Every aspect of the media and entertainment (M&E) industry has been impacted by technology, and AI customer service is the next frontier.
Today’s customers expect convenient, personal support on their terms – whenever and wherever they need it. As the relationship between traditional M&E companies and consumers becomes more direct, and emerging companies race to maintain subscribers and grow their base, AI can be leveraged to provide consumers with immediate resolutions to their issues across an increasing number of channels.
To meet scale high-quality, convenient and immediate support, media companies need to adopt AI into the workforce.
Customer service trends in media and entertainment
Perhaps more than any other industry, media and entertainment companies understand the impact of the digital age on consumer behavior. We no longer all tune in Monday night at 8pm to watch a show. We’re now binging on-the-go, on multiple screens. Networks today are racing to offer over-the-top (OTT) offerings like Disney’s highly anticipated streaming channel, Disney+.
Digital has disrupted every facet of the content consumption experience. Rather than downloading songs to iTunes, we’re barking orders at Alexa to play our favorite songs. Instead of picking up the paper at the end of our driveway, we get real-time breaking news alerts on our smart watches. Traditional publishers now even have dedicated teams to disseminate stories on Snapchat and other digital-first channels 1.
This digital era has also drastically changed the customers’ expectations for support when they encounter a problem or have a question. Customer service increasingly dictates where people spend money, maintain subscriptions and foster brand loyalty. The expectations for customer service are higher than ever before:
- 59% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service than they did just one year ago 2
- Customers expect to receive service through any channel and on any device: 59% of people having used multiple channels to get questions answered 2
- 66% of US online adults say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience 3
AI in Entertainment: Use Cases
In M&E, everything is on-demand. Your audience now expects support, anytime and anywhere.
AI can help reduce costs by deflecting support tickets for simple queries. This enables human customer service agents to focus on high-touch, complex needs. An AI-powered virtual agent can resolve a range of issues in less than one second, delighting customers with the personal and immediate support they crave, driving loyalty and reducing churn. Here are a few examples of the types of customer service needs that can be delegated to AI:
- Free Trials: Free trials are a great way to lure new customers, especially for streaming companies like Hulu, Netflix and Spotify. With nearly 1/3 of free trial subscribers converting to paying customers 4, they are critical for growing an audience. An AI Agent can reassure someone wondering things like “I thought this was a free trial. Why do I have to add a card?” at the exact moment they can be persuaded to move forward.
- Signing up: As soon as a person is interested in a service, companies can’t afford to frustrate them when questions or issues arise during the on-boarding process. Help a viewer understand the differences between various plans and options. Or how your service compares to a competitive service. An AI Agent can reply immediately when the brand is top-of-mind and has the person’s undivided attention.
- Canceling or suspending a subscription: When a customer has requested to cancel a subscription, an AI Agent can pull in compelling offers from back-end systems to tempt her to stick around. This can be highly targeted based on customer traits (i.e. how long a person has been a customer). This will ensure high-value customers are provided with the most compelling offers. If a person wants to suspend service due to extended travel, AI can be the first line of defense. AI can gather key information like the pause and restart date before elevating to a human agent. A virtual agent can even be given the authority to update the system autonomously on the back-end.
- Content availability: If your content systems have an open API, virtual agents can look up in real-time the status and availability of specific titles (i.e. is “A Star is Born” available yet?) or by genre, artist / actor and other parameters (i.e. When is the new Taylor Swift song going to be here?). AI Agents can also proactively reach out on a customer’s preferred channel with content recommendations, highly targeted to their tastes, to drive engagement.
- Troubleshooting and Technical Help: When a customer experiences a technical issue, they are more often than not needing help immediately: Whether it’s resetting a Roku, using a VR headset, resetting a password or signing in, fixing your customer’s technical issues in their moment of need is essential to consumer satisfaction (CSAT). An AI Agent can walk a person through the steps to fix their problems without any delay.
- Account Management: A virtual agent can help readers adjust their news alert preferences or change their settings in a music streaming service. Resolving issues like “Please only send alerts once a day” or “How can I add an artist to my favorites” can be facilitated without ever getting in a human agent’s queue.
- Billing information, clarifications and payments: By integrating into billing and accounting systems, an AI Agent can resolve issues related to payment information (Can I update my credit card?) or billing questions (Can I see my last bill please?), and even facilitate monthly payments.
As M&E companies continue to innovate in content delivery, advertising solutions and hardware like VR headsets, customer service cannot be forgotten. Customers expect more from companies than ever before. We don’t want to wait a week before watching the next episode. In the same vein, we people want on-demand, convenient and cross-channel support. Bringing AI into the workforce enables M&E companies to meet these quick-rising demands, increasing customer satisfaction and scaling high-quality customer service across email support systems, messaging, chat and voice.
If you’re a company in M&E and are not using AI in customer support, you’re at risk of losing loyalty and revenue. Don’t fall too far behind. Let’s chat.
- What’s New in Publishing: Reinventing the newspaper for the digital age, March 13th, 2019
- Microsoft: Now available: the 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report, August 30, 2018
- Forrester: 2018 Customer Service Trends: How Operations Become Faster, Cheaper — And Yet, More Human, January 24, 2018
- CNET: On a Netflix free trial? A third of you will likely pay up, April 24, 2017