Newspapers remain a trusted source of news, especially among those hungry for informative articles and thoughtful op-eds. Readers are also ravenous for balanced opinions backed by research, timely news about politics, culture and events that matter to them.
But how does one attract and convert them into paying subscribers. To accomplish this goal, newspapers turn call center technology and contact center solutions. These tools allow newspapers to build subscriptions in a couple of ways.
Easy startup processes and retention efforts build newspaper subscriptions. But these two items require excellent customer service for superior subscription rates and satisfaction scores. To build that level of excellence, try providing an intuitive interactive voice response (IVR) system with a logical call flow. Try to pick the most frequent call types and build a tree that connects callers with the best-fitting agents. A speedy self-help IVR will free up time for staff to handle more pressing work – that means happier subscribers and a more resilient subscription base.
Inbound call management doesn’t just stop at a pleasing IVR. Modern cloud call center tech can ensure callers talk to the right person as soon as possible. Skills-based routing makes it happen by keeping calls flowing straight to the experts your customers need – every time.
Tip: Options for self-service can save agents and customers time. Minimal options that connect the right agent for the customer will reduce call time, caller aggravation and encourage quick resolutions.
Customers want easy access for everything, from an initial order to receipt. To meet that desire, leading newspapers and subscription services employ multiple communication channels. The telephone alone is not sufficient; social media, online chats, email, text messages (like AgentSMS) and other communication methods must be deployed. When they are, newspapers witness happier, more loyal subscribers and increased subscriptions.
Cloud contact center solutions make inbound and outbound calls simpler. Outbound dialers make short work of approved contact lists of prospective clients. The second prioritizes conversions, similar to a website’s landing page or a customized paywall. The goal is to convert the inbound lead into a paying subscriber, usually through conversations or online chats.
When people subscribe to a newspaper, magazine or box service like HelloFresh, they have one basic expectation: They expect to receive their subscription on the date promised by the vendor. But top vendors exceed the usual experience by employing a cloud contact center solutions’ start verification process. The process offers safeguards against identity theft—it ensures the subscriber is who they say they are and manages personally identifying information. It also provides ways to contact subscribers before the delivery date with things like teasers, how-to’s, cross-promotions and other value-adds.
Even if subscribers love their subscriptions, they prefer a heads-up when they’re about to be charged an automatic renewal fee. The best newspapers guarantee this advance notification occurs, often through call center technology. Most newspapers give notice two to three weeks in advance, allowing subscribers to update their subscription, billing and account information. By doing so, newspapers and other entities reduce churn and heighten satisfaction.
By contacting subscribers 12, 6, or 3 months after cancelling a subscription, newspapers often boost resubscriptions. Modern call center technology makes the reactivation work almost effortless. It allows newspapers to target specific subscriber segments, making it easy to reach out to lapsed subscriptions.
Some subscribers check their accounts frequently; others visit on “special occasions,” such as renewal periods. Cloud contact center solutions make it simple to update account information, either over the phone or through a website portal. In addition, they usually integrate with other records so that the newspaper ends up with a single, detailed and up-to-date profile per subscriber.
While not all cancellations can be thwarted, losses can be mitigated with skilled agents. Try grouping retention calls based on those employees who demonstrate or are best trained to handle them – this is called “skills-based routing.” A great agent for this task can find a way to resolve issue-based cancellations and even find a better fit for those who don’t want the current subscription level. Find that agent. Connect them to the customer. Everybody wins.
Newspapers with call center technology use it to deploy retention strategies and tactics. Tactics range from outbound welcome calls to outbound teasers. They also include subscriber satisfaction surveys and subscriber incentives. Taken together, the strategies and tactics improve processes and services, reduce subscriber churn and boost sales.
Metrics for Everything
While the previous reasons help newspapers build subscriptions, one reason reigns supreme: data. Data about circulation numbers, revenue and satisfaction can be used to improve a publisher’s processes and strategies. For example, the publisher might note subscriptions increase around elections or in response to a new storytelling technique. The publisher uses that knowledge to inform future marketing and sales efforts, leading to a boost in subscriptions, referrals and renewals.
Newspapers and print publications hold a place in the digital age. To secure it, they rely on technologies like contact center solutions. The software gives newspapers a way to stand out, secure subscriber loyalty and increase subscriptions. Those interested in learning more about how call center technology leads to positive ROI ought to read “Implementing TCN to Increase Profit Margins.”