Netflix announced today that they are going to raise prices by 13 – 18%. This is the company’s largest increase since launching its streaming service 12 years ago. The price increase takes effect immediately for new customers. Existing subscribers will be grandfathered in over the next three months.
Raising prices of course does not come without risk. Higher prices have the potential to turnoff subscribers and potentially even result in mass cancellations. In 2011 Netflix unbundled video streaming from its DVD mail service and added a 60 percent price increase for customers who wanted to keep both plans. The company faced a huge backlash resulting in a loss of 600,000 subscribers.
But this is 2019 and Netflix has a number of its own hit shows and movies it didn’t have eight years ago including ”Stranger Things,” “Ozark” ”Orange Is the New Black,” “Narcos” and of course everyone’s movie-to-meme favorite, “Bird Box.” Plus, Netflix has something else going on: great customer service. Some of the company’s customer service stories, like the Star Trek chat exchange an agent had with a customer, are the stuff of legend. And this is the Ace up Netflix’s sleeve.
In the 2018 Aspect Consumer Experience Index survey, 56% of consumers said they would pay 5-10% more for a product or service if they received exceptional customer service from the company they were doing business with. Plus, a solid two-thirds of consumers reported doing more business with at least one company in 2018 because of good customer service.
Netflix’s price increase comes at a time when Mega Media giants like Disney and WarnerMedia announced plans to launch their own streaming service. Both companies said they will begin pulling their content from Netflix and host on their own services. This makes customer service a central (although certainly not the only) competitive differentiator for Netflix.
A solid reputation of great customer support is a vital foundation when facing competitive threats or when prices need to be raised. Fortunately for Netflix, as they face both simultaneously, they have a solid history of treating their customers right.
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