The Importance Of Dealmaking Customer Service In the Age Of Covid-19


By Deven Lindemann, Executive Vice President of Client Services at Datasite

Dealmaking is soaring. As companies capitalize on favorable financing terms or use their cash piles to make deals that ensure their digital transformation, global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is breaking records.

We see this up close at Datasite, where new projects on our platform, or deals at their inception, are up 51% through June this year, compared to the same time last year. Given that we see deals before they are announced, this is a good indicator of what deals will look like in six to nine months. So, with M&A activity expected to continue to rocket in the second half of 2021, dealmakers will need all the help they can get to remain competitive. 

One way they plan to do this is by using more technology and tools to streamline the M&A management process. The pandemic required dealmakers to leverage technology like never before, and many are going all in post-pandemic. 

This also means dealmakers will need even better support. Over the past year at Datasite, we’ve adapted the service and the experience we deliver to our customer to meet their evolving needs. While our focus is on meeting our dealmaking customers’ needs, our approach may be useful to any organization that wants to continue to deliver great customer experiences in the age of Covid-19.

Service when and where customers want it

Many customers are used to searching for information – and service – digitally. In fact, most prefer resolving queries and problems themselves through self-service via a chatbot, QR code, or other resource, and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. We’ve taken note at Datasite and have expanded the Dealmaker’s Circle, our customer portal, to include resources to help our customers solve problems and make improvements. For example, 65% of our customers start their support journey online, and last year, we had over 73,000 visits to our portal. Through the site, customers can schedule custom training sessions, access virtual data room best practices, download invoices and review all their project information. Of course, they can also use online chat to interact with a specialist there, too. Overall, we are meeting our customers where they want to be and providing them service how and when they want it. 

Hyper-responsiveness and expertise when needed 

At the same time, customers expect to be able to access and receive help 24/7/365. In dealmaking, this is especially critical. Deals are relentless, and when time is money, any tools and expertise that can speed up the M&A process are critical. Having the right technology to help manage the M&A process certainly helps, but being able to interact with experts who have deep M&A management experience takes it to a new level that can make a tangible difference. For example, last year, the Datasite client service team handled over 300,000 customer interactions and spent close to 150,000 hours supporting clients. This year, Datasite has added specialists and expertise to our over 150 product support and service team. That way, when we receive a 2 am call from a banker in New York, who is working on a deal involving parties in Mexico City, Madrid and London, we have the right experience and staff – who speak both Spanish and English – to assist. Our service team has the expertise to suggest options that will ensure permissions or other settings to the deal room are set up properly to accelerate the process and drive successful outcomes.

Deep personalization

No two customers are alike, and no two deals are the same. Today, customers and dealmakers want human, personalized, and relevant experience that saves them time by minimizing complexity – especially after working remotely for over a year. They want business to anticipate their needs. This means building relationships from the very first customer interaction, and using data and automation, plus intelligence from every interaction, to make that user a customer for life.  At Datasite, for example, our onboarding process, including platform configuration, is highly customizable. Importantly, we take into account and support a wide variety of regional considerations, including language, in-house staffing, if needed, and regulatory requirements such as data storage and archiving. 

Whether a deal is on the buy- or sell-side, reducing the time and energy managing the process via efficient technology and great customer support means capital can be deployed at speed. Great customer – and dealmaker – experiences start before a customer has made a purchase and continue afterwards. Those that think through this journey and implement always-on, omni-channel, and personalized knowledge and processes will reap the benefits. 

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Posted In: FintechGeneralcontributorsCovid-19DatasiteDealmakingDeven Lindemann
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