We are in the golden age of consumer choice for TV and video and the number of pay-TV subscribers is set to exceed 1.1 billion by 2023, according to Digital TV Research. Singula Decisions recently carried out research which shows that more than half of customers intend to sign up to a new service in the next six months. With the market so intensely competitive, how do operators ensure consumers choose their service?

Content is No Longer King

The days are over where consumers stick around if they’re not happy with a pay-TV or OTT service, and content no longer drives the reasoning behind signing up and sticking around. When joining to a new service, 74% of respondents thought that while good content is important in choosing to take a new digital pay-TV service, other factors such as brand reputation, word of mouth recommendations, positive online comments and the overall customer experience are equally important in prompting them to sign up.

85% of consumers surveyed had at least one pay-TV or pay-OTT subscription, with one-third having both. 32% of customers have also increased their spend as a result of taking on a new subscription in the last 12 months. Despite this, many are still looking to take on new subscriptions in the near future, with 23% planning to sign up to a traditional services like AT&T, Sky and Cignal, 16% looking to join OTT offerings like Netflix, Hulu and iWantTV and a further 16% planning to join both over the next 6 months.

Ensure consumers sign up for your service

Today, customer experience is a critical driver of success in the pay-TV market, and it’s important for operators to fully understand their customers and use data to capture actionable insights to improve the overall experience throughout the customer journey. With so many other factors other than content playing such a big role when choosing a new service, it’s clear that consumers are spending a lot more time considering brand reputation and the overall customer experience before signing on the dotted line. If you can keep your current customers happy, others will soon follow.

Make sure customers stick around

Although many customers are taking on more TV services and spending more, this doesn’t mean that cord-cutting is not still a major challenge operators are facing, with 17% of those surveyed either cutting or downgrading packages when taking on a new subscription.

Providing a positive customer experience is important throughout the customer journey to mitigate cord-cutting, with 79% of people surveyed thinking that flexibility, attention to preferences and understanding subscriber needs were just as important content when it comes to keeping their business. Unfortunately, too many operators are failing to provide the positive experience customers expect, and our results show that 26% have actually terminated a relationship with a digital pay-TV provider because the service, support and overall customer experience were very poor in the last 12 months. You can’t stop everyone leaving, but if the overall experience with a pay-TV or pay-OTT service was positive, consumers are more likely to sign up again in the future.

So keeping consumers fully satisfied is clearly an underlying driver of success, and our research shows that half of all respondents have retained a digital pay-TV service they might have otherwise terminated because the operator provided an ‘excellent customer experience’ that included such as ‘great service’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘spot-on recommendations’.

Discover how to delight your subscribers

Download our paper ‘Show the Love with Customer Experience’ to discover what consumers are looking for when they sign up to a new service and how to acquire, retain and grow loyal, paying subscribers.

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