The 2020 Olympics are fast approaching (albeit a year behind schedule), which means media brands should evaluate their digital experiences to ensure they are taking full advantage of the increased exposure the Olympics provides.
Media brands should consider three best practices in particular to help deliver seamless and enjoyable experiences to captivated viewers across the globe.
1. Consider Every Available Viewing Platform
The amount of streaming options and devices end users have at their disposal has changed the way the world interacts with media. While this isn’t news to media and entertainment brands, they should still take action to account for it.
Mobile device fragmentation can be a problem for software developers who must create different versions of an app to make sure it works correctly with different versions of a given operating system. This is critical for media providers. In a hyper-competitive market where competing websites and apps are just a click or finger tap away, if content doesn’t appear clearly and seamlessly across each one of a customer’s devices, they will find another provider’s content that will.
Delivering consistency in this ever-changing environment is more critical and complex than ever. And testing on all these different devices, operating systems and platform permutations can seem harrowing, if not downright impossible. To account for all available platforms, media brands should look outside the walls of traditional QA labs to a real-world testing approach where they can gauge how actual users in target locations interact with their content across different devices and operating systems.
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2. Retain Customers With Recommended Content
Content is still king when it comes to media. Consumers consistently seek out media services that offer broad ranges of shows, movies and exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. The trick for media brands, especially those with streaming options, is retaining customers over the long-term. Because once users have consumed the content they sought, they can drop their subscription and move on to the next service that offers content that catches their eye.
One key way media brands can retain customers is with targeted content and recommendations that match the users’ preferences based on their past viewing history. Machine learning algorithms can help to optimize and recommend movies and shows to consumers to keep them engaged and interacting with new content that matches their interests.
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3. Leverage Customer Feedback Early and Often
Even if media brands take into account all available viewing platforms and give viewers personalized recommendations about what to watch next, they can still fail to keep viewers coming back to their service.
With new technology constantly being introduced and customer expectations rapidly changing, it can be a challenge to keep up and ensure expectations are being met. That’s why the final reminder of asking for — and acting upon — customer feedback is the most important step for media and entertainment brands.
Any contact a prospect or existing customer has with a media brand — from free trials and subscriptions to renewals and cancellations — must be easy and intuitive. To do this and deliver an offering that hits the mark, the customer voice needs to be integrated throughout the entire software development lifecycle.
Impressions of a media service are formed within seconds. With so many competing options, once customers have a bad experience, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. An Agile approach that constantly pulses emerging trends and customer sentiment is key to keep from launching a product or service that, at its start, misses the ever-skyrocketing expectation mark of today’s viewers.
With all the attention that will inevitably be on media brands during the Olympics, it’s important for media brands to remember these three keys to providing an enjoyable and memorable experience to viewers around the globe — whether they are streaming on their tablet, watching via their cable service on their TV or viewing the highlights after the fact on their smartphone.
Inge has been designing and testing web, mobile, voice and multi-channel experiences for more than 20 years. She builds and leads UX teams and evangelizes customer experience principles throughout organizations.