Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Value of Customer Service

Netflix, in the ongoing war against Blockbuster Total Access, is investing heavily in customer service. They've opened a 24-hour call center outside Portland, OR, where representatives greet customers immediately (no for-this-press-one-for-that-press-two!), have wide latitude in what they can provide to appease or retain a customer, and are evaluated not based on low average call time but on how well they succeed in solving the caller's problem at hand.

I'm a happy Netflix member, so they clearly didn't need to do this to retain my business, but I think this might be something that would compel me to switch if I were a Blockbuster member--Blockbuster has a business-hours-only customer-service line with a phone tree, but conducts most of its customer service via email. Not that I don't feel comfortable with email--I'm a blogger, after all--but I like the immediacy of getting a problem sorted out on the phone. And I have to say, I've had very few problems with Netflix, which I consider an entirely worthwhile monthly entertainment expense (especially since I don't have a TV).


Anonymous said...

I have called Netflix's customer service a couple of times over the past year, and it was so efficient and awesome that I actually wrote a letter to them. Their people are friendly and incredibly helpful--everything one would wish customer service could be.

Craig said...

My wife and I just switched from Blockbuster to Netflix.

One major advantage of Blockbuster was the ability to exchange movies in the store whenever we wanted. However, our local store "moved" (actually, it just closed) and the nearest store is five miles away in an area we never travel.

As current customers, it didn't affect us, but I was somewhat irked that they raised the price of the plan for new members.

Netflix also allows online streaming of movies.

I'm glad to hear about their great customer service. Enjoy your DVDs!