A merger can affect the customers of the involved business entities on several levels, including price of the product or service, the quality of the product or service, the level of satisfaction the customers receives from the company and the options the customer has when conducting business with the company.
Prices may benefit or hurt the customer, depending on the circumstances. Fewer competitors in the market mean a business could potentially charge more for the product or service. Alternatively, it could also grant more savings to the customer if some of the previous costs involved with running the business are reduced a result of the merger.
A merger could enhance the quality the customer receives. A merged company may be able to deliver better products or services at a quicker rate than before. Options that were not previously available to one of the smaller companies may allow the merged company to offer enhanced service or products that were not previously available.
Customer satisfaction or customer service is another factor that varies with a merger. In some cases, a newly merged company may experience problems at the customer service level. Fewer customer service representatives make it harder for customers to obtain answers to their questions, which could result in more customer complaints. New software and databases may result in lost or incorrect customer data. A merger could also create more reps and enhanced databases, resulting in greater customer service satisfaction.
Customer options may be increased or decreased with a merger. Ideally, a combined brand would lead to more options, but in some cases, customer options such as makes, models and supplies decrease.