Friday, March 29, 2013

I talked, Redbox listened

As a blogger, sometimes you forget that your stuff really could be seen by anybody in the world.

Usually, you figure it's just your Mom and a handful of your more dedicated friends and fellow blogger acquaintances behind whatever page views you can muster. Sometimes, though, your reader is Michael E. Rubin, Redbox Sr. Manager of Social Media.

When I wrote this post last fall, decrying the fact that the Redbox interface contains a superfluous and in fact self-defeating I'M DONE button, Mr. Rubin stopped into my comments section with the following two comments:

"Thanks for taking the time to write and share your two cents about the box. This is exactly the customer feedback we love to read, so I'll be sure to share your post with our engineering team.

If there's anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to let me know."

Then, three days later:

"I have an update for you. As it turns out, we're working on a better solution for the 'I'm Done' button and will be removing it in the near future. You're the first to know that outside Redbox."

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the first half of the year is basically a Redbox blackout period for me -- I'm no longer interested in the new releases from the previous year, and the first movies from the new year don't usually hit until late April or early May. However, we did rent a pair of movies on Sunday in order to watch them projected in the garage, so Monday was my first opportunity to return movies to Redbox in a couple months.

Sure enough, the problematic I'M DONE button has been removed, and now it simply says "Hang on a sec while we put your movie away." (That's a paraphrase -- I didn't have the presence of mind to jot down the exact wording.) Then you are instantly taken back to the home screen.

Now, chances are, my post was not directly responsible for the change to the user interface. The phrase "as it turns out" is a good indication of that.

However, he did say he was going to share my post with the engineering team, meaning that at least this guy wasn't aware of any change in the works.

And if there's an available interpretation that tells me The Audient is changing the world, one blog post at a time, well ... you can't blame me for going with that particular interpretation. 

One thing I can say for sure about Redbox, though, is that whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. Many of my regular kiosk locations, which always just had a single box, have seen a second kiosk spring up within the past couple months. That kind of thing only happens when demand exceeds supply, and when demand exceeds supply, that's when you've got a successful business model.

Listening to your customers ... a novel concept that's behind some of the world's more successful ventures.

1 comment:

Thaddeus said...

Hey, man, congrats! It's nice to know that people listen their customers instead of just focusing on getting new ones. Companies should try to make their products/services better. I haven't used Redbox before - I get enough screeners that I've considered canceling Netflix - but that's a very good move on their part.