The Wired blog reports on a new customer satisfaction study from market researcher [praized subtype=”small” pid=”e70e73bc173c08791d52fb78fc51947def” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] explaining that Cablecos could soon see customer exodus if they don’t improve their customer service.
“Cable subscribers are generally less satisfied, which creates opportunities for satellite and telco/IPTV providers to grab customers,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates, in a prepared statement. “Although cable operators have improved service efforts, cable operators will still hemorrhage subscribers unless they are perceived as offering leading-edge features at equal or better value. In today’s economic climate, carriers cannot afford to ignore these findings.”
What it means: I suspect the biggest threat to cable companies in the long run is not bad customer service. It’s content atomization. Initiatives like Hulu.com, internet broadcasting on TV networks web sites (I can watch full episodes of popular US series on CTV.ca) and BitTorrent allow anyone to watch their favorite TV shows anytime anywhere. Compare this to cable packages, where you need to buy a minimum number of channels, some of which you never watch. TV viewers will soon clamor for personalization and customization and will want to pay only for channels “consumed”. Expect TV sets to come with Wi-Fi chips allowing you to connect your TV to your wireless router.