Netflix’s customer experience transformation: revolutionising the world of online entertainment
Although founded less than 20 years ago, the online streaming service Netflix is now the only entertainment brand in the UK top 20. With a subscriber base in excess of 65 million, the company’s success in television and film is on a par with its customer experience transformation, with Netflix having climbed an outstanding 156 places since 2013. As a result, it is arguably one of the most transformed brands in the whole of the UK Customer Experience Excellence rankings.
The brand faced some challenges a few years ago when it made increases to its overall price plan. However, Netflix was quick to respond to customer feedback and turned the situation around within a short timeframe, creating a foundation for Integrity that the brand has been able to build on. This is one of the reasons why the company now stands as a digital leader in customer experience, not least in the pillar of Integrity, where Netflix scores a very impressive 6.91.
For Todd Yellin, Netflix’s Vice President of Product Innovation, the key to the brand’s exceptional customer experience transformation is attention to detail. “We own the Netflix customer experience from the moment they sign up, for the whole time they are with us, across TV, phone and laptop,” he states. “We climb under the hood and get all greasy with algorithms, numbers and vast amounts of data. Getting to know a user, millions of them, and what they play. If they play one title, what did they play after, before, what did they abandon after five minutes?”
This level of knowledge helps to make the Netflix experience a much more personal one, and it’s an endeavour that has paid off for the brand; the company’s score in the pillar of Personalisation is an excellent 8.07, as opposed to 7.19 in 2013. As Yellin points out, the brand’s algorithms and collected data mean that Netflix can organically adapt itself to the individual, so that it is not trying to force content down users’ throats, but is actually suggesting movies and programmes that will appeal to them, and enrich their time in front of the screen. As one customer in the 2015 UK Customer Experience Excellence analysis stated: “Netflix has managed to personalise my movie selection even further with the option to create multiple viewer profiles. My overall experience with Netflix is very good.”
Such technological innovations make Netflix an easy application to navigate, as users are less likely to invest time searching for specific content. There is a good chance that the brand will have already found it for them, and will have presented the customer with the necessary links so that they can begin watching instantly. This would certainly explain why the company has performed so well in the pillar of Time and Effort, achieving its highest score of 8.29.
In addition, the level of support offered by the brand is strong. “When joining up we had a problem,” one customer admits. “It didn’t recognise our password on the first attempt. After numerous attempts failed, we rang up the helpline. Considering it was a Sunday night, the phone was answered swiftly and politely. They soon fixed the problem and apologised.”
Efficiency notwithstanding, at the heart of Netflix’s customer experience transformation is the ongoing desire to innovate. Currently, it is developing a form of artificial intelligence known as Deep Learning, which will enable Netflix to train its software to provide better recommendations based on the data it feeds into its bespoke neural networks. These networks imitate the workings of the human brain, specifically the way in which people identify patterns, and they could cause a revolution in the world of online entertainment.
If the research is as successful as Netflix is hoping, it could cause a revolution in the world of customer experience management, too.
Download the full 2015 UK Customer Experience Excellence report here.