Credit Management and Marketing – it’s all relative
Credit managers should take a page out of their marketing colleagues’ book. Financial processes can gain a lot of profiling too.
It used to be that segmenting and profiling was purely exclusive to marketing departments. However, as technology has naturally grown and evolved, so has this perception. These tools are not only limited to marketing departments. It is time that credit management departments utilize these methods too.
Recent trends have shown there is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to credit management. Whilst we may all be using the same software and hardware, they need to be intelligently tailored to each environment. One vital requirement is the need for information; specifically customer information. Most credit departments will outsource this. They will pull in expertly compiled reports that analyse and assess a business’s or individual’s financial health. Although, one huge area of information commonly overlooked is data recorded on a daily basis. For example, as individuals communicate differently with each company they speak to, your customers will be doing the same. They will exhibit completely different behaviours with you than they do with other businesses. Are you truly making the most of that information?
Information at your fingertips
All of the information you need is right at your fingertips. The next challenge is to leverage that to your advantage. A simple way to start is by using factors such as business size, industry, location, purchasing habits and creditworthiness to differentiate and ‘profile’ your client portfolio into a set of homogeneous groups. From here you can then piece together a strategy which will enable faster payments from each group. By splitting your portfolio like this, you can quickly identify which customers may need extra attention and which do not. Thus further increasing results across your entire client base.
No matter the product delivery each process involved, from marketing to sales, will all conclude at credit management. Try to disrupt the traditional, reactive, one-way communication here. A more positive, two-way dialogue is far more likely to invite your customer to order again. This further proves that your credit management department needs to know as much as they can about the customer. Profiling will enable them to provide an individual service style that will help your customer and help your company.
Take advantage of existing marketing tools to better understand your customers and thus achieve a more accurate view of your company’s finances.
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