In one of my previous post titled Social Media: The New Front End of CRM System, I highlighted that Social Media has empowered customers like never before as they can discuss about brands/products on Social Media channels and companies have no control over what customers are saying about their brand. Moreover, as this discussion is “public” – visible to all, including other customers, potential customers and competitors, it is critical that companies engage their customers on social media, else their competitors will and damage to the brand will be immense.
Well, we have a great case study on this subject. Netflix, Inc., the provider of online video streaming and DVD by mail service seems to have misjudged the negative impact of price increase and other service changes they announced “unilaterally” this summer and as a result dissatisfied customers have leveraged social media tools to express their disapproval (for more, read this).
But instead of fighting fire with fire and using Social Media channels to engage customers for building trust and loyalty, Netflix has maintained a low profile on Social Media channels. Guess what? Blockbuster, a competitor of Netflix has seized the initiative by engaging Netflix’s customers using Social Media channels. Blockbuster not only offered a “30 day free trial geared at Netflix customer” on Twitter but also “started a new Twitter contest promising a free year of service for the four best Netflix breakup stories” (for more, read this).
Key takeaway from Netflix’s CRM crisis is that it pays to engage customers on Social Media channels because if you don’t, your competitor will. In that case, you will not only be sorry about not engaging your customers but as a double whammy, will also be sorry about your competitor leveraging the opportunity and walking away with your customers.
Life for companies that don’t care about their customers is tough indeed in Social Age. Don’t you think so?