Michelle buys a video camera through the Internet and immediately mails the $100-coupon to the rebate center. Meanwhile, she realizes the zoom isn’t powerful enough for her needs, and returns the camera to a local store, receiving a full refund. A few days later, she receives an e-mail offer for a stereo promising a new, dynamic sound experience. She picks up the phone and orders.
How can your company grasp the full financial impact of these transactions? One way is through the development of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which shifts the focus from product to customer management. The CRM concept is simple and intuitive: Interaction between a company and its customers is based on a common, universally accessible foundation of information. Access to all customer information in one place lets a company analyze the entire financial impact of customer-company interactions, rather than by an individual product line or business unit.
In effect, CRM modifies competition between companies from who sells the most products to who owns the customer. The need for accountability at the product and business unit level doesn’t disappear. Instead, new analytical tools are needed to support the fact that customers are a company’s most valued asset. Therefore, to support CRM objectives, your finance function cannot continue to do business as usual.
The question, “What is the profitability of a customer or customer segment?” is very different from “How much profit did Model X generate last year?” Analyzing customer profitability requires a high degree of collaboration and integration of information gathered across all business and sales channels. Sales provides customer acquisition data, marketing provides data on up- and cross-sells, services provides information about warranty and service activities, and finance provides revenue and cost numbers. This need for collaboration requires information from existing, unconnected systems to be integrated in a central area, and that customer definitions be valid across the enterprise.
Some companies try to skip this step, assuming their analysts can find the data needed and clean, transform, analyze, and publish it on a project-by-project basis. This view is shortsighted for several reasons:
For CRM to succeed, customer analysis must become a permanent element of financial analysis. Ad hoc approaches create too many opportunities for inconsistencies, errors, and misrepresentations.
Ad hoc analysis is slow. Completion times of six weeks or more are common, almost ensuring that results are of little value when finally published.
The creation of a central repository forces you to resolve key issues. You must create definitions of customers, cost, revenue, and profit validated by the business groups, as well as CRM objectives and evaluation methods. In short, treating CRM financial analysis as a series of one-time projects is a dead end.
Three major CRM functions. When you’ve decided to create a central repository for customer information, you need to decide which data belongs there. Many companies are realizing that existing systems don’t contain pertinent data, or that the data is in an unsuitable format for finance to perform its three major CRM functions: customer profitability analysis, budgeting and forecasting, and performance management.
· Customer profitability analysis. EDS recently performed a research project for a client. Its goal was to determine which media source (direct mail, telemarketing, Internet, magazine ads, and television ads) would furnish the most revenues. A lifetime value analysis, which calculates the net present value of individual customers based on cash flows ensuing from customer-company interactions, was chosen as the evaluation method.
Determining cash inflow was simple, because accounting systems are designed to track revenue at the customer level for billing purposes. Every donor record was clearly marked with amount and date. Assigning costs to customers proved to be a thornier issue, as these same systems have the following problematic characteristics:
As point-of-sale systems, they collect only information about actual sales at the customer level-nothing about pre- or after-sale costs of activities not resulting in sales.
Even when costs are directly incurred from sales, such as product costs, they’re accumulated separately from customer records in various accounts, such as “Cost of Goods Sold,” for costing purposes.
Accounting systems exist in proud isolation from one another. Lack of common customer IDs complicates any analysis that crosses system borders.
Clearly, these characteristics are incompatible with the goals of customer profitability analysis. CRM requires that a single, valid customer ID for the whole enterprise must exist, direct revenues and costs from purchases be collected at the customer level, and all indirect costs from customer-company interactions be attributed to customers. It’s equally clear that while the objective of understanding customer profitability is universal, there are many different ways to achieve it. Accordingly, decisions about which activities to measure, and how their financial impact is calculated at the customer level, is what ultimately distinguishes one company from another.
· Budgeting and forecasting. The primary difference between CRM and conventional budgeting and forecasting models is that while the latter use isolated product-service categories that disconnect sales from customers, the former develop financial results based on projected customer activities for the entire enterprise. Because of the different ways companies relate to their customer base, CRM models can be either activity-based and the other continuity-based.
财务分析 CRM 客户赢利分析