The 6 golden rules of subscriber management

Today we have the freedom to watch the television we want, whenever and wherever we choose. Whether it’s watching the football on your HDTV, using your phone to catch up on last night’s soap operas, or streaming a film to your tablet for a cosy night in. In the new TV everywhere era, our choice of content is pretty much limitless.

It also means that we can choose to pay for or subscribe to as much or as little content as we want. We can decide if we want to take out that monthly subscription to LoveFilm or Netflix, or if we just want to pay for little snippets of content here and there, like that episode you missed last week.

Although this is all well and good for the viewer, what does it mean to pay-TV operators and content owners? As consumers pick and choose what content they pay for, across the devices and platforms they want, how do companies effectively manage their subscribers? Do they have to have different subscriber management systems (SMS) for multiple devices and relationships?

Choosing the right subscriber management for your company is not as simple as it may seem. And that’s why we have put together these 6 golden rules of subscriber management – your guide to selecting the SMS that is right for you.

1. Pick a Mr Know-it-all

First and foremost, it is important to select a media specialist – someone that not only knows their stuff, but understands your needs too. A key factor in the success of your SMS will be selecting a subscription and billing provider that understands the requirements of your company – whether you are a broadcaster, channel brand, content owner or provider, live event broadcaster or digital media business. What you need to ask yourself is: do they understand this rapidly evolving market? Do they understand the consumer revenue lifecycle? Do they support all the different devices and platforms out there? And finally, do they integrate with broadcast or video infrastructure? If the answer to all of those is yes then you know you have found yourself a winning vendor!

2. There is no I in team

Whether subscription and billing is your bread and butter or a secondary business activity, it is important to select a SMS that is interoperable. An inefficient, overloaded, and non-communicative system will only have a negative impact on your business activity – especially if it’s coupled with an overused back office. You need a system that is going to support your growth, so it is important to find out if your chosen vendor has proven experience and operations at scale.

3. It’s all in the details

Data is an important asset to your company – it tells you everything you need to know about your audience. It is therefore essential to use this information in the right way to drive viewer engagement as well as revenue. For a data-orientated SMS, you need to make sure your vendor can ingest data from a variety of different sources. Then you need to make sure that you can view and manipulate the data in real-time and in an easy-to-use format. It’s also good to find a vendor that can help you to understand the data, to support you and help you grow.

4. Cut to the chase

But these factors are nothing without a quick time to market. There is no point in choosing a SMS if it is going to take years to implement. Your chosen system should only take a matter of weeks or months to put in place, and it should be cost-effective – an even better system won’t impact too heavily on your IT, finance or operation resources either! You should check the ease of integration, whether that is with your website, back office, CRM or billing system, as well as resource availability – before giving your vendor the green light.

5. Don’t predict the future – build for it

With the industry being driven by changes in products, services, and devices, it is important to have an SMS that is built for now and the future. Ensuring that your chosen vendor can bundle products, devices and platforms, allow for complex subscription options as well as diverse payment options for local, national and global payments, means your SMS will be future ready.

6. Have grace under pressure

Last, but by no means least- you need a SMS that can perform. There is no use seeking a vendor that ticks all the boxes but can’t take the pressure. Ultimately, you need a SMS that is robust and scalable. To make sure you are getting an able SMS, ask your vendor if they have experience in handling high volumes of subscribers. Also, be sure to check that they can provide a technical service desk with trained staff to handle service requests or incidents for consistent support and maintenance. That way you can be rest-assured that your vendor can manage and support your business.

At PayWizard, we believe that by sticking to these 6 rules, you will get the most out of your SMS. You will be able to efficiently manage subscribers, grow your business, as well as drive revenues and profitability. How do we know all of this? Because it is at the heart of what we do. With over 16 years’ experience in the media sector, our award winning platform enables us to deliver a highly interoperable end-to-end SMS solution that will enable you to truly manage and monetize the multiplatform world.