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ForeSee Research Shows Customer Satisfaction Increases Loyalty At Entertainment, News Sites

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ANN ARBOR — Ann Arbor-based ForeSee Thursday released a benchmark report on customer satisfaction trends for news and entertainment Web and mobile sites in the first quarter of 2013.

The research also quantifies the value of satisfaction in terms of loyalty and recommendations. The benchmark represents almost 400,000 customer surveys on the Web and mobile experiences provided by some of the major players in these categories.

This benchmark release includes several major categories of news and entertainment websites and mobile experiences. Each category is given an average satisfaction score on a 100-point scale so that organizations within that category can determine if they surpass or fall short of industry averages.

News Web Sites
The ForeSee news benchmark includes Web sites for organizations such as Forbes Media, Bloomberg, the NFL, The Guardian, the Weather Channel, Vanity Fair and many others. Aggregate satisfaction for this category is 66 on ForeSee’s 100-point scale, and individual Web site scores within the benchmark range from a low of 56 to a high of 79.

“For some years, it had been difficult to understand the dynamics of a multi-channel customer: where are they doing their bite-sized reading, deep editorial engagement and, ultimately, making their subscription decisions?” said Bruce Rogers of Forbes Media, a longstanding ForeSee client. “With the transparency we get from working with ForeSee, we have been able to cut to the core of our customer experience and truly understand the psychology of those reading and subscription decisions.”

Since customer behaviors like loyalty and recommendations have a direct effect on a news organization’s future success, ForeSee compared the behaviors of highly satisfied website visitors — those with satisfaction at 80 or higher on ForeSee’s 100-point scale — to the future behaviors of less-satisfied site visitors — those with satisfaction 69 or below.

Based on likelihood scores, highly satisfied visitors to news Web sites report being:
* 43 percent more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the Web site again, which means visit frequency and engagement that translates directly into value for advertisers.
* 137 percent more likely to recommend the Web site to a friend, family member or colleague, which results in more site visits and a premium on ad space.
* 67 percent more likely to use the site as a primary resource (as opposed to other channels like print or broadcast).

Entertainment Web Sites 
The ForeSee entertainment benchmark includes websites for organizations such as ESPN, PBS, the NFL, Conde Nast, StubHub and many others. Aggregate satisfaction for this benchmark is 67. Individual company scores within the entertainment benchmark range from a low of 49 to a high of 84. Highly satisfied visitors to entertainment sites, in general, are 52 percent more likely to return, 124 percent more likely to recommend and 84 percent more likely to use the site as a primary resource than less satisfied visitors.

“We have found that all of our readers have very unique expectations based on where they consume and how they access our content when they’re engaging with us online or on their mobile devices,” said Chris Reynolds, vice president of marketing analytics at Conde Nast, a ForeSee client. “Whether they are subscription-based readers who are consuming premium content or casual browsers who are just looking to explore what we have to offer, through ForeSee, we have been able to make the necessary adjustments to create a satisfactory experience to meet differing needs.”

Advertising-Driven vs. Subscription-Based Sites 
ForeSee researchers broke down the categories further to take a look from the customers’ perspective at both the media and entertainment sites that are advertising-driven versus those that are subscription-based. At an aggregate level, the two segment groups each recorded a customer satisfaction score of 72. The scores for ad-driven sites range from a low of 66 to a high of 84, while scores for subscription sites range from a low of 53 to a high of 80.

Based on the research, highly satisfied visitors to advertising-driven news and entertainment sites, which include Web sites for organizations such as ESPN, Forbes, Businessweek, the NFL, the Weather Channel and many more, report being:
* 38 percent more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the Web site again.
* 88 percent more likely to recommend the Web site to a friend, family member, or colleague.
* 63 percent more likely to use the site as their primary resource.

Highly satisfied visitors to subscription-based news and entertainment Web sites for organizations such as Golf Digest, GameFly, AutoTrader, Forbes and many more report being:

* 66 percent more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the Web site again.
* 100 percent more likely to recommend the Web site.
* 12 percent% more likely to use the site as their primary resource.

News and Entertainment Mobile Sites and Apps
With the growing popularity and capabilities of mobile devices to deliver news and entertainment, ForeSee is the leader in measuring customer satisfaction of the mobile experiences provided by news and entertainment companies (including mobile sites and apps on a variety of phones and tablets).

Mobile sites and apps outperform traditional news and entertainment (both ad-driven and subscription-based) websites with an average satisfaction of 73 on ForeSee’s 100-point scale, with individual scores within the benchmark ranging from a low of 58 to a high of 85.

“With the rapid ascension of mobile over the last few years, measuring the customer experience across mobile devices is quickly becoming a need rather than a want for news and entertainment companies,” said Eric Feinberg, senior director of Mobile, News and Entertainment at ForeSee. “As we can see by the scores, ranging from the high 50s to mid-80s, some companies understand that customers want and expect their mobile experiences to be as seamless and convenient as they are on the desktop and, in turn, are delivering, while others are not.  The challenge now is for those companies that are doing well in mobile to continue to do so. And those scoring low will need to step it up less they want to be passed by.”

ForeSee’s mobile research shows highly satisfied visitors to news and entertainment sites through a mobile device report being:

* 56 percent more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the mobile site or app again, which equates to more frequency and engagement.
* 98 percent more likely to recommend the mobile site or app to a friend, family member or colleague.

A good example of how measuring customer satisfaction with the mobile experience can have strategic and tactical value for companies implementing the ForeSee’s technology can be found in the ABC Case Study highlighted in the March 2013 edition of Customer magazine at www.customerzone360.com and at www.foresee.com.

“Our research consistently demonstrates one point: a company that provides a superior customer experience will have a huge competitive advantage over another,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “It is no different in this benchmark. The news and entertainment industry is remarkably competitive, and, as the low aggregate scores show, many companies can truly benefit from continuous measurement of the customer experiences across both web and mobile touch points. When customer satisfaction is measured precisely, using a reliable and proven methodology, business leaders can accurately look into the future to see what their customers will do next and make changes that will make them more loyal, more likely to recommend and more engaged with the site and its advertisers.”

More at www.foresee.com.

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