I am a huge believer in the voice of the customer. When I was at Sling Media, Blake (CEO/cofounder) made it abundantly clear how important each and every Slingbox owner was, and we built both the marketing and customer service departments around that vision. When a user had a complaint, we listened and responded, and when they had a suggestion we took it and considered how to include it. This behavior is generally Not the way a public company reacts. Typically when a big company gets on the soapbox and preach from on high, we as customers have to take it. Our usual means of feedback or commentary was through our checkbooks.
When Netflix announced they were removing the profiles feature, many users (myself included) spoke, and spoke loudly. We didn’t have to unsubscribe right away, because we had a platform for being heard. Netflix’ blog allows for comments, and everyday people could blog, twitter, post upset messages to their Facebook walls. The question I wondered was: were they listening, or was the decision a foregone conclusion.
I read today that the profiles feature will not disappear the way of Kozmo this Sept 1. I applaud the company for having the confidence to overturn a “final” decision. Some will clearly yell on high about how “social media” made a change, which is neat. The real instrument of change is something as simple as creating a culture that is open to listening. The voices were always there anyway.