Owning your Customer – Making subscriptions more than just a payment

Owning your Customer – Making subscriptions more than just a payment

Today, subscribers expect an easy-to-use, personalised TV service that allows them to watch their favourite movies, TV shows and sports events on any device, at just about any time. But with an increasing number of pay-TV services coming to market, it is more important than ever for operators to retain ownership of their customers.

If a customer signs up for a pay-TV service through an app from an app store, not only do you, the operator, lose 30% of your revenue through this stream, but you also lose ownership of your customers. You have forfeited the valuable customer data and lost the opportunity to understand them, engage with them and create a compelling personalised experience – a crucial component in today’s competitive market. Offering a TV service that goes beyond subscriptions to strengthen the operator/customer relationship will ultimately help your business to grow, and in turn, be profitable.

So how do you do this? The first way to ensure you retain ownership of your customer is to deliver a service that makes signing up via your own website, rather than an app, as simple and as slick as possible, in order to reduce customer drop off. If the process is testing and time consuming, customers will abandon the process and simply look for an alternative service provider that has an easier way to sign up. The first interaction a subscriber will have with the TV service is signing up, so getting this part right is absolutely critical!

Likewise, you must allow subscribers to pay however they like – be it by a weekly, monthly or yearly subscription, or for every single piece of content they want to watch. You must also make sure you allow them to pay using the payment method they prefer – whether that’s credit or debit card, through e-Wallets like PayPal, or even via cash vouchers. With more content available than ever before both locally and internationally, customers expect to purchase and subscribe to the services they want, no matter which international or local payment option they prefer.

Another factor to consider in order to retain customer loyalty is to allow customers to subscribe and watch services on the devices they like. Until recently, companies only had to worry about content delivery to a single platform – but today it’s a different story. And that means as a pay-TV operator, you must manage delivery to multiple devices efficiently and allow consumers to pick and choose which screens they subscribe to your services on.

But perhaps the most important of all is delivering a service that understands how subscribers engage with content. Utilising valuable data to analyse behaviour is critical – for instance, if a customer frequently watches sport, they are not going to be enticed by offers for children’s movies. In fact, not understanding your subscribers can be detrimental to the relationship – your subscribers will get frustrated that their service doesn’t know what it is they like to watch and will move to one that knows what it is they like. Alternatively, by giving subscribers what they want, you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately leading to increased revenue and profitability.  But to do this successfully you need to analyse your customer viewing habits and use marketing tools to make personalised recommendations, based on these, with enticing offers and discounts to maximise upsell and cross sell opportunities.

This factor is also important for proactive churn reduction. Having access to your subscriber data can help you to identify and stop subscribers that are about to leave. Targeting a customer off-season with an offer of a month’s worth of premier league football matches might just entice your subscriber to renew their football package –preventing you from having to pay for customer acquisition costs if this customer did decide to leave. But proactive churn reduction isn’t just a way to reduce customer acquisition costs – it also has a dramatic effect on profitability for the long term

So in order to truly own your customer it is important to have a good subscriber management platform that allows sign up across devices, captures and analyses data and offers a range of different payment methods. While some operators are happy to pay 30% of their revenues to use an app store, using a subscriber management system gives you independence and allows you to be in full control of your relationship with your customers, enabling you to cut down costs, drive revenues and in turn, profitability.

At Paywizard we are helping pay-TV providers around the world ensure that they retain ownership of their customers. We understand that subscribing to a pay-TV service should be about more than just a bill; intelligent subscriber management technology, efficient payment processing and multi-channel customer service operations in place to support that. Our Agile platform combines with our expert services to increase subscriber acquisition, retention, up-sell and cross sell. With Paywizard, subscriber management is about delivering an engaging end-to-end service that makes the subscriber happy – and willing to pay for content.