Today’s entertainment consumer has more choice — and more power — than ever before.
Customers are jumping from one service to another, from AVOD (ad-supported video-on-demand) to SVOD (subscription VOD) to TVOD (transactional VOD), depending on which offer best suits their needs at that particular time. Churn is an issue and minimizing and mitigating it is more realistic than eliminating it. An active approach to customer-relationship management can curtail it and keep the customer under a larger company umbrella. By quickly developing a number of flexible options — in terms of both product and monetization — content providers can keep customers in the fold and reduce foreboding churn rates.
How to Meet the Customer Where They Are
The days of the aggressive cable-TV representative are over. To improve customer retention, content providers must deploy a nuanced, personalized approach that aims to meet the customer where they are. Here are four strategies that can lead to decreased cancellation rates and improved customer loyalty:
• Constant offers and promotions: Sales events and unique offers, previously a seasonal occasion for content providers, should now take place on a routine basis. Content providers must take advantage of the data and digital tools at their disposal, designing campaigns and experimenting with A/B testing to determine which promotions are most effective in boosting retention.
• Flexible monetization strategies: Not every customer will want to maintain a video subscription indefinitely. Rather than lose that customer to a competitor, one content provider should offer multiple monetization strategies, allowing a subscriber to switch seamlessly to AVOD or TVOD without losing their business entirely.
• Expanded payment options: A successful content provider will make it as easy as possible for a customer to pay for their service. In today’s sales environment, that means accommodating as many payment options as possible. Beyond standard credit and debit cards, content providers should consider adding online services such as PayPal, or even emerging payment methods like cryptocurrencies.
• Innovative events and opportunities: The streaming video service of tomorrow doesn’t have to look like the service of today. New event formats can engage customers with enticing content and keep them coming back in search of new experiences. Over the past year, some content providers have experimented with a festival format, offering one-show, one-day or multi-day tickets to a package of premium content. Devising creative bundles and one-time opportunities will cause the customer to view a specific service as more exclusive than others, a vital consideration when it comes time to trim down the number of subscriptions.
The consumer video experience continues to evolve rapidly, and without agility and an appetite for change, content providers will risk falling further and further behind. Active customer management will maximize lifetime value, boost brand loyalty, and keep a popular service top of mind amid a sea of competitors.
Vijay Sajja is the founder and CEO of Evergent, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of lifecycle management services for cloud video providers.
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