I got involved in the heated debate last week over Netflix’s shipping problems in which they were not able to ship DVDs to customers for three days. As a Netflix customer, I was not necessarily upset over the fact that my DVD shipments would be delayed. What I did take issue with was the fact that Netflix offered a measly 15% credit to customer’s accounts, pointing out that the amount of the credit was more of an insult than an appeasement of customer’s frustrations. However, neither of these is the reason for this post.
When commenting on Netflix’s blog regarding the 15% credit they were to provide to their customers, I basically scolded them for using Blogger as their blogging platform. Sorry, but I can’t understand why a company such as Netflix, a leader in mail order DVD rentals as well as a business who has no brick and mortar locations but is an “online” business, would use a free service provided by Google to run a most important function to their customers.
One commenter who remained anonymous disagreed and made the following statement:
What’s wrong with using Blogger for a blog? Why should you waste valuable
time and money on a system that has nothing to do with your service offering?
That would just be stupid.
Obviously this person is ignorant of blogging platforms such as WordPress, which is completely free and even Movable Type which offers a free version of their blogging platform. Even if Netflix were to hire a professional designer to customize a free version of WordPress so it was themed after their main site, we’re talking about an expense of a few thousands dollars. That is a minimal cost for Netflix to have a blogging platform that they control as opposed to depending on Google to continue to provide the service.
The commenter’s next error is assuming that a blog has nothing to do with Netflix’s main service. Oh contraire – a blog is very important for a company like Netflix. Not only does an active blog allow them to communicate with their customer base, it allows those same customers to interact with the company.
To prove my point, in the week that Netflix’s shipping system went down, they posted six entries. The first announced the shipping delay, followed by a series of updates and finally a post announcing not only that the the problem had been resolved but that they would be issuing customers whose DVDs were delayed a 15% credit. Those six entries generated over a thousand comments as of the writing of this post. This is company to consumer interaction in its purest form – Netflix communicating with customers and customer responding, whether they have praises, complaints or something else to say.
So, we can easily see that a blog is very important to Netflix’s regular service offering and I applaud them for having one. I am disappointed that they do not have their own blogging platform but that they rather rely on the free blogging service provided by Google. Maybe they will change that in the near future? I don’t know – it’s hard to say. I do know this – if the Blogger service ever goes down or if Google decides one day to stop supporting it, Netflix will regret not having better control over such a vital system of customer satisfaction.