Execs In The Know recently held its Fall 2021 Customer Response Summit (CRS) event (October 18–22, 2021) featuring nearly two dozen online, virtual sessions including engaging panels, a featured case study, highly informative Shop Talks, and five powerful keynote presentations from these top brands: Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Malwarebytes, DISH Network, Angi, and UnitedHealth Group.
If you have yet to tune in to the Fall 2021 CRS virtual event, you can watch many sessions on-demand.
Registration is simple, free, and it takes only a minute to get immediate online access to this insightful content.
To help highlight some of the amazing ideas that came out of these sessions, we’ve created a five-part blog series — each focusing on a particular keynote session. In Part 4, we join Sean Miller for a frank discussion about the challenges and opportunities posed by a major merger between former competitors are we learn about Angi, the result of a merger between Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor.
From Merger to Maximizing Combined CX Operations
Vice President of Operations
Click to sign in or register to watch Sean’s Fall 2021 CRS presentation.
From frontline agent to the Vice President of Operations, from being acquired to multiple rebrandings, Sean has experienced a lot in his career, all to prepare him for the 2017 merger between Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, as well as the emergence of Angi in 2021. Although the Angi story is still being written, there are plenty of lessons to be learned starting with the importance of culture and unity, as well as a constant focus on the customer. If yours is a company facing a merger or on the other side of one, Sean’s is a story you don’t want to miss. Here are some takeaways we’ve identified:
1. It Starts with Team Buy-In
Any time there is a significant change (like a merger, for instance), quickly gaining team buy-in on a shared goal is the surest way to lay the groundwork for success. For Angi, it was important to quickly establish the idea that care would be operating as one team, moving forward with a shared goal of helping homeowners connect with service pros to get their project done.
2. When in Doubt, Double Down on Culture
Building and maintaining a strong company culture shows that a company values more than the bottom line — its values its people. Creating an environment of recognition and engagement is important for many reasons, but the biggest is this: Agent experience is the cornerstone of a great customer experience. If agents are happy and cared for, an organization is already halfway home to providing an exceptional customer experience.
3. Agents Want to Solve Issues
If you’re hiring the right people, your hiring agents will get fulfillment from resolving issues and advocating on behalf of customers. Any barriers that stand in the way of this can be counterproductive in a variety of ways. In other words, if customers are frustrated by gaps and disconnects in tools and/or processes, chances are agents will be dissatisfied too. Create mechanisms for spotting and correcting these types of issues to keep agents and customers happy.
4. Don’t Let Big Challenges Become Big Obstacles
Mergers and other significant changes can pose big challenges, challenges like competing backend systems, disconnected processes, and incompatible tools. But leaders can’t let these big challenges stand in the way of moving forward. Build a plan, reach for low hanging fruit first, and never lose focus on how each move impacts the customer.
5. A Mission Statement Shouldn’t Just Hang on a Wall
If a company’s mission isn’t embodied in action, it becomes very tough to rally the troops around any single initiative. Leaders need to play a critical role in turning mission into motion, and this is doubly true in a situation such as a merger, especially when the merging parties were once competitors. Living the mission is something that takes constant cultivation, but the payoff is immense if the right mission is met with the right amount of enthusiasm.
Merging with the competition is one thing, but standing out from the competition is yet another. If a merger isn’t in your future, but getting noticed by new and existing customers is, consider having a look at the Fall 2021 CRS event panel session highlighted below. Learn how your brand can use artificial intelligence to break away from the competition.
Be sure to check it out:
Personalization as a Differentiator: Using AI to Stand Out in a “Sea of Sameness”
Blog post, written by: Execs In The Know