Personalization is the name of the game for subscription-based content services these days, according to industry experts. More and more, subscribers are responding better to content that fits their personal tastes, especially those that expand it even further through related suggestions and even relevant advertising. In short, they do not mind being on the receiving end of marketing ploys as long as it is not too much of a hard sell.
It is no longer enough for businesses to simply take demographic data at face value. The information needs to be juxtaposed against actual consumer behavior. Most importantly, the challenge is to translate these insights in innovative ways into actual, engaging customer experiences.
Here are some tips for creating a more effective, personalized customer experience for subscription services:
Break down categories. The more specific content categories can be broken down, the better. This is because sub-categories can capture more accurately the highly personalized tastes of an individual subscriber. It is no longer enough to categorize music into the traditional pigeonholes of “pop,” “rock,” and such, for instance. Content providers should carefully study and dissect current trends in content and be updated with emerging preferences.
Customer satisfaction definitely increases when customers feel intimately connected with the subscription service they are utilizing. They are more likely to refer friends to make use of the service not necessarily because they share the same interests—on the contrary, good subscription service means it is able to cater to varied and sometimes even highly specialized preferences.
Engage and respond real-time. Online businesses that utilize a subscription billing platform can leverage certain built-in services to gain insight into how their customers interact and utilize their product. The key is to respond in an immediate or almost instantaneous manner, through messages or promo offers with a strong call to action.
For instance, based on preferences or usage behavior, a subscriber can be sent an enticing cost reduction offer or additional relevant content. Trial offers for related content, products, or services may also be enticing. Build-up should be strategic and well-timed. Timing is of the essence, and in as much as the Internet is a dynamic marketplace, opportunities to engage customers should always be taken advantage of.
Seek and value feedback. Given all such efforts, at the end of the day, customer response is also vital to understand or validate effectiveness. Take time to hear what the customer has to say, or seek them out. To enhance customer response to surveys or questionnaires, a cheap but meaningful incentive is worth the marketing cost. The insights to be gained from users is definitely invaluable.
Feedback from customers is similarly dynamic and fluid. Keep in mind that survey results are a mere snapshot of the current business situation—make sure to capture ideas and suggestions often, and integrate them with historical data to gain the bigger picture. Most importantly, learn from mistakes or ineffective efforts. On the other hand, don’t be discouraged to try innovative engagement ideas or revolutionary new content.
It all boils down to the universal, age-old need of people to be unique and individualistic.
The trend toward highly personalized content affirms that the customer is truly king, especially in today’s virtual world. In order to be the best in the lucrative industry of subscription content, businesses need to make sure the customer is served what he or she wants—or, at least make them feel so. It is a buyers’ market, so to speak, and success in subscription services lie in giving what the customer is looking for, no matter how fickle that might be.