How Will Selling Your Business Impact Your Customers?
Perhaps your business is a market leader or has the potential to become one. Maybe, you can see yourself doing your own M&A in the future. If so, selling your business may be the answer for you. In 2021, overall deal value in Europe was up 55.1% year-on-year showing a complete resurgence following the pandemic. While M&A activities are returning to, and exceeding, pre-pandemic levels, careful consideration must be taken when deciding who to sell your company to. Your business undoubtedly has a dedicated customer base and ensuring the sale of your business happens with minimal disruption to them is paramount.
At Volaris Net Europe, we respect what our leaders have built and want to empower them to continue running their businesses autonomously through our decentralized business model. Although we are acquirers, our organization is really about strengthening and growing businesses over the long-term. Because we never sell the businesses we acquire, every decision we make is with a long-term view! So let’s consider, how will selling your business impact your customers?
Investment In Your Product
During the acquisition process, the acquirer may decide to phase out your product, in which case your existing clients will be forced to give up a product that has provided them with significant value. An acquirer may also choose to merge your existing product with theirs. This can be an excellent way to close the gap between competitors and increase market share. However, this decision will have ramifications for your company’s organisational structure, so understanding how this will work for you is critical. Regardless of the path you and your acquirer take, each has an impact on how your customer base interacts with your products. Understanding how the acquisition process will affect your product offering is critical for considering the effects on your clients and how best to communicate with them.
Maintaining Customer Service
Is your company currently providing excellent customer service? If this is the case, you’ll want to keep it that way in order to keep your customers happy. Despite being one of the most important aspects of any business, customer satisfaction is frequently overlooked during M&A activities. According to Salesforce, 76% of customers expect a consistent experience wherever they interact with brands, yet some businesses experience a 3% decrease in customer satisfaction during the first two years post acquisition.
Therefore, it is important to determine how customer support will be provided following your acquisition. Will customers keep their support personnel? Will customers be required to form relationships with new employees as a result of organisational changes? Keeping customer experience at the forefront of your mind throughout the acquisition process will ensure that you retain a happy customer base and position your company for future success.
Long Term Stability
You don’t want to sell your company unless you have a sense of long-term stability. When considering an acquisition partner, ask yourself: Is it possible that my company will be resold? Examine your potential buyers’ track record and what happens to the companies they acquire post-acquisition. Some people buy and sell businesses, while others invest in them for the long term. When a company is resold, there is an increased risk of churn because customers are concerned about the company’s future viability.
At Volaris Net Europe, we are proud to say that we have never sold a business. By holding onto businesses forever and investing in products and employees, we allow customer needs to be met over the long-term.
Increasing Value Offering
It is important to consider whether your company will have opportunities to learn and implement new processes that will allow you to better serve your customers. Is the acquirer providing opportunities for professional development or access to best practises? This will assist you in maintaining and improving your customer service both during and after the acquisition. Check to see if the acquirer will support product initiatives or user groups to better meet the needs of customers.
Within our Volaris Net Europe companies, people do not feel like employees - they feel like owners. Learning as much as we share is core to who we are. Volaris provides opportunities to connect and collaborate with hundreds of peer companies and leaders with similar issues and opportunities. This allows us to follow best practice and service our customer bases to the best of our ability.
Consider Track Record
Any good acquirer will have a slew of companies eager to brag about their product experience. A company’s past can often be a great indicator of its future. Before making a final decision on which acquirer to select, seek the advice of like-minded leaders as well as sellers who have previously sold to the acquirer under consideration. There are also numerous questions you can ask the seller to better understand their commitment to their customers. Speaking directly to customers can be a fantastic way of understanding the impact of an acquisition from their perspective and providing you with new considerations based on their answers.