The importance of balancing focus between new and existing customers

When a business is looking to expand it can face a number of hurdles that need to be overcome and one of those often surrounds dealing with customers and suppliers.


In the initial stages when there are only a few customers to deal with, pouring efforts into sales and retention is a relatively straightforward process.


But as the company grows and resources become more stretched, it can open up a situation where more focus can be required on a specific group – namely whether to focus on gaining new custom, or in keeping existing customers happy.


It is an age-old debate in business and there is no definitive answer, but balancing efforts to keep everyone on side can be essential – even if it’s a struggle to do so.


One viewpoint sees the issue as an “all or nothing” approach, which is why both sets of customers should gain some attention.


Keeping existing customers happy is vital to ensure repeat custom, while expanding to attract new customers will be important for driving sales and creating profit margins.


Providing services for all


Essentially, the most important factor is to ensure that both groups are not neglected, as this could easily occur if too much emphasis is placed on a broad strategy that is simply not possible to maintain.


This can create financial issues for a business if it is struggling to sell and can lead to a need for certain aspects of business turnaround.


Recovery is possible as long as issues are spotted early enough, while aspects such as brand enhancement and successful marketing can help to build a good company reputation.


One advantage with existing customers is that they will already be aware of the brand and product – that way they are likely to purchase again provided they had a positive experience.


New customers on the other hand will have to test the products for themselves, meaning greater volumes of sales will potentially take a longer period of time.


Growth and loyalty in business are closely linked, but that isn’t to say that attracting new custom is a futile exercise either.


By Phil Smith


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