BFI Player

How The British Film Institute video-on-demand service delivered blockbuster customer service

The BFI uses The Chat Shop’s Conversational Support solution providing real-time customer support at scale on their new video-on-demand service.

The client


Customer satisfaction in chat


In-chat resolution rate


Average response time

The BFI Success Story

The leading body for film in the UK, The British Film Institute, was established in 1933 as a charitable organisation to promote and preserve filmmaking and television talent in the United Kingdom. 

In 2013, this iconic institution launched its video-on-demand service. The BFI Player catered to the change in audience behaviour which shifted to embrace and expect digital platforms. The new service allowed the brand to establish a foundation in delivering the digital future for film lovers to a whole new level. 

The challenge

Successfully launch the BFI player to a new audience.

With any new technology problems can arise - it was vital this was a success for customers and delivered the same high standard of service for clients in the cinema and online.

Launching the BFI player was a pivotal moment in the BFI’s 80-year history - it unlocked the past, present, and future of British film to the widest possible audience across the UK. The platform offered a mix of free and pay-per-view content, all in high-definition quality -  with all film media having been carefully chosen and contextualised by the experts at the BFI. 

Given the time and effort in developing such an extensive catalogue of content, the service delivery needed to meet the same standards. 

BFI Player users needed real-time quality support for any technical and payment issues they faced, alongside information on film availability. This support was required to be streamlined and delivered at scale to manage the demand for its services. Not only did the quality of service provided have to be top-notch, but it also had to be available at times when users were using the BFI Player, such as out of work and school hours and late in the evening.

"The Chat Shop provides the BFI Player with a great, live customer support service. Their agents offer friendly and knowledgeable assistance to our customers. They have an excellent understanding of our service and requirements." Tom Boswell, Service Delivery Coordinator at the British Film Institute

Our solution

Tailored Conversational Support catered to meet the needs of the modern UK film audience.

Due to an increase in the number of on-demand online services, consumer expectations regarding quality of service and support are high - and this should all be just a click away. If the BFI player was to be a success, it had to meet this expectation. 

The Chat Shops Conversational Support solution catered to this by providing efficient, effective, and empathetic real-time support - to resolve, retain and delight customers 24/7 at scale. And with the experience of managing more than three million online conversations with Native English conversation agents - it was the perfect partnership

When we build a customer service and technical support model, we start from the ground up - with the customer journey at the heart of its development. As the BFI Player was a brand new offering, we needed to build a model for engagement that included FAQs and mapped out the user journey - identifying conversations that could occur along the way.

From the very beginning of the implementation, The Chat Shop were able to apply Conversational Support best practices to The BFIs’ customer service strategy, including: 

  1. Creating a bespoke Knowledge Bases portfolio to educate our team on handling complex technical and support queries for the BFI player. 
  2. In-house training and testing methodologies to ensure that chat experts could engage meaningfully with BFI Player’s customers on over 100 FAQs, troubleshooting, connection problems, and payment and refund issues - all while delivering exceptional customer experience

The Chat Shop provides the BFI Player with a great, live customer support service. Their agents offer friendly and knowledgeable assistance to our customers. They have an excellent understanding of our service and requirements.

Tom Boswell
Service Delivery Coordinator at the British Film Institute

The results

Conversational Support - a customer-centric support solution for delivery on the “small screen”

A successful launch of the BFI player to the UK market backed with customer service that delivered an exceptional customer experience from the start. The partnership with The Chat Shop was vital in helping them provide real-time customer support through instant, human, conversation-based interactions that assisted throughout the user journey. And the figures speak for themselves, delivering:

  1. A 97% in CSAT scores - their digital platform was supercharged by our industry award-winning support experts. 
  2. An 87% in-chat resolution rate with an average chat response time of just 26 seconds.

In addition to delivering strong KPIS from a customer service perspective, the solution also shaped user experience development, with insights directly from the customer around their user experience and identifying areas of improvement. 

Delivering such strong results across chat support, The Chat Shop acquired more support channels such as email helpdesk management. This total customer service operation meant The BFI could deliver a consistent customer experience across multiple touch-point channels.

In 2020, like many other live events around the world - in person events were put on hold with a shift to digital. With that, for the first time in its history the BFI Digital London Film Festival format was to be delivered online. Adapting to the extraordinary challenges of the year, the Festival delivered up to 50 Virtual Festival Premieres in a programme that offered audiences the opportunity to see the best new cinema from around the world. And the Chat Shop agents were on hand in supporting the delivery of the event to make it a huge success.

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