Yes, they screwed up by announcing they would take away the Profiles feature. But then, when it became clear that customers were upset with the announcement — and by upset, I mean ready to cancel their accounts — Netflix retracted their decision, and sent one of the best apology emails I’ve seen.

keeping Netflix Profiles.png

We Are Keeping Netflix Profiles

Dear Kate,

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix

Short and sweet, and to the point. “You spoke, and we listened.” That’s the essence of managing customer experience, even when it happens a little after it could have. Well done, Netflix.

Customer experience done right (yes, even though it’s late)

3 thoughts on “Customer experience done right (yes, even though it’s late)

  • July 15, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    two posts about how they (1) screwed up the communications of the decision to remove it and then (2) why they should not have put it back…

    Bad decisions, lovely Kate…

  • July 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    two posts about how they (1) screwed up the communications of the decision to remove it and then (2) why they should not have put it back…

    Joel, I’m a long-time admirer of your work, as I think you know, but you lost me here. I see where you posted about this on your blog, and I really don’t understand this:

    It has essentially told its customer base that (no matter how “small a minority”) if it is vocal enough about something, Netflix will capitulate.

    Why wouldn’t a company “capitulate” to what its customers say they want? A company is not the same as a parent, and customers are not disobedient children. I’m pretty surprised at this reaction from you, honestly. I feel I must be misunderstanding something in how you see it. It’s incredibly trite to say it this way, but true nonetheless: without its customers, Netflix wouldn’t be in business — nor would anyone else.

    So where I think Netflix erred was in not having taken the pulse of the customer base in regards to the profiles feature prior to announcing its removal. Where they did right was in acknowledging the customer desire to keep the feature.

    How is it that we see it so differently?

  • July 16, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    always interesting that two people can see the same thing differing ways [and thanks for the kind words… let’s see if you retain them 🙂 ]

    busted myth #1- the customer is always right.

    absolutely not true… most are, but it is not universally true which is what make statement like those nice but dangerous… it makes people think that they, as customers, should have ultimate power in a company’s decison… the fact is they do- they can leave. but it manifests itself as “because you don’t do what i want and i am a customer you are worng as the company”…

    you write “Why wouldn’t a company “capitulate” to what its customers say they want?… let’s talk about this…

    netflix has 8M+ customers… if i, as one customer, want thehm to carry, say, porn… should they? it’s what i want (for this example) and under your rule they should: I am the customer therefore their job is to meet my wants… after all, i pay them, damnit?

    you’re response will be “joel, you’re only one guy so no, they should not”. i agree… but what if it was 100? is that big enough? If NO, then you’re rule of “Why wouldn’t a company “capitulate” to what its customers say they want?” is already proven wrong by your own words… If YES, 100 is big enough… how many ideas do you think receive 100 or more votes (as measure by customer requests?). A LOT, LET ME TELL YOU. Is it in the Flix’s best interest to do them all? they’d need 4 dozen more product managers, entirely new distribution systems (some people want NF stores), etc etc etc… how would you prioritize? all ideas over 100 votes are equal or some other reasonable demand view of the ideas? i think the latter…

    i’ll stop there and let you respond (and let me rest my fingers).



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