It is no secret that I am a fan of Netflix. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, and now the new Haters Back Off are some of my favourite shows.

When browsing the news to see what current events I could write about, I was delighted to see Netflix on the front page of the BBC news website for their recent success on Wall Street (partly because I could describe my streaming series as “blog research”). Netflix shares just jumped by a fifth, after they reported getting 50% more subscribers than they projected in the last quarter.

Certainly a lot goes into their success, including effective marketing and investment in licencing good content, but I would argue that their stellar listening to customers is also a major driving force.



One clear way Netflix listens to customers is through their extensive analytics, which is essentially meta-listening. Like most big internet companies, Netflix carefully tracks their subscribers and what they like to watch, “listening” to their preferences. This helps them determine what shows will be most appealing to keep their customers watching, and appeal to new potential subscribers.

This is certainly one effective way of listening to customers, but I won’t go into this in detail. I am a bit of a data nerd, but that’s not what I teach at Glisten Training. What really interests me is the listening they demonstrate in their one-to-one customer service.


“We’re here”

I tend to find that companies with good customer service are handsomely rewarded, and Netflix is no exception. I interviewed a kind customer service agent on their live chat (thank you, Charlie!), who told me a bit about their ethos and training they receive. Crucially, he tells me they are taught to show “we’re here” and “not treat you like a number but an individual.”

This is basically what active listening is all about, and it results in fantastic customer service. The customer feels heard and appreciated, and will continue to be a loyal customer. This service ethos is ingrained in their culture – so much so that their CEO and Founder would regularly take customer service calls himself.


Agent K-dawg

When I searched online to find examples of Netflix customer service, I found this little YouTube gem where subscriber contacts Netflix about his account. He enjoys “talking gangsta” to customer service agents – probably to see their reactions and post them as entertaining videos. The agent, nicknamed “K-dawg” by the customer, responds fantastically.

In the customer service chat, she matches his language and tone, thus creating excellent rapport. Among many amusing responses she calls him, on his suggestion, “Duke of Z-dom,” discusses “DAT MATH THOUGH” when upselling him a DVD plan, and manages appropriately placed “pssssshhhh.” That last one is a creative non-verbal response if I’ve ever seen one.


Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

The case of the Duke of Z-dom is a slightly odd example, but it does truly illustrate the lengths a Netflix employee will go to reflect the language of her customers. “Reflecting” is final of Glisten’s 5 Keys to CLEAR listening. We train professionals to how do this with the same language and tone as the speaker, matching body language (check out my previous post on mirroring), and using summarising sentences.

So, if you want your customer service employees to be as masterful as “K-dawg” of Netflix at reflecting and other skills, check out our active listening skills training packages. Netflix shows us once again that great listening gives great service, which results in great growth.

Oh and jukmifgguggh and ewrftghybgfvdcsx. Thanks, Reddit! 


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