great service

What We Can Learn From Captain Netflix

There’s been a customer service exchange that has been making the rounds on the Internet over the last few weeks. It’s a great piece of creativity, and for lack of a better term, the customer service employee had the cajones to go for it.


I can’t put into words how fascinating I find it that we don’t hear more about this type of stuff on daily basis. Captain Netflix (this is what I’m calling him), put himself out there and created a positive experience for the customer. It could just have easily blown up in his face (the customer didn’t like the tone of the conversation, wasn’t willing to have the silly retorts, etc.), but Captain Netflix went for it. He realized he can only do so much within this chat room setting and he expanded on it, got creative, and now his conversation is posted all over the Internet.

Positive customer service experiences are hot topics because all too often the only types of posts about customer service that make the rounds on the Internet focus on the negative. I like to believe there are far more positive customer service experiences that occur on a daily basis, but we rarely hear about them. Here are just a few things that I think we can learn from the exchange of Captain Netflix.

  1. Netflix is a good company that supports its employees. I haven’t seen anything on the Internet that suggests Captain Netflix got in trouble for this conversation, or received some type of reprimand for thinking outside the box. This tells me that Netflix is a company that wants its employees to find new ways to tackle simple problems (like Parks and Rec having a playback error).

  2. Consumers are looking for that next level of service that outdoes previous service experiences they’ve had in the past. If you got on Netflix right now, and had a problem, would you not want, and expect, this same level of service?

  3. In the Internet age, the world of troubleshooting and problem solving is drastically changing. If there’s a problem with a product or service, it’s highly unlikely you will speak with a person face to face or by the phone anymore. Chat rooms and email correspondence are becoming the norm, and it’s nice to see that there can still be a level of personality and individuality that can come in the conversation, even through the computer screen.

I leave you with this: which do you receive more, good customer service or bad customer service?
The follow up question: which do you talk about more, good service or bad service?

The Business of "Fun"

In my years as Games Manager, I always stressed that we were in the business of selling “fun.” Attitude, enthusiasm, demeanor, and presentation could either make or break a sale. If we weren’t having “fun,” the guest wasn’t having “fun.”

With this in mind, I just got back from Tennessee on a family outing. Like most family outings, we ate, walked the main drag of Gatlinburg, played mini golf, I fawned over an arcade, and the cherry on top was a zip line tour through the Smoky Mountains.

We’ve gone on a zip line tour before (it was in a cave), but this tour stretched the line between the peaks as we flew over the valleys. The air was crisp, the sun was rising, the fog was lifting, and the view was spectacular.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The view from the zip line tour of the Smoky Mountains.

This post could just end here, but for me, the tour did have one more notable aspect, the tour guides. These two guides are responsible for the overall experience, but it takes extra care to make an attraction like a zip line tour both safe and fun. As a guide, a level of professionalism must be infused with a dose of “fun.” You’re selling an adventure, an experience, but at the same time, there is a level of risk as you are hooking guests to a contraption hooked to a line that spans half a mile through a Smoky Mountain valley.

These guides have had great training. They answered all questions, double and triple checked each lock, strap, and buckle. Most importantly though, on an adventure, thousands of feet in the air, careening down a wire at 40mph, I had “fun,” and felt safe.

There are different types of businesses that sell “fun,” and when they’re done right, it’s not just a zip line tour, it’s an experience.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Coming in for a landing.