The backlash that Netflix suffered when executives decided to increase prices without giving their customers advance notice, let them know how important customer satisfaction is, even to the nation's largest and most popular businesses. To show that he was not only listening to what his customers had to say but also cares, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings emailed customers with an apology, an explanation and information about future changes.
After apologizing for and explaning the reasoning behind the price increase that new subscribers paid right away and existing subscribers started paying in September, Hastings went on to discuss changes that customers can expect to see in the near future.
Coming soon, DVD customers will start making their rentals through a site called Qwikster.com. Video streaming customers will continue to rent and download videos from Netflix. Hastings went on to explain that the two sites and their services will not be "integrated;" however, customers need not fear that these changes indicate another price increase. They don't. Instead, customers who receive DVDs by mail and stream videos directly to their televisions or computers will see two separate charges on their bank or credit card statements. The total fee of $15.98 for someone who receives one DVD by mail and unlimited video streaming, for example, will remain unchanged.
Qwikster, Hastings says, will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name and members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. For me, the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo.
Another change that will no doubt increase Netflix's customer satisfaction rating with those customers who are also gamers is the addition of video games to Netflix's collection.
Members have been asking for video games for many years, Hastings says, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done.
The backlash that ensued when Netflix increased prices without forewarning customers sent Hastings to his computer, not only to make amends but to avoid engendering another brouhaha regarding the company's plans to launch a company that will be dedicated to serving DVD by mail customers. It appears customer satisfaction still ranks high on Netflix's list of priorities.