What does stick can prove profitable, while other attempts can fall on deaf ears. Anyone remember the new Coke?
For business owners, effectively communicating with your customers and potential customers can mean the difference between turning a profit, breaking even and even going under.
Upset Customers are bad for Business
As many of you know, Netflix alerted subscribers a few months back that it was going to employ separate prices for its DVDs-by-mail and streaming video plans.
The end result would be a significant price increase for its customers, with the least expensive bill for customers who sought both services going from $10 to $16 a month. While $6 a month doesnât sound like much, that is $72 a year that could go for other indulgences.
With the price increase kicking in this month, many Netflix subscribers indicated they would be turning elsewhere for their DVD and streaming video needs. Upset customers bombarded the Netflix site with countless comments, along with a barrage of tweets via the hashtag #DearNetflix.
According to the most recent data, it appears a significant number of those subscribers are holding true to their word.
Netflix recently trimmed its subscriber forecast for the present quarter, reporting it now expects to conclude the period with 24 million customers, some one million less than it had forecast just a few weeks back. When Netflix ended its second quarter at the end of June, it reported having 25.6 million global subscribers.
So, how did Netflix respond to this issue in hopes of righting the ship?
In yet another public relations nightmare, the company said it was separating its DVD mail rental and video streaming services, renaming the new DVD service Qwikster (the streaming service will remain under the Netflix name). Individuals who choose to both rent and stream videos will be required to log in to a pair of different sites and get two different credit card charges.
Research Ahead of Time Potential Fallout Issues
Not only have many subscribers expressed their dismay with the price increase, but they also were probably left scratching their heads as to the new name for the service.
As it turns out, Netflix apparently did not do enough research on the name Qwikster ahead of time, or officials would have known that the Qwikster name on social media venue Twitter is currently held by a male whose avatar is that of Elmo displaying a joint. Oops!
So not only now do you have a company upsetting many of its subscribers by hiking the costs for its popular service, but now you leave them confused with the name change, not even apparently taking the time to check and see who might hold that label on one of the most popular social media sites. Again, oops!
Due to the companyâs recent gaffes, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings issued a statement to customers upset with the price increase for the service in recent weeks. “I messed up,” he remarked on the company blog and in an e-mail to subscribers. “I owe everyone an explanation.”
Running a successful business takes time and effort, but above all, the ability to always be one step ahead of the game.
In this instance, it appears Netflix and the changes it enacted, are getting tuned out by a large percentage of customers.
Photo credit: benzinga.com
Dave Thomas writes extensively for business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses. Among the topics he writes about is business cash advance.