from Y-Combinator 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
CREATING DELIGHT. You should take extraordinary measures – not just to acquire users – but also to make them happy. For as long as they could (which turned out to be surprisingly long), Wufoo.com (Cloud Form-Builder), sent each new user a hand-written Thank You Note. Your first users should feel that signing up with you, was one of the best choices they ever made. And you in turn should be racking your brains, to think of new ways to “delight” them.
Why do we have to teach Startups this?
Why is it counter-intuitive for Founders? Three reasons, I think.
1. It’s un-natural. A lot of Startup Founders are Engineers, and Customer Service does not come natural to engineers. Most aren’t that social. Engineers supposed to build things that are functional & reliable, and not be that attentive to individual users like some kind of Salesperson would be.
2. Scaling. Founders don’t focus enough on individual customers is that they worry it won’t scale. But when Founders of new startups worry about this, they have nothing to lose. Maybe if they go out of their way to make existing users super happy, they’ll one day have too many users,to do so much for. That would be a great problem to have. See if you can make it happen. And incidentally, when it does, you’ll find that “delighting” customers “scales” better than you expected. Partly because you can usually find ways to make anything scale more than you would have predicted, and partly because delighting customers will – by then – have permeated your culture.
3. Getting used to giving Attention. Perhaps the biggest thing preventing founders from realizing how attentive they could be to their users is, that they’ve never experienced such attention themselves. Their standards for customer service have been set by the companies they’ve been customers of, which are mostly big ones. Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), doesn’t send you a hand-written note after you buy a iPad or iMac. He can’t. But you can. That’s one advantage of being small: you can provide a level of service no big company can.
Once you realize that existing conventions are not the upper boundery on user experience, it’s interesting – in a very pleasant way – to think about how far you could go to delight your users.
[ Experience & Fire in next Premium Content ]