Why US Operators should focus on relationship building with their subscribers

A report from Kagan predicts that US pay-TV operators will lose 10.8 million subscribers by 2021, whilst OTT and virtual services continue to flourish. Although these numbers are of course concerning, it’s not too late for operators to turn things around.

To save a relationship with customers and minimise the changes affecting a service, it’s time for operators to focus on their engagement strategy to build a better relationship and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Consumers now have so much choice, meaning they can easily dip in and out of services, so proactive outreach and subscription flexibility are key to locking in customer spend. Traditional operators must learn from these nimble OTT offerings where engagement and flexibility with subscribers is going a long way to growing loyalty.

How your subscribers feel about you should be a top priority

Factors such as word of mouth recommendations and positive online comments are just as important as content for subscribers in choosing to sign up to a new pay-TV service. In our survey, 78% of respondents said that while good content is important in choosing a digital TV service, factors such as brand reputation, flexibility, attention to customer preferences, understanding of their needs and the overall subscriber experience is equally crucial to keeping their business.

Operators should be reaching out throughout the whole customer journey

There are 8 key moments across the subscriber lifecycle when customers interact with a TV service and form opinions that influence satisfaction and loyalty – Find, Join, Consume, Upgrade, Downgrade, Bill, Leave and Win Back. At the ‘Join’ moment, tools such as web chat can be used to see if the customer requires any assistance and will make them reassured that they can easily ask for help if needed and give them a positive look on the customer service you can provide.

Also, operators can get their customers familiar with their new service at the ‘Consume’ moment by sending personalised communications to signpost content or to offer help to find their way around. We know that the first 90 days of a subscription is crucial when it comes to loyalty and customer experience. And by helping your subscriber to learn to use your service with pop-ups and how to guide’s to programme recommendations and general help and support, it goes a long way when it comes to keeping them long term. Meet the needs of your subscriber by proactively reaching out to them will help build a strong relationship they won’t want to leave.

Stay on the right side of the TV spend equation with an exceptional customer experience

As the market develops and consumers have more options, US pay-TV operators need to ensure they provide a consistently positive customer experience throughout their entire journey. Recent research from Paywizard showed that one in four of our respondents reduced total TV spend by cutting other specialist subscriptions or downgrading their general package meaning if you don’t deliver a good experience they are likely to downgrade or leave. Love is a two-way street and by proactively showing your subscribers love, you’re much more likely to be rewarded with their loyalty. Take them for granted though, and they’ll be knocking on your competitor’s door.

Download the ‘How to Love Your Subscribers Guide 2017’ to find out more from our experts on why engagement and relationship building is vital to beat the odds against churn