this early, then you risk value being diluted or lost during the integration process.

To find the right dog, personality is important.  Just as with a company, culture is key.  Peter Drucker once said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” We find out how staff feel about working for their company, so that you can get an idea of the culture that you will be taking on.  We also ask how they think customer experience is currently working out.  The same questions asked of clients are used, so that we can provide a gap analysis to help improvement planning.

So, in summary- how can we help you pick the new addition to your family? We perform an independent and comprehensive due diligence of customers and employees and provide a detailed analysis and recommendations.   This analyses the culture and customer experience of the target organisation.  CXCo clients are able to use the assessment to develop better post acquisition integration strategies and to avoid buying the proverbial dog!

Please get in touch today to discuss how we can help you on your acquisition journey.


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