Information about customer income often has a revolutionary effect on customer relationship management in practice, with an impact that extends across the whole company. Especially in instances where customer attractiveness is assessed on the basis of turnover, introducing customer income statements allows customers – and sometimes entire market segments – to be reassessed on the basis of their income contributions. Customer relationships which were seen as “good” – in other words, because of high sales – may appear in a completely different light when their costs are explicitly included in the analysis.
Customer income statements often make it possible to enforce a consistent focus on income among customers and in the market. Not just sales and marketing, but all company functions increasingly have to focus their activities on customers. Management is also willing to invest additional resources into customer orientation. But this leaves some questions unanswered:
- Which customers should these activities target?
- How does one identify the customers or customer groups who would be expected to make a significant contribution to income?
- Which customers merit considerable investments in acquisition and retention?