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The extended duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry in different ways. For some digital-native companies, lockdowns, and other inconveniences were slightly challenging but manageable. For businesses in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, however, the pandemic was a disruptive wake-up call, one that demanded a complete reassessment of how business was conducted, how products were delivered, and where and how customers were supported. As part of Frost & Sullivan’s ongoing research, we dug deeper to understand the full impact of the disruption that happened in the M&E space. A pair of interlocking themes emerged.

Massive Shift to Digital Consumption

The first theme is a significant shift to digital consumption. Facing limited access to live venues and ongoing customer concerns about attending in-person events, the Media and Entertainment market has repositioned its content to allow customers to stream at home or from anywhere. As social distancing restrictions dragged on in many regions, the flexibility of digital consumption made it a preferred choice for many customers.

Frost & Sullivan finds that, even as the world reopens, many customers will continue to weigh their individual comfort levels and willingness to attend in-person events versus the relative flexibility and convenience of consuming digital content. As a result, the M&E market’s embrace of digital consumption will not only be maintained, but it will be enhanced to support hybrid consumption.

Uplifted Customer Experiences

 The second theme emerged in response to both the pandemic and the shift to digital and hybrid consumption. On one hand, Media and Entertainment companies need to uplift their customer experience (CX) models to incorporate digital channels, including chatbots, short message services (SMS), and social media messaging expected by customers today, alongside more traditional channels such as phone and email support. In addition, many tech-savvy customers prefer to resolve issues themselves, which makes self-service options a must-have on digital platforms.

On the other hand, teams of Media and Entertainment support agents have radically shifted from formal contact center facilities to work-from-home arrangements. This shift not only requires M&E organizations to equip their agents with the right solutions, but also to give supervisors a new set of tools to train, monitor, manage, and support agents remotely. Underlying all of this is the need to protect customers’ personal information, the company’s intellectual property, and the agents’ privacy, all while ensuring compliance with regional regulations. Essentially, the M&E industry had to simultaneously expand the scope of its customer support, adopt a work-from-home culture, and develop best practices to ensure agent success in a secure and compliant way.

Strategies for Success

What is the best way forward for companies in the Media and Entertainment industry and their technology partners that support them? Frost & Sullivan observes several actions M&E companies have taken that lend directly to success in this time of transition:

  • Create experiences that empower agents working from anywhere to be most effective while also ensuring compliance and security.
  • Equipping remote agents for consistent productivity in multimodal customer experience management environments is crucial.
  • Pivoting to hybrid CX solutions that layer and integrate cloud-based digital capabilities on top of legacy platforms has allowed M&E leaders to respond quickly to support digital consumption while preserving existing investments.
  • Effectively managing and monitoring across channels and agents has enabled leading M&E companies to gain better insights, track agent and customer sentiment, and make data-driven decisions.

A recent Frost & Sullivan white paper specifically addresses the media and entertainment industry’s unique challenges, offers recommendations on what to look for in a CX uplift partner, and outlines six best practices to ensure remote agents are successful in their at-home and remote customer support roles.

About Michael Brandenburg

Michael Brandenburg is an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan, covering infrastructure and unified communications and collaboration as part of the information and communications technologies group. Prior to Frost & Sullivan, Michael covered the enterprise networking space in editorial roles at TechTarget and Network Computing, and as an enterprise networking analyst for the competitive analysis firm Current Analysis. Michael's early technology background includes over 15 years of technology experience, serving in developer, system administrator and IT management roles.

Michael Brandenburg

Michael Brandenburg is an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan, covering infrastructure and unified communications and collaboration as part of the information and communications technologies group. Prior to Frost & Sullivan, Michael covered the enterprise networking space in editorial roles at TechTarget and Network Computing, and as an enterprise networking analyst for the competitive analysis firm Current Analysis. Michael's early technology background includes over 15 years of technology experience, serving in developer, system administrator and IT management roles.

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