Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in News, Opinion, Social Media | Posted on Sep 20, 2011
Listen to your Customers – A quick look at Netflix, Digg and The Gap
Time and time again we have discussed on this blog how social media is changing the interaction between companies and consumers. Netflix, a company that has just hit a 52-week low of 7.46B after raising its most popular subscription plan by 60%. When Netflix split their company in two making streaming and mailed movies mutually exclusive, there was an incredible backlash on virtually every social media channel. Rather than listening to the complaints of their customers complaints on Social Media, Netflix opted to come up with another solution (that quite frankly doesn’t change anything). They have split the company in two, Netflix will now be a stream-only service and a new company Qwikster will handle the DVD mailings. Netflix has continued to see its stock plummet in direct correlation with the incredible amount of backlash found across both traditional and social media channels.
We’ve Seen this Before
This is not the first time companies and websites have acted in a manner that generates this much bad press. However, some companies were able to react in near real time because they took the gripes of their customers seriously. Remember, social media has changed everything, the customer is in fact #1 again. If your customers are upset with major changes to your company it would behoove you to take them seriously.
Digg.com had this issue nearly a year ago (check out the blog post I wrote last year). They had a site redesign that cost them an incredible number of their regular visitors. In fact, most of these visitors moved on to their competing website Reddit, and presently still visit Reddit today.
The Gap wanted to test their new logo out, and published the new look online. The response to the change was immediate and very negative. Rather than ignoring their customer base a la Digg, The Gap reverted back to their old logo.
Businesses and websites need to pay attention to what their customers are saying. Social media requires real time reactions to what is going on in your industry. Do not be stubborn, your customers made you so listen! In the case of Netflix, it would have been better to appeal to reason, if the cost of the videos are going up then voice this to your customer base. Don’t outright ignore their comments and come up with a new solution that is identical to the original.
What are your thoughts on Netflix splitting the company? How has social media changed how you interact with your customer?