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Senior Vertical Marketing Manager – Global Verticals
As the media & entertainment industry (M&E) grows, service demands intensify. The industry deals with millions of customer calls each year regarding contract changes, services, and technical problems. Phone queues can easily get flooded, especially if there aren’t digital alternatives or seamless self-service options. Meanwhile, costs for these services continue to rise. Amazon and Netflix recently announced price increases for their streaming subscriptions, providing more flexibility (like the ability to watch programs on up to four devices at the same time) and production value, but at a price some customers aren’t comfortable paying.
The more M&E companies charge, the better their service experiences must be. At the same time, organizational costs must be accounted for. Is it possible to provide better service at a lower cost? Avaya’s latest study reveals how M&E companies can strike a balance between the two.
Many companies already use self-service solutions to deal with the basics of customer care, from automated IVR solutions to chatbots and FAQs. Some brands use a unique blend — for example, having their IVR digitally redirect callers to a mobile or web self-service experience. These solutions can dramatically reduce interaction costs while allowing agents to deal with more complex or sensitive customer issues.
Conversational solutions are especially helpful in that customers can speak with a virtual agent while hardly knowing the difference thanks to advances in natural language processing. If anything, the self-service experience will only become more helpful as the virtual agent interacts, learns, and grows in knowledge. In a May 2021 study conducted by IBM, 99% of companies reported an increase in customer satisfaction as a result of using virtual agent technology. Leaders in this technology reported higher first contact resolution, containment, and better intent recognition.
M&E executives interviewed by Avaya agree this is something that needs further development. One executive elaborated, “Internally, we are ensuring that the most contextual data about our customers is available to agents answering the calls, but we are avoiding using pseudo AI. Unfortunately, our experience so far with bots has not been successful.”
Omnichannel is favored by most M&E customers surveyed by Avaya (58%), with a smaller percentage saying they prefer traditional face-to-face and phone service (19%) and fully digital service (22%). This preference for omnichannel has only grown since the pandemic, especially mobile apps, video chats with agents, text/SMS, and customer service on social media.
These digital options are great, but it’s important to remember that not every customer is technically savvy or able. As more traditional customers embrace new products and services, it’s important that M&E companies create an appropriate and well-balanced omnichannel approach. Brands should strive for an ultra-easy user experience including simple wording and communication, and a seamless, intuitive interface.
Netflix, for example, offers an extensive knowledge database to help customers manage their account, troubleshoot issues, and navigate the streaming platform; however, if customers can’t find the information they need or would rather speak with someone, they can contact a live agent by clicking “Call Us.” This option is big, bold, and presented clearly on the user’s screen. This is simple, but extremely important for customer service. Eighty percent of M&E customers Avaya surveyed agree there should be a phone number on every web page or app, regardless of a customer’s digital prowess.
Collecting user feedback is key for discovering new CX opportunities, and there are several low-cost ways to do so. For example, an SMS notification can be automatically triggered after every customer interaction with a link to a company’s satisfaction survey. Or the company can enable customers to say in their own words what they thought of their service experience and use AI to analyze a transcript of what was spoken, as well as conduct sentiment analysis. Just as important is the ability to quickly make changes to reflect what users want out of their service experience, which is where technologies like CPaaS come into play.
Can M&E companies balance cost and customer experience? Absolutely. Learn more about what M&E companies should consider to digitally evolve through the 2020s with Avaya’s research. View the full report, Four Recent Trends Shaping the Media & Entertainment Industry.