What a project leader and CEO each should know when they set out on an integration effort.
What a Project Leader Should Know
TALK TO CUSTOMERS. Determine what services, features, and products customers value most, such as free online banking or comprehensive banking statements.
INVENTORY ASSETS. Make a complete checklist of systems in place. Determine which can best be reusedeven if it's from an acquired company.
TEST YOUR CHOICES. Test all products and services offered online, including changes in fees or new methods of calculating loan payments. Test in small, controlled markets first.
THINK BIG. The "best" system must handle more than what customer wants now, but what may be offered in the foreseeable future. Allow for volumes of combined companies' business; and growth.
AVOID OVERLOAD. Don't present too many changes to customers all at once. Introduce a few at a time. This helps avoid the biggest turnoff: System overload or failure.
What a Ceo Should Know
BE REALISTIC. Set goals for savings or revenue gains that are achievable. If you don't deliver them, the merger may be seen as failed.
SET DEADLINES. You have more credibility if you say when goals will be achieved. Bank of America says it's on track to save $250 million in 2004 and $1.1 billion in 2005 from the Fleet merger.
GET ON YOUR FEET FAST. 75% of companies that succeed at integration assign a full-time technology executive to the project, Accenture finds. Only 40% do in unsuccessful efforts.
DO YOUR OWN REVIEW. Don't rely solely on what your project managers say customers want. Commission your own research.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Bank of America saw its share of Florida market fall 8% after a fast switchover. Customers were angered by long lines and unexpected fees.
"In Bank of America mergers prior to 1998, goals were aimed at driving out costs and reaching economies of scale. Did they do a good job of measuring and improving the customer experience? The answer is no. They lost customers.
"Now, they're going about it much differently. They're going out and collecting data on customer satisfaction. They're trying to show that they can grow the business organically."
Bryan Carey Executive VP, Deleeuw Associates, change management consulting firm, Wayne, N.J.
|Managing What You Measure|
|Measure||What It Is||Example|
|Customer Experience Index||Rating of each aspect of service from treatment on phone to wait times||On a scale of 30, a good rating for a branch is 25|
|Account openings, closings||A gauge of customer satisfaction with integration efforts.||250,000 net new accounts opened in former Fleet branches|
|Number of products per customer||A gauge of customer loyalty (and salesmanship).||Average number of products sold per customer is six|
|Cross-footprint transactions||Transactions made by existing customers in newly acquired branches and other "cross-foot-ed||Bank of America says 25,000 deposits print transactions" now being completed per week|
|Online||Cost reduction measure service usage||Each month, 45% of customers use an online bank service|