DIGITAL TV SERVICES MATTER, BUT NEW TNS STUDY REVEALSVALUE AND QUALITY REMAIN KEY TO CUSTOMER RETENTION
National Survey Uncovers How Cable and Satellite Providers Fare on Loyalty
August 18, 2005 – New York – According to a new survey of cable and satellite TVcustomers, quality and value of services are more significant drivers of customerretention than the number of channels and digital features offered. The study, the firstin a series of reports on Franchise Management conducted by TNS Media Research, adivision of TNS, the world’s largest custom market information company, provides aninnovative approach to understanding the drivers behind customer loyalty andretention by analyzing and integrating key drivers of customer retention and churnthrough digital set top box data..TNS Media Research surveyed 2,500 customers of the country’s largest cable andsatellite providers. Consumers rated their provider’s performance a range of areas,including value, service, programming, quality, usability and technology offerings,such as On Demand and bundling of internet and telephony. On average, only 44%percent of cable subscribers are committed to their provider. By contrast, 75 percentof satellite customers were committed to their operator, in part reflecting a moreinvolved acquisition process.Cable providers are trying to upgrade analog subscribers to digital services, and theFranchise Management study indicates that digital cable customers are morecommitted than analog. However, in a competitive marketplace, with satellitecompanies trying to convert cable customers, all providers need to focus on key tenetsof customer service to improve loyalty and retention. For today’s cable and satelliteproviders, since subscriptions represent the bulk of operator revenues, protecting thesubscriber asset base is a business imperative.“Considering the level of at-risk subscribers, cable companies collectively face anestimated $1.2 billion revenue risk if they do not address the areas where they arefalling short of customer expectations,“ said George Shababb, chief operating officerof TNS Media Research. “Simply pushing digital services and new technologies atcustomers isn’t enough to guarantee loyalty. Cable operators need to harness the datafrom set-top boxes and couple it with customer satisfaction data so they are betterpositioned to make the changes needed to maximize revenues and minimize churn.”TNS Media Research plans to conduct this research on a bi-annual basis, whilesimultaneously conducting Franchise Management studies for individual cable andsatellite operators. TNS Media Research plans to analyze the customer retention andloyalty data gleaned from the Franchise Management service with viewing datagathered from the set-top boxes (STB) of cable and satellite customers.
About the Research
TNS Media Research surveyed 2,500 consumers via its interactive access panel inApril and May of 2005. Each operator has a minimum sample size of 250 consumersand data is weighted to operators’ national subscriber base. TNS will be conductingthis research on a bi-annual basis.