Do Key Customer Journeys Matter?

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  • #35885
    Korath Wright

    Is understanding the key customer journeys significant to the M&A process?

    In my view, the key customer journey informs all aspects of the merged company’s value chain and operating model canvas. This has a material impact on defining what actions to take, and which activities not to focus on.

    Subordinating functional workflows to the customer journeys maintains awareness and aligns actions around key value drivers. For example, understanding the touchpoints and pain points in the search and awareness stages of the customer journey, can provide the information to increase volume in the earlier stages of the sales funnel.

    The value gained by targeting key customer journeys accumulates on several levels:

    • At the staff level: A clear framework for decision making, and even incentives, provides staff with the tools for a strong performance. The ability to contribute in a meaningful and measured way to the value drivers increases retention and improves employee satisfaction.

    • At the customer level: Greater levels of value provided in services drives benefits to the foundation of a business’s ability to generate profit – the customers. Depending on the ongoing, repeat or referral nature of the business, continually delivering for customers can build a more resilient relationship and lower elasticity of demand. During the highly changing environment of a merger, it can provide guidance for ensuring the customers needs are met.

    • At the product level: Products are produced that are of greater value to the customer, more effectively solving their needs. These benefits can accumulate depending on the degree and pace of market change. New products are more likely to find a place in a changing market when they are focused on the customer’s experience, and it can also guide the revision of a combined product portfolio.

    • The brand level: Depending on the importance of branding, building a reputation as a customer first company can show up in products, customer engagement, and results versus less customer dedicated firms. During a merger, the customer journey also informs on which aspects of branding are important, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

    • The firm level: When the focus on key customer journeys is embedded into the culture and systems of a firm, it can be seen in each aspect, function and development of the company. This may include system wide directives or otherwise incorporation into governance, and keeps the firm aligned with the customers needs.

    Ultimately, understanding the key customer journeys informs a company’s decisions and activities on a day to day basis. Additionally during a merger, key customer journeys provide a framework to protect or advance value drivers in a changing environment.

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