We recently sat down with Susan White Frazier, Director of Market Research at Wondrium (formerly known as The Great Courses Plus), a subscription video streaming service with thousands of courses, documentaries, and nonfiction series, to learn how they are monitoring and encouraging positive customer experience within the entire Wondrium ecosystem.
Susan and her colleagues have already embraced several key strategies to deliver extraordinary advancements in brand innovation; helping to keep longtime customers satisfied and expanding the company’s reach to eager new audiences. These tactics, including feedback from Wondrium Circle, their Insight Community, and Touchpoint surveys have helped gather insights on content satisfaction and platform capabilities. While providing immense value, these tactics didn’t quite capture the entire customer journey.
Susan set out to build a CX program focused on all three main areas of customer satisfaction: content, product, and service. Eager to continue evolving the program to drive even more improvements in their customer experience, Susan's strategy has now grown to include insight gathering from the contact center at Wondrium.
A: Over the last few years, we have significantly improved the reliability of our customer feedback data, implemented new tools and programs, and raised the internal profile of market research.
We’ve recruited customers and Wondrium subscribers into Wondrium Circle, our insights community, plus we field surveys with targeted customers via database sample. Further, we run activities with a general population sample to keep our finger on the pulse of what we can offer to bring new people to the brand.
Across these efforts, we have conducted research on a wide range of topics and issues, including new content, series titles, site functionality, site visuals, innovative concepts in the early stages of consideration, evaluation of current content, and much more.
Specific to customer satisfaction, we have a quarterly Touchpoint survey that gauges satisfaction with content on Wondrium. We have also implemented a survey, programmed in Sparq, to measure satisfaction with our platforms. The third leg of this CSAT stool is our new program, in partnership with Alida, focused on our contact center.
Q: Why was it important for you to develop this program for feedback collection? What changed?
A: At Wondrium, we are fortunate to have a loyal customer base and we want to continue offering them the best possible service when they contact us with new orders, questions, concerns, suggestions, or anything else..
In years past, a survey went out to anyone who had made contact within the past quarter. With response rates dwindling and many unable to recall an event perhaps three months earlier, we made the decision to shift our strategy.
Breaking customer satisfaction into the three components I mentioned earlier—content, product/platform, service—allows us to customize an approach for each, as well as to be more timely in reaching out to customers who make the effort to connect with us.
Q: What do you value most about the program?
A: Our new CSAT program for the contact center is still in its nascent phase, but when fully operational, it will allow us to have more immediate feedback on each customer interaction both broadly and down to the level of individual customer service representatives. Our colleagues who manage the contact center will have an ongoing source of data on their service, which they can use to encourage excellent service and to support reps who may need a little help.
The ability to have consistent feedback and adjust on an ongoing basis, as needed, will be very useful to our contact center colleagues. And once everything has been in place for a few months, we’ll have all three legs of our CSAT stool ready to support a full picture of experience with Wondrium.
Q: How do you think about the total customer journey across Wondrium's touchpoints?
A: We are very focused on providing an engaging, mind-blowing nonfiction experience from the beginning throughout the customer journey. From the moment someone sees an ad for Wondrium, sees one of our posts on social media, or receives their first catalog for our line of DVDs, The Great Courses, we want to put our best selves forward. That’s why our market research addresses marketing, brand, content, product, and service, broadly speaking.
Q: What do you forecast for engagement as we emerge from the pandemic back to normal activities? Are you getting a consistent pulse from your subscribers on their changing consumption behaviors?
A: In 2020, our streaming service and direct purchase of DVDs and digital downloads saw a huge boost, with people having more time at home and looking for ways to fill that time. With life, we hope, gradually returning to some sort of normal, we’re keeping a close eye on engagement and overall use of our content. We’re always measuring not only satisfaction, but what it takes to keep customers engaged in terms of content, format, etc.
Q: What advice would you share for folks looking to get started on a program but feeling a bit overwhelmed or needing to gain leadership support?
A: It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look at the full range of what could be beneficial to a business! I’m no stranger to overwhelm, to be sure. One thing I do on a regular basis is:
- Write down (literally, a piece of paper and a pen) all of the research questions, big and small, that have come across my desk recently.
- Group them into topics or even projects, things that can go together.
- Prioritize them by impact, urgency, workload, and other details specific to a project.
When I arrived at Wondrium, another thing I did to help parse out all that I wanted to do was to create a first-12-months road map. I grouped all of the questions I’d heard into buckets. For example, some of these might be:
- Who is our customer, beyond demographics?
- What should our content look, sound, and feel like to reach our target customers?
- How well do our platforms attract, engage, and retain customers?
Then I pulled together large initiatives that would address the key question buckets. Finally, I created lists of individual projects to focus on specific questions and topic, interest, or concern areas.
This is obviously a very high-level description of an in-depth process, but with all of these pieces in-hand, I was in a great position to ask for (and get) stakeholder support. It helped that I had gone through the process on my own, starting with that paper and pen, so that when I met with our executive leadership, my approach was buttoned-up. That provided us a solid basis for the conversation about priorities and budgets.
Q: Last one: What's the next project?
A: Oh, wow. So many things coming down the road! We’re very excited to continue implementing the results of our audience segmentation study, including within Wondrium Circle. Just yesterday, I had a new project conversation about assessing some elements of our short-form content. And we’ve also been working with our Content Development and Brand Marketing teams on a wide range of issues – good things coming, but I can’t really tell you about them yet.
Thank you for your time Susan!
With a robust CX program that hits all the main customer journey touchpoints, Susan and the team at Wondrium have developed a CX machine that can inform strategy across all three customer satisfaction pillars. Instead of waiting months to send a standard survey to close the loop on contact center feedback, Wondrium can now react in real time and allow their service teams to be proactive therefore fostering a better customer experience. Wondrium can now provide timely internal service feedback and use their insights to exceed customer service expectations.
Want to hear more from Susan? Check out this on-demand webinar with Wondrium to learn how consumers shape brand experience and tips to get it right.