Rethinking the Customer Experience
Kent Crosby, Manager of Membership Services, RAB

2020 has caused radio stations to adjust how they do business and rethink how radio services advertisers. During the “Rethinking the Customer Experience” session at Radio Show, the various ways that sales teams in various markets shifted to meet the demands of both advertisers and their customers were discussed.

Sharing the various ways that stations creatively worked with advertisers, moderator Katie Gambill, President/General Manager for Saga Communications, led the dialogue with how a Tennessee cluster, after emerging from the quarantine, offered clients 14-month schedules instead of the standard 12 – which included one month free. Rethinking also required the creation of new service offerings. Creating category-specific webinars, offering creative services, etc., as well as working with the local chamber of commerce, were just come of the ways that Melanie Martin, Senior Account Manager, Cox Media Group Tampa, and her team helped clients.

Sharing a different perspective, Cressy Walton, Director of Sales, Alpha Media/Portland, commented on how their advertisers were struggling to understand the shifts in their customer experience “and how they needed to adapt to the new world.” They offered various webinars that would help their advertisers learn and understand the shifts – not just in purchase behavior – but also in radio consumption.

As an important revenue sector for radio and brand exposure for advertisers, the need to recreate new ways to engage with listeners and customers was crucial. Developing sponsorship opportunities in various categories like home improvement was used in each market, along with virtual concerts and remotes and even Zoom Happy Hours.

But it is not always just about ideas, it’s also about knowledge and education for sellers. Walton noted that the “first thing they asked everyone was to be empathetic and understand that everyone was undergoing major changes.” It was also an opportunity for their sellers to “get trained up” on what’s new in the digital world.

During the pandemic, there are sharp increases in businesses across various categories – home improvement, flooring, furniture, landscaping, financial services, insurance and real estate. Noting one of radio’s largest categories, Martin mentioned the struggles that auto dealers are experiencing in services and is now seeing a large push in dealer auto service advertising.

While rethinking how to service advertisers, one common point among the panelist was the importance of cold calling and prospecting - that will never go away!

Missed the session? – It is now available for on-demand viewing. You can still register here. If you are already registered, watch the session here.