Case study: how to communicate with clients during a business purchase
When acquiring another business' clients, how can you make sure you keep as many clients as possible?
During an uncertain time, how can you use language to reassure your new clients?
What are the crucial things to communicate on, when and how?
Who was it for? A large financial services firm, going through a period of acquiring multiple national businesses.
In a nutshell... During a period of acquiring businesses, a large financial services firm needed to communicate to the clients of those businesses. The communication needed to cover who they were, why they were acquiring them as clients and what, if anything would change. This communication was crucial for the business in question to make sure they retained as many of these clients as possible.
More details... In this sort of process the words you use are crucial. Saying the wrong thing or creating the wrong impression through what you say can lead to a loss of clients and therefore a loss of value from the acquisition.
In helping the firm with these communications we created a schedule of communications to go to clients, in conjunction with more personal communication, such as individual phone calls. This included formal letters, brochures and more dynamic material. The communications sent steadily increased the detail provided, reassuring clients that nothing would change and, if anything, service levels would improve.
There was also a creative aspect to the communication, designed to show the firm really cared about making sure clients were in the loop. We knew that most clients would not read a full T&C document, so we created a very visual 'in brief' document, which detailed the key points of the client agreement. This ensured more clients read the material sent to them and felt involved in the transfer process.
The outcome was that clients felt looked after by the business, maximising the number of clients who stayed with the new business and worked with them on an ongoing basis, long into the future.