In this episode of the Client Experience Podcast, the CX leaders meet with Steve Gido, Principal at Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partners, LLC. They discuss how client experience (CX) can impact valuation and M&A potential for a professional services firm.
The CX leaders include host Blake Godwin, President and Partner at Client Savvy, Steven Keith, Founder and President at CX Pilots, and Ryan Suydam, Chief Experience Officer at Client Savvy and creator of the Client Feedback Tool. Blake, Steven, and Ryan are CX and employee experience (EX) innovators, and pioneers. They help professional services firms understand and master the science and art of experience.
This is a great episode for anyone considering a CX management program to drive revenue, repeat business, referrals. CX and EX programs also increase the value of the company.
Here are some key insights and takeaways shared during the podcast:
- Buyers today must be able to communicate the value proposition for the talent they are acquiring. You cannot afford to give anyone an excuse to take a phone call from a recruiter or join another organization.
- Approach M&A with a focus on how the acquisition extends the firm’s ability to deliver high-quality, consistent experience. This will resolve a lot of EX issues.
- During M&A activity, there is a lot of focus on the tax, insurance, and financial implications. In the long-term, CX and EX is more important to the success of a merger or acquisition.
- If the clients have been working with a target firm for a long time, we assume they will work with the combined company going forward. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes clients prefer a 10-person or 30-person firm. They may like the small, intimate experience, the fee schedule, or the people that work there. They don’t want to work with a 3,000-person national or international firm.
- When considering M&A, know a that large portion of clients have CX at the top of their decision-making matrix. As such, firms considering M&A will make CX a big part of their due diligence process.
- The industry must align with long-term client thinking about end-user CX. That extends to M&A and consolidations. The industry is consolidating. Bigger firms are getting bigger. Smaller firms are joining mid-sized firms. Mid-sized firms are joining larger firms. Larger, more financial successful firms are practicing CX.
- Do not assume all clients on-board pre-acquisition will be on board post-acquisition. Consider which clients are likely to churn.
- Talent walking out the door right after an acquisition is a dilution of value.
- CX and EX are more integral to the success of a merger of companies than financial issues.
- Firms that are doing the best job delivering a consistently high CX and EX are going to be the long-term winners of this consolidation experience.