3 Reasons Why Current Customers are More Important Than New Ones

From a marketing standpoint the acquisition of new customers is the #1 goal, right? But are the expansion of the target market, generating new sales leads, and taking customers from competitors the most important focus points for a marketing department?

Not anymore.

In the age of mobile devices, the way we think about interacting with our customers has changed. The effect of customer sentiment on a business has larger implications than ever before. It is the current customer that drives every business. Marketing campaigns to acquire new customers don’t work like they used to and can be wasteful, as customers are quick to switch to a competitor for a better deal or service.

This is why it is important to invest in building relationships between your business and your current customers.

Businesses must spend time creating an engaging customer experience that places current customers as the highest priority, and I’ll tell you why.

Current Customers Spend More

According to research done by Localytics, the more loyal the customer, the more money that customer will spend. What does a loyal customer mean? In mobile, loyalty is all about how often customers frequent a mobile app. Developing a long-term relationship, and keeping a current customer engaged are the primary methods for driving loyalty. As the number of sessions increase so do the monetization activities. Whether it’s making an in-app purchase, buying a new outfit, or viewing more ads, growing the number of sessions leads to more revenue.

Beyond mobile apps, businesses of all kinds profit from investing in increasing customer retention rates. For example, businesses that were able to improve retention rates by 5% saw at least a 5% increase in profit and in some cases experienced profit increases up to 95%.

Current Customers are Cheaper

 

Investing large amounts of time and money on acquiring customers is wasteful and one of the main reasons many companies fail. Little or no money is spent on engaging current customers, creating a high churn rate. Spending heavily to acquire customers when you have a high churn rate really doesn’t make sense. Save money and focus on the customers that matter – the customers you already have.

Current Customers Recruit New Customers

Companies can spend all they want on advertisements, but word of mouth from people we trust is the best way to reach new customers.

With the power of social proof, it is more important than ever to have your current customers sharing their experiences with your company. Businesses should make it easy for current customers to share stories about the company by having a presence on the major social media channels, and encouraging customers to contribute and become part of the community.

Businesses need to concentrate on the current customer more than ever. Continuing to engage customers, learn from their stories, and build relationships with them will keep them loyal and ultimately improve your product or service to more closely fit the customer’s needs.

Ezra Siegel

Ezra Siegel is Apptentive's VP of Community. Apptentive provides in-app feedback tools for app developers to improve ratings and user experience. He can be found writing on topics ranging from customer service to mobile apps, and most often where the two meet. You can read more along those lines at Apptentive’s blog, and keep up with Ezra and Apptentive on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Travis

    if it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer, then it’s 12-14 times harder to RE-acquire a former customer, especially in highly competitive markets. keep em happy.

    • http://twitter.com/EzraMax Ezra Siegel

      Very true Travis. Once a customer walks away, it becomes even more difficult to ever get them back.

    • http://twitter.com/OliverTed Ted Oliver – FINAO

      Wouldn’t both of you agree that customers generally stick with the people and companies they trust? Personal and/or company branding plays a very large role in customer retention, don’t you think?

      • http://harbingerlabs.com/ Travis Arnold

        I agree with trust. In software, I need to know my data is secure and that I’m able access it when I need to (SaaS). If that gets violated over and over, my trust is broken and I start shopping. Company brand could help retention, but only if my trust hasn’t been broken.