By Pamela Reich
In the lifecycle of a financial institution merger, from the general public announcement to the authorized shut and supreme integration, a lot consideration is concentrated on exterior communications, to the general public, to your shareholders, to prospects of each the acquired and buying establishments.
It would be best to management the messages, establish the advantages, and convey the data mandatory to attain a easy transition. Your buyer communications plan will outline methods and content material for various audiences, with completely different ways, in several channels, at completely different instances, all fastidiously orchestrated to optimize the client expertise.
Additionally it is crucial to develop a complete inner communications plan. Effectively-informed staff, at each the acquired and buying banks, signify a vital ingredient within the success of the mixing. Whether or not on the entrance line with direct buyer contact or in very important workers features, it’s essential to acknowledge the significance of all staff all through the merger course of. Listed below are some tips that will help you greatest put together your staff to be your champions.
Even earlier than the merger is introduced, a press launch and investor presentation are ready for distribution on announcement day. These supplies define the important thing benefits to all stakeholders. Make sure they’re circulated to all staff as quickly as doable that day.
Be able to distribute a memo from govt administration to staff of the acquired financial institution when the merger is introduced. These people can be involved about how they are going to be affected, and even when particular person choices haven’t but been made about their future within the mixed firm, it’s essential that staff hear immediately from their management. This method exhibits respect to the workers and units a optimistic tone that can go a great distance towards constructing confidence about what’s to return.
As soon as high-level staffing choices have been made, and particular person launch/retain/provide determinations are finalized, talk them early on. Uncertainty about the way forward for one’s job will undoubtedly be mirrored of their buyer interactions and productiveness.
Construct an inner communications plan
Establish the important thing inner audiences, and the updates that have to be shared. This contains all staff of each the acquired and the buying financial institution. The plan ought to embrace normal FAQs concerning the merger, highlighting key benefits of the expanded firm and “managing the story” that can be informed about it. Replace these FAQs as extra turns into identified about timing and total buyer and workers impacts at shut and conversion.
Worker communications ought to at all times reinforce the excellent news concerning the energy of the mixed establishment and new alternatives out there for patrons in addition to these that can impression staff’ skilled growth. And lastly, establish all customer-facing staff of each the acquired and buying organizations (together with name facilities). Relying on the mixing plan, make sure these within the numerous traces of enterprise are well-armed with the related particulars of the conversion to allow them to help their prospects.
Make the most of omnichannel advertising
Make the most of all out there communication channels to achieve staff. How do the banks at the moment talk to staff? Is there an intranet? A publication? Take into account a particular, inner, merger-related microsite the place you possibly can submit related updates. Use emails to have interaction staff all through the method. Worker conferences and city halls are one other efficient strategy to preserve workers related and knowledgeable.
Set up an ongoing stream of communications. Plan common updates and set expectations early. Refresh your microsite as detailed info turns into identified, and as numerous occasions happen. Tie worker updates to buyer communications, sharing copies of merger supplies and buyer communications upfront of their distribution. A key call-to-action for patrons is to talk with their bankers about questions, and so it’s important that bankers are well-prepared to help.
Arm staff with related content material and instruments
Communicate to staff of each establishments in a single voice. At all times clarify the advantages of the merger for patrons, staff and the financial institution. If staff are knowledgeable concerning the transaction, they may convey a assured angle towards prospects. Conversely, these feeling uncertainty or missing info are much less possible to offer reassurance and help to prospects.
Develop gross sales and coaching instruments for customer-facing staff to make sure prospects obtain probably the most present and correct info. These embrace speaking factors for name facilities and department workers, FAQs posted to microsite, product change guides and telephone scripts to make use of with high-value purchasers. And at all times make certain all communications are refreshed ceaselessly to convey new info.
Leverage worker engagement for optimum CX
Worker advocates are your greatest champions. Mergers create alternatives, however in addition they signify change, which could be unsettling if not communicated transparently and successfully. Preserve your workers knowledgeable, engaged and upbeat. Your staff are the important thing to making sure a optimistic buyer expertise. They’re critically essential to a profitable merger transaction.
Pamela Reich is director of communications technique at MKP communications inc., a New York primarily based company specializing in monetary providers advertising and merger/change communications.