Nine out of ten (89%) consumers believe that most brands put more effort into attracting new customers than looking after existing ones, according to a survey of more than 2,500 UK consumers by Grass Roots Group. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The research noted that this apparent gap in brand marketers' priorities leaves existing customers feeling frustrated and does little for loyalty, with fewer than half (49%) even considering being disloyal and switching brands if a provider's special offers are only available to new customers.

In today's competitive marketplace, it is imperative that brands don't lose sight of the importance of retaining existing customers, especially when they opt to attract new business with exclusive special offers. More than half (55%) cited loyalty rewards as an important factor when staying with a provider, suggesting that this is an area that must not be ignored if brands are to keep otherwise loyal customers happy.

"It's hard to go online or watch TV without being served up special offers for new subscribers or shoppers, making it all too easy for consumers to become fickle when it comes to loyalty to just one brand. Our research has shown that customer loyalty is being compromised and people will switch brands if they feel they are being forgotten or not given the same treatment as new customers," explained Ian Horsham, divisional director of promotions and incentives for Grass Roots Group. "Brands are becoming complacent when it comes to customer retention. They concentrate too much on securing new customers, leaving others to feel undervalued."

With the cost of customer acquisition often being cited as five times greater than the cost of keeping existing customers, it is clear that this strategy could have a huge impact on revenues and future business success. A loyalty programme should therefore go hand in hand with a new customer programme as a key part of retaining customers after they have made the decision to switch to your brand.