Advanced Customer Due Diligence: Using Driver Analysis

An investment firm wanted to expand their portfolio of companies by purchasing an existing B2B company. As part of the due diligence process, the investment firm worked with the target company to acquire their customer email list for a Web-based customer survey.

The investment firm used a customer relationship diagnostic to collect customer feedback. The CRD is a brief survey that asks customers about different types of customer loyalty, satisfaction with general CX touch points, relative performance and a few company-specific questions.

The response rate for the survey was about 70% and consisted primarily of decision makers and decision influencers (~80%) and were Managers, Directors or Executives (~70%).

Loyalty Results
Customer loyalty results are located in Figure 1. As you can see, customers reported moderate levels of customer loyalty for most of the loyalty questions (e.g., advocacy and retention). For purchasing loyalty, customers reported low likelihood of buying different products and low likelihood of expanding the use of the target company’s solutions.

CX Results

Results of the CX ratings can be found in Figure 2. Based on the survey results, the customers were moderately satisfied with their experiences across the touch points, except for Communications from the Company and Future Product/Company Direction.

Between 20% and 50% of the customers said they were dissatisfied with each of the seven customer touch points.

Relative Performance Assessment Results
Results of the Relative Performance Assessment ratings are located in Figure 3. As you can see, customers said that only 42% of the customers indicated that the company was better than the competition. Almost 60% of the customers indicated that the company was the same worse than most other competitors.

After re-scaling the values of the 5-point rating scale (1 = worst to 5 = best) to a 0-100 scale, I estimated that the target company falls roughly at the 54th percentile in their industry; that is, the company’s performance is typical when compared to their competition.

Determining Dollar Value of Loyalty
To estimate the expected revenue gains/losses of the target company, I worked with the investment firm to translate the customer loyalty ratings into a dollar value. We employed subject matter experts (SMEs) as well as analyzed existing financial reports of the target company to arrive at our best guess of expected annual revenue gains through new customers (~$300k)) and existing customers (through purchasing new/different products – ~$160k) and estimated the annual revenue at risk due to churn (by customers stop using the company ~ $450k).

The Decision
Overall, the customer feedback confirmed the valuation of the company. While the target company was perceived to be in the middle of the pack in their industry (ranked at 54th percentile) and the future direction of their products/company appeared dismal (50% are dissatisfied), investors believed they had the management team that could address these shortcomings. The investment company decided to buy the company.

Where to Make Improvements
The investors now became the business owner, and, consequently, needed to manage the business to secure its future. The survey results were analyzed to help decide where to best allocate resources in areas that will improve customer loyalty (and revenue) while minimizing the improvement costs.

Using driver analysis on the existing data, the investment firm found that there were three key drivers of customer loyalty: 1) product quality, 2) communications from the company and 3) future product/company direction. Again, using SMEs, we were able to estimate the ROI for improving each of the three key drivers. It turns out that the greatest ROI for CX improvements would be achieved by improving communications from the company and future product/company direction.

Figure 1. Customer loyalty ratings for target company.

Figure 2. Customer Experience ratings for target company.

Figure 3. Relative Performance Assessment ratings of target company.

Figure 4. Driver Matrix help you identify the best areas to allocate company resources (e.g., money, time) to maximize ROI of your investment dollars.