I am a Private Equity or Venture Capital firm interested in using your Customer listening approach on a target company in the pre-deal phase, as part of Operational Due Diligence. How do we overcome resistance from the company to let us survey their customers?

This is a common concern, and one that we have addressed many times. A 3 way conjoined confidentiality agreement is signed between you, the target company, & CSI. This ensures that while the company provides us with customers’ email addresses so that we can send them a link to our confidential data gathering methodology, we will never share these email addresses with you. This enables you to get the valuable information you need, while addressing the company’s confidentiality concerns. From the company’s side, they inform their customers that they are conducting a Business Improvement Survey, so as not to arouse customers’ suspicion that a sale or investment is on the horizon, and to ensure no disruption to daily business activities. In addition, whether the deal ends up closing or not, the company can still get the valuable information from our innovative listening approach to use to improve. So it’s a win-win.

How is your customer listening approach better than what we already do as part of our Operational Due Diligence process? We already make calls to customers which gives us great insight into their relationship with the company and their likelihood to continue buying from them. What could be better than that?

Typically, the company is only giving you customers to call that are hand-picked by them. In other words, the customers who will have only good things to say about the company! And, the feedback that you get from the calls is only qualitative, non- benchmarkable data. Our approach goes to ALL customers, and provides a much more statistically valid sampling of true customer sentiment towards the company. Our innovative listening methodology will also not only identify which customers are not so happy with the company, but also for what reasons, on a per-customer basis, in the format of benchmarkable, measurable data. Our methodology also takes as little as just 2 weeks from the time it goes out to getting the final report. And feedback from customers can be anonymous if desired. Does your current Operational Due Diligence process give you all of this valuable information, just as quickly, and for the same low price?

I’m in a very unique segment of a niche industry. It’s unlikely that you have studied a company just like us. How can you guarantee your results? 

In studying over 300 companies, we have covered a lot of industry ground. Some of the companies we have seen recently are in sectors that didn’t even exist when we started. What’s important is that there are strategic elements common to all corporations, and those are the areas where we focus. For example, whether the company makes baby food or secures international real estate transactions, a sound strategy, satisfied customers and innovative products still matter. We may have data from comparable companies for your industry, though. Please contact us and we will be honest about our track record.

When we have run surveys of employees or customers in the past, we have encountered resistance – people were unwilling to respond to our questions. Why should we believe that you will be more successful with your efforts? 

We have an excellent track record of getting results. This can be explained in a few ways. Firstly, we are an independent third party company, which gives respondents the freedom to be honest. Secondly, we keep all responses in total anonymity and confidentiality. Employees and partners can be free to respond to questions knowing that their answers cannot be traced back to them. Finally, we are persistent. If we need 100 customer responses, we will set out to get 300, and keep going until you are satisfied.

We have our own operational due diligence process which relies on 30 years’ worth of experience, intuition, and industry knowledge. Why would we bother to add on your process?

The simple answer is that we do not replace your insight. In completing an operational due diligence investigation or company assessment, there are tasks that cannot (yet) be automated. Still, you are obliged to reach out to employees, customers and partners to ascertain the real story behind the company, the truth that is not covered by the business plan and financial projections.  That process can be tedious, expensive and time consuming. If you use the Organization Optimizer© first, you might be able to zero-in on the real areas that deserve your expert opinion. If you are confident about your team’s own insight, our service might be an excellent filtering mechanism so that you can focus on companies worthy of your attention.

We have recently undergone an extensive ISO9000 / Six Sigma / Intangible Value / 360 degree HR Assessment. Will your process be redundant? 

Our methodology concentrates on elements of strategic focus across the entire organization that uniquely combines input from both within the company and from those outside stakeholders who know and work with the Company. In a survey of 25 key performance indicators used in large companies today, we find that most of them concentrate on a single, usually operational aspect of a company. Our methodology covers the full organization and all of the critical strategic areas needed for a complete assessment.  The Organization Optimizer© has been used to replace or be complimentary to some of these, and putting the results of both assessments side-by-side will make the difference very clear.

Unfortunately, we cannot use the results of your other project activity as input into our assessment to save time or costs; however, you will find that our service is less expensive, less intrusive and faster than any of those KPI projects.

Still have questions? Contact us now to learn more.