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What makes an existing customer and why do they matter?

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Existing customers are arguably more important than prospects, since they are already well aware of the business and more inclined to return for future purchases. Additionally, there are plenty of other benefits that existing customers can bring to a business. But what makes an existing customer and how can businesses retain them effectively?

What makes an existing customer?

In business, existing customer is a term for people who have previously purchased your products or services in the past and maintain an ongoing relationship with your business. In short, they are customers who have gone through the process of researching, shopping, and experiencing your services.

Building relationship with existing customers

Building relationship with existing customers

Existing customers often exhibit a higher level of trust and familiarity compared to potential customers. They possess the ability to continue shopping and supporting the business in the future. Establishing and maintaining relationships with them is an essential part of the business strategy to optimize revenue and build a sustainable brand.

Methods for cultivating relationships with existing customers include:

  • Setting up promotional programs
  • Offering special discounts to loyal members
  • Planning regular customer care initiatives to retain and encourage ongoing purchases from this segment.

Additionally, utilize social media platforms to update and maintain customer data files, strengthening the bond between the business and consumers.

Why are existing customers important to businesses?

Customers have always been playing a vital role for a business’s strategy. However, this target audience is divided into various segments: potential, current, and target customers. Usually, it depends on the situation that existing consumers should be prioritized for the following reasons.

They help you do marketing for free

Although hard to master, word-of-mouth has always been one of the most effective tools to drive sales for any businesses. Existing customers are the catalysts for effective word-of-mouth marketing.

By consistently delivering value, exceptional service, and memorable experiences, you encourage them to become voluntary advocates for your brand. This not only helps you save marketing budget but also generates trust from organic sources.

Existing customers simplify marketing with word-of-mouth

Existing customers simplify marketing with word-of-mouth

However, excessive advertising can result in audience saturation. Therefore, many new forms of promotion are being developed, such as advertising through KOLs or KOCs, which are considered the most effective advertising methods today.

Existing customers contribute a significant part to overall profit

Attracting new customers can demand a significant amount of resources and marketing budget. Conversely, maintaining relationships with current customers often requires fewer resources. Continuing to provide value and care for existing customers helps you save costs in marketing, advertising, and persuasion efforts.

Existing customers already have knowledge about your products and services, and persuading them to make repeat purchases comes at a lower cost compared to acquiring new customers. Therefore, ensuring their satisfaction and ongoing loyalty is an important way to sustain steady revenue.

Maintaining existing customers increases profit

Since existing customers is a huge profit pool, maintaining this not only brings stability but also significantly contributes to increasing business profitability. Compared to new customers, existing customers have the tendency to make larger purchase values since they have a clear understanding of what your business offers.

Sustaining relationships with current customers not only generates immediate profits but also creates opportunities for long-term gains. Increasing purchase frequency, raising the average order value, reducing marketing costs, and fostering loyalty are crucial to amplify profitability.

Existing customers have major potential to increase overall profit

Existing customers have major potential to increase overall profit

Increases customer lifetime value

The concept of “customer lifetime value” refers to all the contributions from a customer during the relationship with the business. Understanding and optimizing this customer lifetime value not only helps increase profits but also promotes sustainable growth of the business.

Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value x Average Customer Lifespan

What are the benefits when focusing on existing customers

Existing customers bring about many benefits for business in both the present and future. On Digitals will show you what you can gain by focusing on this type of customer

Enhance business competitiveness

No matter the business’ industry, current customers always play a pivotal role in determining its position in the market. As each business builds and nurtures its sustainable current customer base, their value within the customers’ eyes steadily increases.

Give business a competitive edge by fostering a stable connection with existing customers

Give business a competitive edge by fostering a stable connection with existing customers

Focusing on existing customers significantly contributes to boosting the business’s competitiveness. By understanding and accurately meeting their needs, businesses have the opportunity to create unique values. This helps generate a superior competitive advantage while minimizing the likelihood of customers shifting to alternative competitors.

Reduce cost and increases revenue

The process of planning and transitioning from new customers to current customers requires significant time and effort for businesses. Focusing on existing customers helps you save on advertising and marketing costs compared to acquiring new customers.

With existing customer information already at your disposal, you can optimize your marketing campaigns to improve its effectiveness. This translates to increased sales volume and revenue.

Long term relationship with consumers

The relationship between the business and customers always needs to be at the forefront throughout the business process. After all, customers are the means to profit and play a central role in every business activity. The goal of every business after developing a business model is undoubtedly to establish a strong and loyal customer base.

Build relationship with customers to solidify your place on the market

Build relationship with customers to solidify your place on the market

Increased trust and customer loyalty

Customer experience is always important because when customers feel satisfied and well-cared for, they will develop trust in your brand. This trust is a crucial element for maintaining long-term relationships and laying the foundation for sustainable growth. Loyal customers also tend to refer you to others, helping to increase opportunities for attracting new customers.

Improved products and services quality

Alongside customer experiences, customer demands also need attention. By consistently interacting and listening to current customers’ opinions, you have the opportunity to understand their needs and desires better. This helps you adjust and improve your products to better meet customer requirements. Honest feedback from customers will aid you in adapting and refining swiftly.

A prime example for small and medium-sized businesses is organizing a soft-opening event for products or services. Collect input from event participants through online forms or feedback surveys. Alternatively, arrange mini-game events to learn how they use your products and services

5 methods maintaining relationship with existing customers

Between a business and their customers, it is not just about supply and demand. Instead, the story is about a long term investment built on trust and honesty.

Keep customer information updated

Providing accurate customer information is the foundation for a strong relationship. Ensure that contact details, birthdates, and their needs are always up to date. An effective customer management system can help you easily track and manage this information.

From there, the business can develop strategies for diverse customer segments. For example, handing out gifts for customer birthdays or creating attractive post-purchase programs for special occasions.

Update customer information to make promotional programs accordingly

Update customer information to make promotional programs accordingly

Implementing customer appreciation or loyalty programs

A customer loyalty program brings significant benefits to both parties involved. Customers will feel valued and appreciated when receiving exclusive offers, gifts, or discounts. Simultaneously, you also have the opportunity to build a strong connection with them through interactive activities and special events.

Loyal customers have a high likelihood of becoming repeat customers. To attain the title, they need to contribute a certain amount to the business revenue. The company needs to segment the customer spending into different levels to identify and differentiate regular customers from loyal ones.

Business tiers can include levels like Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Members at each level will be entitled to varying privileges.

Create discounts and promotional programs

In business, promotions not only stimulate customer purchases but also serve as a great way to demonstrate care. However, it is not as simple as lowering the price of products. Come up with creative promotional methods such as offering useful gifts, providing free services, or granting special deals for bulk purchases.

There are many promotional programs you can utilize such as: buy 5 get 1 free for FMCG items, discounted honeymoon travel packages, significant post-purchase discounts for loyal customers on large orders, and more.

Think outside the box to come up with discounts and promotional programs

Think outside the box to come up with discounts and promotional programs

Attentive post-purchase service

Customer relationships do not end once they make a purchase. Providing excellent post-purchase care can make a significant difference and help you build lasting trust. Keep track of how they are using the product, send messages of gratitude, and inquire if they encounter any issues, while also offering assistance when needed.

Frequent customer care

Customers feel valued when they receive regular messages from you. This can be information about new products, industry updates, or even helpful advice. Utilize mediums such as email marketing, social media, or a blog to maintain interaction and connection with customers.

Strengthening relationships with current customers requires investment and dedication from the business. By implementing the above strategies, you can build a loyal customer community and achieve sustainability in your business.

Related insights: What is the Vietnam company registration process?

Final thoughts

Hopefully, the insights shared in this article have provided readers with a clearer understanding of what makes an existing customer and their substantial contribution to the well-being of businesses. This group of customers are not only the target audience but also the driving force behind a company’s revenue.

Hence, it becomes imperative to wholeheartedly embrace the task of nurturing relationships with the current customer base, given the immense value they bring to the table.

Should your business be in need of formulating a potent customer-focused marketing strategy, rest assured that On Digitals stands ready to meet your requirements with utmost dedication. Our extensive expertise in various customer-centric marketing domains and offers a plethora of possibilities for your consideration. Don’t hesitate to connect with us for your next campaign.

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