What every business could learn from Netflix

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Why does Netflix have a cult following? Well if you read an email I received from them you’d understand.

“Dear Charlie,

As you may know, we had issues with our shipping systems this week. As a result, we didn’t ship DVDs to you in a timely manner, and you likely didn’t receive email letting you know we got a DVD back from you. Our shipping systems are working again, and any outstanding DVD shipments are being mailed today (Friday).

We pride ourselves in delighting you, and we’ve let you down. We apologize, and we will issue a 15% credit to your account in the next few days. You don’t need to do anything. Your credit will automatically be applied to your next billing statement.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-888-638-3549.

-The Netflix Team“

How could I be angry when they did everything right?
1. Netflix told me they had a problem.
2. They gave me a credit to make up for the error–even more than the error was valued.
3. They gave me a real phone number where I could call them if I had questions.

When is the last time you communicated this well with your customer? It’s better to be a friend with your customer than a business partner. Customers may not know they want a relationship with your company–but they’ll be happy when they have one. If you are engaged with your customer they won’t be as likely to leave you for a one-night stand.

That is worth more than any tv ad, billboard or silly marketing campaign you could ever come up with.

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