From Foxtel to Netflix: My Consumer Journey

In comparison with questions about the Two State Solution in Israel my home entertainment provider consumer journey may pale into insignificance, but it my journey just the same. Going from Foxtel to Netflix on my consumer journey has shown me certain things about the industry and myself. I drew a Customer Journey Map to illustrate the stages on my journey. The intimate nature of home entertainment means that your choices mirror parts of who you are. It used to be that we are what we eat and, now, we are what we watch on our screens. From Foxtel to Netflix: My consumer journey:

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Customer Journey Map


CONTEXT   My initial awareness, which prompted thinking about changing my main recreational media provider was economic. Monthly Foxtel bills of around $180 for x2 set boxes & the Platinum Package was becoming unaffordable. In addition, I had seen all the new release movies available on the Foxtel movie channels, because they were available earlier on DVD rentals, which I had accessed from a machine in my local shopping centre. The impetus for this behaviour was satisfying my 2 children’s desire to see new release movies.  Discussions with various family members & households, provided me with research material via anecdotal evidence. I experienced the Netflix streaming service on my brother’s TV set, whilst visiting him on an interstate trip to Perth. We watched a movie together with his family & the streaming service provided a fully functional audiovisual experience. He had a smart TV, which was connected online to streamline the whole experience. I do not have such a TV & realised my experience would be different on this basis.  Netflix offers a basic monthly package for one screen from as little as $9.99 & a family package of $29.99. This in comparison to my Platinum Foxtel package is a massive saving of some $100+. However, there is decidedly less content available on Netflix in all categories. The context of this consumer journey analysis will limit the focus to movies, TV shows & docos when comparing the offerings from both providers.  My set up with Netflix involves running a laptop through my TV screen. I need to use a mouse to navigate my way around programmes I am watching, this can be frustrating & inexact. This impacts negatively upon my Netflix experience. Foxtel provides super-duper remote controls & I do miss the ease of changing channels & shows. My decision to switch to Netflix as my main home entertainment provider from Foxtel, has saved me considerable money & will continue to do so. I have considered Amazon’s Prime, I signed up for a Free 30-day trial, but have already experienced that nearly all of their new release movie offerings are unavailable for Australian customers. It seems very focused on the American market.I will probably rent a few DVDs & go to the cinema more often to fill in the gaps, that Netflix cannot service.
What are you trying to do    I wanted to lower my monthly expenditure on home entertainment & refine my viewing options to remove stuff that I was paying for & not watching.  I want to find out whether switching to a streaming service like Netflix could provide me with satisfying home entertainment at a fraction of the cost I have been paying Foxtel for years for a similar service.  I have switched back & forth between the basic & family Netflix packages over the last 3 months, depending on the number of people currently residing in my household. The flexibility in changing packages is a plus in my experience with Netflix. Foxtel never felt so easy to amend its package; reductions meant a phone call to a call centre which was, obviously, undermanned. Waiting on the line probably discourages customers from reducing their packages.  My home entertainment choices have changed to watching more extended TV series & less feature films. Netflix allows you to binge on complete series, watching episode after episode. This deepens my experience of particular entertainment offerings, sometimes lasting for many hours over several nights. I probably watch less TV and read more books, which is usually more satisfying anyway. I succeeded in reducing my monthly expenditure by around $100+. I stopped paying for access to programming on Foxtel, which I was not using.I have sourced new Netflix original content, which although is uneven in quality in my opinion, which I formerly could not watch. Some good, some bad, a little like life itself.I have immersed myself in intensive home entertainment experiences, which is a new & different experience. I like intense!
Journey Stages     I initially contacted Foxtel & reduced my package by sending back one set top box. I re-contacted Foxtel about further reducing my package, but was told I could not. I then decided to completely end my Foxtel subscription, the Foxtel representative then referred me to the Loyalty Program Team. Suddenly, I was allowed to drastically reduce my package to just Sports & Entertainment for $38 per month.  After discussions with my brother & children, who both subscribe to Netflix & do not have Foxtel, I gathered impressions based on their reports both good & bad about Netflix.I, then, took the plunge, reducing my Foxtel to Sports, to feed my AFL/Sydney Swans fix (I live in South Australia & do not have access to a reliable free to air connection, which means no Swans’ games on TV).  I have been underwhelmed at the outset with the content presented by Netflix. Not many new release movies & lots of older made for TV shows. I have found myself clicking on a programme to view it & then rejecting it shortly afterwards. I have, like the Internet Dating experience online, become glazed over in ennui when trying to make a choice. Lists of offerings in categories reduce any specialness about your choice.  I watch things like ABC IView instead of Netflix, when I am sick of the glut of programmes about Americans beset by drug dealing, gun totting conflicts. I began with both economic & entertainment satisfaction problems. I relieved some of my economic pressure. I turned away from too much on tap, most of which was wasted upon me & unwatched, and found less is best.
Touchpoints(Interactions with brand, service, organisation)    I had heard from family about Netflix, as an online entertainment streaming service. However, it was only once the NBN had been connected in my area that I could take advantage of services such as these. I contacted Netflix via the internet & was offered a Free 30 day trial subscription – which I chose to take up.  I hooked up my laptop computer to my TV via a HDMI connection & launched Netflix. It wanted the usual information that most digital providers want to establish an account. This can be annoying, but is now a common fact of life in the digital age. I have fat pads full of USERNAMES & PASSWORDS for hundreds of digital accounts across the spectrum.  My experience with Netflix has been totally online & almost all positive. I have had a few browser issues, rejecting my account at the odd time, but it is difficult to ascertain whether these are IPS issues or operating system upgrade issues. I have reserved my judgement in regard to Netflix’s responsibility in these matters.  I am unrepentant in my decision to liberate myself from Foxtel, to the extent of only paying $38 per month for my AFL fix. It is no longer a bill that disturbs my fragile economy regularly. The flavour of Netflix is, I suppose, a fresh youthful one, when compared to Foxtel. New technology, new made to order content. Lots of young bland American faces overacting in poorly scripted programmes. Netflix is very young in terms of being a media organisation on the world stage.
Emotional Status (+ or -)  I felt very positive that I was reducing my monthly expenditure on home entertainment by some $100+ after many years of paying this amount. It was emotionally uplifting & liberating.  I was prepared to go cold turkey, as regards home entertainment on TV, because I had recently given up another addiction – alcohol. Watching TV, not effected by alcohol, was hard going initially anyway. Most made for TV entertainment is pretty dumb stuff & the booze blended the experience somewhat I think.  The deciding what to watch experience on Netflix can be emotionally draining. All these categories & programmes with little information to base your consumer choice upon, can become a trance like experience.  I remain buoyant in my emotional response to the saving of a $100+ I make every month. I abhor the Americanness of Netflix, but that culture overarches the whole media puzzle anyway. Occasionally I might feel clever or younger for an evening due to my consumption of Netflix, but not all that often.
Your Consumer Insights  My insight was that if you do not challenge your service providers by asking for a better deal or exactly what you want, you will never get what you want.  Netflix as purely digital provider demands more interactive data from consumers than Foxtel, which was more like a traditional entertainment provider in the mould of TV networks etc. You cannot just turn on the TV with Netflix, it takes more preparation & groundwork.Word of mouth plays the most important role in this consumer journey. Home entertainment strikes in the intimate enclave of the domestic abode.  You need to dig a little deeper, beyond judging these books by their covers (or TV programmes in this instance). I have been pleasantly surprised by some programmes, which I presumed were American (I loathe American made for TV culture), when in fact they were European & presenting quality acting & story telling.  Most stuff on TV is rubbish & we watch too much crap just because it is on or there.I have started to see more Netflix marketing on other media platforms, since I made the switch to them. It was not influential in my decision, however. Netflix is offering a good value product at the right price currently. They are short of quality content, but the two-edged sword reality tells me that more top quality programming will see higher monthly prices for subscriptions.I was aware of Netflix as a relatively new operator in the home entertainment industry, but their advertising had made little impression upon my consciousness.
Ideas and Opportunities (drivers of behaviour)  It is always good, as a consumer, to challenge service providers to come up with better packages to suit your needs.  Recommendations from existing consumers to their friends & family, earning them loyalty rewards could be very effective for providers like Netflix to attract new customers.  Netflix could be promoting their movies & TV shows more aggressively to stimulate interest in their streaming service.  Foxtel has a digital presence, which I have not explored, apart from when I was on a short holiday interstate. It would only be appropriate if I secured a much cheaper deal. I am currently content with my decision to shift to Netflix, but will monitor new arrivals in the home entertainment digital space.


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 ©Robert Hamilton