The shockwaves from a merger can badly disrupt day-to-day operations. The tremors start when employees worry about how they’ll be affected by the deal, fret over a myriad of integration problems, and commonly waste time waiting for answers or just being confused about how to proceed with their work. Overall, business suffers.

Clients and customers take a back seat, as employees are preoccupied with the internal affairs of the organization. Employees, from top to bottom, are more caught up in “looking out for old number one” than ever before. Customer service can really take a beating.

So merger shockwaves don’t just bounce around inside your corporate walls—they are also bound to hit the people who buy your products or services. The clientele will be very sensitive to what’s going on and will actually start looking for changes. Just like the employees, your customers will scan the situation for evidence of whether they will benefit or suffer from the merger. Your firm is vulnerable, and the competition has an excellent opportunity to gain some of your market share. Several steps are needed in order to mobilize your sales force and customer service groups...