June 9, 2022

What’s the secret of streaming success? A focus on customer experience

From the largest Pay TV operator to the smallest niche OTT service, 24i’s streaming customers are all facing unprecedented competition. Our job is to help them deliver a customer experience that sets them apart from the rest. In our latest Spotlight blog post, CEO Dr Neale Foster talks to Bryan Neilon, 24i’s Head of Client Services in the United States, about our focus on customer success.

In 2022, there are more streaming services than ever before. Streaming analysis website Flixed made an attempt at creating an exhaustive list. While it certainly makes for exhausting scrolling, their estimate of “more than 200” is surely just the tip of the iceberg as it only  includes services operating in a limited range of countries. 

With a market this large, it’s no surprise that there’s also been a sharp rise in the number of companies set up to help streamers get their content out into the world. So what helps a company like 24i stand out from the crowd? I’d argue it’s the same thing that ensures OTT and Pay TV services thrive: a focus on customer experience. 

An advocate for our customers’ success

“Our customer success methodology is simple,” says 24i’s Head of Client Services in the United States, Bryan Neilon. “My job is to advocate for 24i’s customers and make sure I have a constant watch on what’s needed for their long-term success, because their success is essential to our success - in the end we all rely on each other to thrive.” 

Our customer success methodology is simple”

What does that look like on a daily basis? “I work with a range of 24i customers including Pure Flix, Newsmax, Broadway HD, CWC Flow Sports, CHL and the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM),” Bryan explains. “I act as a kind of bridge between the very operational activities and the much more managerial level considerations. So, one day I’ll be talking to a client’s content management team about adjusting video codecs to optimize transcoding. The next day, I’ll be on a call with their executives discussing their priorities for the upcoming year and what that is likely for their streaming customer experience.” 

Pivoting from streaming start-up to streaming at scale

Bryan is based in New York and joined 24i in November 2021 at a crucial time. After more than a decade of growth and several acquisitions, 24i now has almost 300 employees, offices in multiple countries and a roster of international clients. 

“In a start-up it’s common to have several people who are familiar with an individual account - from sales to technical, and they’ll all pitch-in wherever necessary to make it a success,” says Bryan. “But that’s unsustainable as you grow. There comes a point where you need to pivot the business and put more mature processes in place to ensure customer success at scale. 24i has been doing that over the past couple of years. We’ve now got in place a more intentional set of project procedures that ensure customers get the best from our operational team. It’s my job to make sure that the clients I look after are properly resourced and to escalate any issues to the appropriate people.”

It’s an ideal time to get involved for Bryan as he thrives on finding ways to make things run more smoothly. “24i is a very fertile ground for good ideas,” he says. “If you come up with a way to improve a process, it’s easy to find people who want to help make that idea come to fruition. The company’s not so large that it’s bureaucratic, but not so small that it’s under-resourced. It has a good balance that means innovation and progress are easy to come by.”

When the going gets tough

Although he has a strong track record in video streaming customer success, Bryan also has a background in web development. “It’s helpful having a real tech background when you’re working in client services,” he admits, “because if we’re stuck with a really thorny issue that we’re struggling to resolve, I can take my wider knowledge of the customers’ service, roll up my sleeves and delve into the code a bit to help our tech teams figure it out.” 

Bryan recalls one example where 24i’s team went above and beyond to help a client in trouble. “One of our customers was coming up on perhaps their biggest weekend of the year and it was really important for them to have all their systems running optimally for the predicted peak in streaming traffic. There was a recurring issue with a part of their streaming infrastructure which lies outside of 24i’s control, but it was causing the app that we developed for them to crash. 

Although we knew the problem wasn’t ours, we still pulled all our team in to work on it (on a public holiday, in fact) because we knew how important it was to our customer. We identified the problem which meant the other technology supplier could fix it in time. The customer went on to have a record-breaking weekend in terms of new  subscriptions.” That’s what it really means to be focused on customer success! 

If you’d like to join Bryan in the 24i team, check out our latest job vacancies

Want more?