In just a few years’ time, the way we consume entertainment has changed drastically. Netflix and other video streaming services have taken the industry by storm, encouraging consumers to cut the cord and enjoy their content on demand. In fact, last year Netflix users collectively watched 1 billion hours of content each week and around 22 million U.S. adults dropped cable services, up 33% from the previous year — a major blow to cable companies.
With streaming on the rise, how can cable outlets keep their current customer base coming back?
Open communication is key to maintaining a healthy customer relationship. When it comes to set-up fees, service upgrades or any extra charges, cable providers should be up front about a customer’s tab.
Unexplained price increases are a common cable customer gripe, and with monthly charges up an average of 53% in just a decade, according to S&P Global Intelligence figures cited by the Associated Press, customers are turning to alternate options. Nobody likes seeing an unexpected uptick in their monthly bill — be prepared to explain why things may be changing, and it’ll go a long way toward maintaining customers’ trust.
Tap New Revenue Streams
Who doesn’t like a healthy bottom line? By offering a valuable benefit like customized consumer electronics warranty products for TVs, gaming systems, laptops and more, cable companies can give current customers another reason to stay on board. Include this protection in a customer’s overall package, and you become much more than just a cable provider — you’re a one-stop shop for devices, service and coverage. Plus, you’ll be adding another line of revenue.
Don’t Be a Robot
While consistency in messaging is important when communicating with your customers, train your service reps to avoid being robotic in delivery. Sure, everyone has a script to read, but a simple gesture like asking the customer how their day is going can make a tremendous difference in the tone of a service call.
That interaction can have effects beyond one call as well. Angry customers aren’t hesitant to post bad reviews or recorded conversations online, potentially affecting your reputation. Take Comcast for example, where $300 million was pledged toward an updated customer service strategy. After multiple complaints, the cable giant promised customers incentives like $20 if a representative is late to an appointment, and a redesigned monthly bill to better answer customer questions.
And, despite the growth of streaming, it’s not all bad news. In a recent survey, Deloitte found that two-thirds of respondents are retaining cable packages because they’re bundled with internet plans. With so many still on board, cable companies can employ service tools like these to keep customers coming back instead of cutting the cord.
Roger High is vice president of new markets at Fortegra.
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