John Kucera, senior vice president for product management at Salesforce, co-authored this article with Christopher Dean.
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Automation is a huge buzzword in the media and entertainment industry these days, for good reason: media and entertainment companies use it to fuel growth while keeping customers happy. How? By increasing personalization, reducing costs, improving customer service, and building better reputations.
There are endless options for consumers when it comes to media and streaming services. In order to remain competitive, sales organizations at these companies need to figure out what their customers are up to and what they want in order to build strategies and services around them. Customer data is the key here, and using automation to collect it and pull meaningful insights from it will drive growth for media and entertainment companies.
A recent report from Salesforce and Omdia breaks down how sales organizations at media and entertainment companies are using automation to drive growth and keep customers coming back. According to the survey, just 21% of these companies are planning a significant investment into engagement automation.
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Here’s how top media and entertainment companies are using automation to attract and retain customers:
1. Using personalization to deliver relevant content and ads
Today, 71% of customers expect every interaction with a business to be personalized. Sales teams at media and entertainment companies can connect digital and real-world customer interactions in order to provide the most relevant, personalized, and compelling experiences, in every moment. Automation helps companies collect and take action on this real-time customer data more efficiently, with consumer consent, to create a more personalized experience.
From “Real Housewives” to true crime, every viewer is unique when it comes to which device they want to use, where and when they want to watch, and how they want to pay for it. Through automation, media and entertainment companies can take action on real-time user behavior data to retain customers and increase their lifetime value. How? By serving them both relevant ads and content that will spark their interest and keep them watching.
2. Lowering costs by cutting manual tasks
New research shows Salesforce customers see, on average, a 25% decrease in IT costs and up to 27% faster automation of business processes over previous approaches. Automation cuts down on manual tasks, which means automation saves money and frees up many employees to focus
Amid macroeconomic uncertainty, media and communications companies are increasingly turning to automation to boost productivity and reduce costs by minimizing repetitive tasks and delivering personalized experiences that are more efficient and effective at significantly lower cost.
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3. Improving customer service and enabling self-service
When you automate customer service workflows, your sales teams are freed of the burden of rote and menial tasks, your customers get better service, and you save money by lowering cost and improving efficiency. For media and entertainment companies, automation doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult to implement. In fact, 95% of information technology and engineering leaders said their organizations prioritize workflow automation, and 71% of service decision-makers said they’re accelerating automation initiatives.
Automation delivers the right content, through the right channel, at the right time, which ultimately means a better customer experience. Plus, media and entertainment companies can use automation to encourage customer self-service, which makes support interactions better and more consistent. However, there is a lot of room for growth, with only 35% of the media companies we surveyed testing strategies for using automation to encourage customer self-service. More surprisingly, only 27% have fully implemented automation.
4. Building better brand reputations
Without automation, customer data gathering can be challenging, making it tough to understand what customers need – resulting in a bad customer service experience. When that happens, customers tell their friends about it. With automation, media customer support and sales teams gain instant access to data, which makes it easier to understand customer issues and prevent those negative experiences from happening in the first place. Support and sales teams now have access to automated customer data that can analyze customer needs and resolve issues quicker, which helps media companies keep their customers happy.
Focus on customer retention and engagement
For media and entertainment companies, automation increases personalization, reduces costs, makes your customer service better, and leads to customers’ affinity. With so much pressure on the industry to deliver growth, it’s more important than ever to focus on customer retention and growing engagement. Why? Because retaining existing customers is cheaper than going out and finding new ones. And, it’s key to both keeping subscription revenue stable and bringing in new ad revenue.
Helping content providers understand and support their existing customer base gives them a faster route to new growth opportunities. How? You guessed it, with automation.