Call it the case of the mysterious movie preferences.
For the past several months, looking at my Netflix viewing options was like being confronted by a rogue Amazon recommendation engine. Instead of offering me the kinds of programming I prefer, such as "House of Cards" and "Star Trek: Next Generation," I've been subjected to "H2O: Just Add Water" and "Glee."
In other words, Netflix has been suggesting my kids' viewing choices to me. While in some cases that is OK – we do share a passion for the BBC's "Sherlock Holmes" – their tastes in other programming are not what I'd call entertainment. We were at risk of a brand-relationship rift.
Then I got an email from Netflix that changed all that. With a few thoughtful entries on our computers (phones or iPads), we could create individual personalities, with preferences, for every person in my household, at no extra fee.
"No longer will kids, a significant other, roommates or guests wreak havoc on your Netflix suggestions," the message told me. "Now, everyone in your home can have their own profile – their own Netflix experience built around the TV shows & movies they enjoy."
Now doesn't that make sense? Netflix has put the customer in charge, giving us the option to willingly share personal choices that it could then use to improve the brand experience. With this simple-to-attain information, Netflix can discern how each individual in one home interacts with its service, enabling it to better understand not only individuals, but also the household, down the road.
For instance, when my youngest leaves for university, you can bet the entertainment demands in my house will change dramatically, except perhaps during the summers when everyone is home. We'll see if Netflix can be that nimble.
In the meantime, my next question (and plea) is this: How long before all other household entertainment memberships offer this kind of service? As Netflix has shown, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to solve the case of the varying household movie preferences.
It just takes a little bit of thinking like the customer.
This guest post came courtesy of Bryan Pearson. Bryan is the author of The Loyalty Leap For B2B and is president and CEO of the LoyaltyOne consultancy firm.
Bryan will be speaking at this year's Loyalty World USA where you can find out the best approach to gain customer loyalty from leading loyalty experts.
You can follow Bryans thoughts on Loyalty by heading over to his blog Pearson4loyalty.com