Do customer profitability analyses pay? A survey of large Norwegian companies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Managerial and Financial Accounting. 2018, 10 (4), 352-377. 10.1504/IJMFA.2018.095970
The purpose of this paper is to study the relationships between the extents of use of customer profitability analyses (CPA) and business performance. In addition to CPA as an overall construct, five methods are included: 1) CPA of individual customers; 2) customer segments; 3) assessments of customer lifetime value; 4) valuations of customers; 5) customers as investments. A total of 437 large Norwegian companies were invited to answer a questionnaire, of which 171 participated giving a response rate of 39%. CPA (overall construct) is positively linked to business performance. CPA of individual customers is the only method that significantly drives business performance. Thus, conducting detailed customer profitability analyses to establish reliable customer profitability accounts appears to be worth the effort. The respondents perceive the three forward-looking methods, i.e., (3), (4) and (5) as variations of one approach. Analogous studies are highly recommended. Cost estimation methods could also be addressed.