How Media Brands Can Keep Viewers ‘On Track’ During the Olympics and Beyond

Olympics 2020 rings

Inge De Bleecker, Vice President of CX at Applause reveals three important ways brands can provide seamless and unforgettable customer experiences across all platforms and devices.

The 2020 Olympics are finally here (and a year behind schedule at that!). This and other global sporting events, such as Wimbledon and the recent European Championships have brought into sharp focus the need for media brands to evaluate their digital experiences. Live broadcasters and streaming platforms need to ensure they’re taking full advantage of the increased exposure that the Olympics and other high-profile events provide.

In particular, there are three best practices media brands should look to in order to deliver seamless and enjoyable experiences to captivated viewers across the globe.

1. Consider All Available Viewing Platforms

Streaming options and the plethora of devices that end users have at their disposal have changed the way the world interacts with media. That is not news to media and entertainment brands, but they should 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.

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. That’s because once users have consumed the content they sought, they can drop their subscription and move onto 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.

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, there needs to be an element of customer voice integrated throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Impressions of a media service are formed within seconds, and with so many competing options, once customers have a bad experience, they’re very 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 the brands to remember these keys to delivering an enjoyable and memorable experience to viewers around the globe. The Olympics is every four years, but there’s no reason why these and other learnings can’t be successfully applied to any major sporting event. The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is happening next year and global audiences will be glued to their tablets, HDTVs and smartphones to catch live matches and highlights. It’s another opportunity for the broadcasters and streaming giants to refine their offerings and provide viewers with an unforgettable user experience.

About the Author

Inge De Bleecker is Vice President of CX at Applause.

Inge De Bleecker, Senior Director of User Experience, ApplauseInge 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. Her mantras are “design for everyone” and “test early and often.” As vice president of CX at Applause, Inge leads the practices and studies for CX, accessibility and conversational AI. Prior to joining Applause, Inge held several positions in conversational interfaces, as well as web and mobile design and research. She holds an MA from the University of Texas, Austin.

Inge is a published author. Her book, Remote Usability Testing: Actionable insights in user behavior across geographies and time zones, which she co-authored with Rebecca Okoroji, is listed as one of Book Authority’s best new usability books of 2020. Along with Okoroji, Inge created the USERIndex benchmark — a standardized means of measuring the user experience of a digital interface. As part of the USERIndex, Inge believes that an exceptional user experience is determined by 4 USER factors: usefulness, satisfaction, ease of use and reliability.


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