For visual media and entertainment (M&E) businesses, content is key, not king. It is one of three strands, including distribution and customer experience (CX) that must be woven together perfectly to really make a difference in keeping existing customers happy and attracting new fans to your services.
Unfortunately, based on the findings of the latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index, most established subscription TV providers are struggling to weave effectively. The average satisfaction score for this M&E sector has fallen by 3.1 percent to 62 over the past 12 months – its lowest score in over a decade.
Looking closer at the data, it is in the area of customer service, and not quality, variety or access to programming, where these companies are comparatively weak. For instance, satisfaction in contact center service scores 63.
It would be easy to say that this is a problem the entire industry is experiencing – by investing so much in original and exciting content, concessions have had to be made in other areas. But, the much more impressive scores that digital over-the-top (OTT) upstarts like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have achieved in the same report negate that theory.
“This has become an incredibly competitive market,” begins Gordon White, General Manager, TSC, Sitel Group’s Digital CX agency. “And as organizations built around OTT continue to build momentum, thanks to the fact that they their strategy prioritizes consumer engagement, competition will only increase. Customer experience, rather than monthly subscription fees, is becoming the No. 1 differentiator.”
In this video streaming service category, Netflix gained an overall satisfaction score of 78 (the average for the category being 75). What’s more, when consumers were asked to rate satisfaction in terms of CX, call center satisfaction received an average score of 75, ease of understanding a bill scored 80, as did website satisfaction; while ease of use of onscreen menus and guides also scored very highly (77).
“Like many of their customers, these companies are digital natives, without legacy systems or established ways of doing things,” explains White. “As a result, from day one, they have had better tools at their disposal for understanding customer intent and the importance of CX.”
According to research conducted by PwC and Ovum, even though growth is slowing in the M&E industry, by 2021, thanks in part to having raised the CX bar, OTT services will still grow at an 11.6 percent CAGR to $36.7 billion.
Companies are going to have to transform their approach, particularly in terms of building and maintaining CX to remain relevant.
“This means organizations should ask themselves what their business looks like, or should look like in a world that’s very different to the one when the company first started,” says White. “Don’t make the mistake of simply thinking that everything must be digitized. Instead focus on what it means to operate your business in a digital world.”
In the world of publishing, where TSC also provides consultancy and solutions, there are similar challenges. The product is now 100 percent digital but the approach to customer service and to engaging with readership is in need of transformation to bring things into line with the current consumer’s expectations.
To learn more about how tsc is working with publishers, read the article How can Media Companies Continue Building Their Brand in the Social media Age?
All of which is why, according to White, organizations need to double down on increasing ease and irradiating effort at each point of the customer journey.
“When we help organizations map their customer journey, we use common call drivers, chat drivers, all focused around customer experience to find and examine those points of pain, and moments of truth, where you are on the hook as a brand to produce a positive emotional result,” White says.
But that’s just the start. Then the journey can be reimagined and refined. New functionality can be added so that downstream problems can be eliminated or minimized by changing upstream elements.
“The goal is being proactive, not reactive,” explains White. “If you’re in a reactive mode, all you can do is respond to a customer complaint. You’re not in the driver’s seat.”
Being proactive can be something simple like improving self-help content so that customers can do their own trouble-shooting rather than waste time on hold.
“Or, say there is a service outage,” offers White as an example. “By sending out an alert to customers, they’re not going to call up saying that there’s a problem. Not only have you added value, you now have the opportunity to take another step closer to the customer. You could send another alert asking if they want a notification when the system’s back online, if they want to opt into a survey or share data regarding issues. You’ve created another positive touch point – while being transparent with the customer.”
From journey mapping and developing omnichannel approaches to CX, through simple consultancy and advisory services, TSC can help your organization transform and closer align with your customers’ ever-changing demands and expectations.
To understand more about how brands can take a proactive approach to CX, watch Gordon White’s keynote – Don You Really Know Me? Show Me – from this year’s Sitel Summit: