The way we define ‘customer’ can limit our potential. Delivering a recent keynote address for the VTIC Visitor Services Summit 2023, we posed the concept of the ‘bouncing customer’. You know, those ones that were going to walk into your shop (physically + metaphorically) but didn’t. They were your customer, but they chose to go elsewhere. This is a strategic challenge for the tourism industry, but applies equally across the board.
A customer is yours well before the transaction takes place. This is the phenomenon of customers bouncing—leaving a store, website or platform before making a transaction. However, by delving into the earlier stages of the customer journey, organisations can uncover opportunities to engage with these potential customers + turn bouncing into thriving.
In a tourism context of visitor servicing, we share some stats + the impacts in the short audio snippet below.
The Bounce Phenomenon
The bounce phenomenon is a common occurrence in the digital age. Customers land on a website or app, perhaps enticed by an advertisement or social media post, only to leave without making a purchase. This behaviour can be frustrating, but it’s also an opportunity to learn + adapt.
+, it’s not just online. This happens in the physical world too. I might be walking down the high street, see your store, be motivated to move towards it – but I don’t go in.
Understanding the early Customer Journey stages
To effectively combat the bounce, leaders need to look beyond the moment of exit + focus on the earlier stages of the customer journey. These stages include awareness, consideration, + intent, which lead to the final transaction stage. Understanding how customers move through these phases is key to creating strategies that keep them engaged.
This is meant to provoke thought + disrupt the operational thinking leaders can get stuck in. It’s not necessarily a new concept either. Here’s some snippets from some other global leaders + their views on the topic:
Seth Godin, Marketing Guru: “Effective customer engagement begins at the very first touchpoint. It’s about building trust + delivering value right from the awareness stage. When you resonate with your audience’s needs, you create a foundation for long-lasting relationships.”
Brian Solis, Digital Anthropologist: “The consideration stage is where customers seek validation + social proof. Provide them with compelling content, reviews, + testimonials to guide their decision-making process. Make it easy for them to choose your brand.”
Angela Ahrendts, Former Apple SVP: “Intent is the critical bridge between consideration + transaction. Ensure that your website or app offers a seamless + frictionless experience. Understand the pain points + eliminate them.”
1. Educational Content: Invest in high-quality, informative content that addresses pain points + provides solutions. This not only keeps customers engaged but also positions your brand as a trusted advisor.
2. Multi-Channel Approach: Engage customers through various touchpoints, such as email marketing, social media, + chatbots. Consistent messaging across channels enhances the chances of conversion.
3. Personalisation: Use data analytics + AI to tailor content + recommendations at every stage of the customer journey. By understanding customer preferences, you can guide them toward a transaction.
4. Remarketing Strategies: Implement remarketing campaigns to target users who bounced. Remind them of their initial interest + offer incentives to return + complete a transaction.
Case Study: Amazon's Customer Journey
Amazon is a prime example of a brand that excels at understanding the early customer journey stages. They provide personalised product recommendations, offer comprehensive reviews, + simplify the checkout process. Amazon’s seamless journey from awareness to transaction has made them a powerhouse in the e-commerce industry. They get that ‘bounce’ is just ‘waste’ + try to reduce it as best they can.
In the quest to reduce bounce rates + drive conversions, it’s vital for CEOs + senior leaders to shift their focus toward the earlier stages of the customer journey. By building trust, providing valuable content, + streamlining the path to purchase, businesses can transform bouncing customers into loyal advocates.
As Seth Godin so aptly puts it, “Engagement isn’t a one-time event; it’s an ongoing relationship built on understanding + meeting customer needs.”
So leaders, we ask you this. How many customers are bouncing off you + what could your performance look like if you reduced the bounce?
Building out a robust Customer Strategy is one of the foundations for the customer-led organisation.
We cover off this + more in our new book ‘Leading the Customer-led Revolution’.
Grab your copy here.