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How Streaming Services Can Win the Intensifying Subscriber War

What’s stopping someone from simply canceling one service for another?

man and a woman watching TV and eating popcorn

Eighty percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to at least one paid streaming-video service compared to 73% pre-COVID-19, according to a digital media trends survey from Deloitte. They also pay, on average, for four different services.  

While this is good news for the media and entertainment (M&E) industry overall, the study also reveals that subscriber churn is up, further intensifying the subscriber wars. As more companies launch subscription services with enticing, exclusive content, what’s stopping someone from simply canceling one service for another? 

It costs more to attract new subscribers than retain existing ones, so M&E companies need to do everything in their power to reduce churn, including quality customer experiences. This includes quick problem solving for subscribers, on everything from a buffering issue to a billing mistake. 

M&E companies should make the most of their data to improve subscriber services in the hopes of keeping their audience loyal and engaged.

Set the scene with helpful content

A Salesforce survey of 3,500 worldwide consumers found that Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X all start with search engines to find information. Capture their attention with a robust subscriber portal well-stocked with information on everything from how to run a crash report to how to downgrade a premium package. 

To uncover the most relevant content for your subscriber portal, review service requests for recurring inquiries and create FAQs and knowledge articles based on the most common requests. Be sure to track search queries on your site and review SEO data to get a sense of search trends as well.

You can update your self-service channels in as little as one hour. Once you have your data, build out your subscriber portal with the following self-service features:

  • Straightforward FAQs: Create troubleshooting tips (e.g., how to resolve buffering issues), information on new bundles or services, and account instructions, like simple password resets. 
  • Community support: Message boards are a great way for subscribers to ask questions to one another and build a sense of community.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots handle common requests — such as if a subscriber wants to know when a free month of a premium service expires — for fast support. If a case requires a live agent, chatbots collect qualifying data and pass off the case.

Give your service crew the tools they need

M&E industry professionals know the power of special effects. Why not extend that to every part of the business? With the right digital tools, your subscriber services will boost loyalty and entice your customers to stay longer. 

Give agents the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences, including a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that acts as a single source of truth for subscriber data. Coupled with an API strategy, you can pull in data from disparate systems across your organization. This creates a complete view of each subscriber, including:

  • Top interests (e.g., action movies, sports, etc.)
  • Device preferences
  • Activity timelines
  • Service or case history
  • Likelihood to churn (with the reason why, such as performance issues)

This view helps agents maximize productivity and improve the overall customer experience. Artificial Intelligence (AI) recommends actions and instructs agents on how to tailor the experience. For example, if a subscriber reaches out multiple times due to buffering issues, the system can flag that she is likely unsatisfied and at risk of churning. Based on this signal, the agent can place her on a win-back journey. The subscriber receives a personalized email with an exclusive offer and reminders of new content she’s sure to love.

What’s next?

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