Before yesterday, receiving my Netflix would always bring me joy. I have a queue of about 389 movies, so I am often times pleasantly surprised upon their arrival to my mailbox which movie I have received.
Whether it is The Godfather, The Little Mermaid, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, each movie has the ability to transport viewers to another world momentarily. Netflix adds excitement to my days and always keeps me entertained, and prior to yesterday, it did so at a reasonable price point.
Netflix announced a pretty significant price hike yesterday, and customers are not happy. According to Gawker, Netflix’s one DVD per month plus streaming plan will go to $16 from $10, and the two DVDs plus streaming will go to $20 from $15. This represents a 60 and 33 percent price hike.
To be fair, Netflix is lowering the price for mail-only DVD deliveries, but significantly inflating the price for customers who stream. Netflix is one of the top streaming sites on the Internet, and a large majority of its client base both receive movies through the mail and via Internet streaming.
Netflix has over 23 million members in the United States and Canada, and needless to say, this outrageous price hike has not been well received. According to CNN, Netflix’s blog has attracted 6,000 commenters, their Facebook page receiving 28,000 comments, and thousands of complaint-themed tweets filed under the hash tag #DearNetflix.
The rates are not set to change until September 1st, but millions of people are quite upset with the news. While having a plethora of distressed consumers upset about a price hike is not unusual, it struck me that customers were not bombarding the Netflix customer service phone line with complaints about the price changes. Instead, the took to the Internet, to Twitter, and to Facebook to voice their grievances.
The fact that the Internet and social networking sites were the vehicle Netflix subscribers’ used to express their objections is very telling. Previously, users would have jumped on the phone to air their grievances, but instead they decided to use multimodal methods of communication.
It is now a multimodal world, and as evidenced by the most recent Netflix hurrah, all companies need to be aware and accommodating of this trend. In order to reach the greatest amount of customers in the shortest time possible, brands need to have Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and Internet blogs set up and easily accessible to their customers.
Interactive voice response applications could also integrate with all these mediums so that users could utilize these applications on-the-go. Say someone was in a car and immediately wanted to post a comment. They could use interactive voice response along with automated speech recognition technology to access the system hands free while driving.
The moral of the story is that brands need to be accessible in a multimodal way, and interactive voice response systems are vital in making this happen. Interactive voice response can help forward technological integration in multiple ways, allowing users to access systems anywhere and everywhere through simple, accessible communication points.