I’m super excited about the products that I build. I’m happy to know that something that I built is saving people time, making them more money and just helping them out in general. It means the world to me to hear back from happy customers who love my products.
I’m especially glad when I can write to a customer and tell them that a requested feature is now available. The other day I emailed a Stunning customer to tell her that something she’d asked for was now available for her to use, and she didn’t email me back for a few days. In the meantime, I started thinking things like, “Man, I hope she still wants this feature”, or “Why hasn’t she responded yet? I really expected a quick, excited response from her because she asked specifically for the thing I just finished building”, or “I wonder if I took too long to add it and she’s frustrated with me”.
After a little more thinking, I realized that my product is super important to me. It’s one of the most important things in my life. My product is important to my customers too, but its importance pales in comparison to their own products and the other things in their life. I have no way of knowing whether or not she got my email on the worst day of her life. Maybe she was just swamped, or just didn’t feel like replying to it. I was looking at the situation as if she’d drop everything and exclaim about how happy she was that I added the thing that she asked for. That was pretty selfish of me. Eventually she did reply, and she was happy and grateful that the new feature was added. However, by then, I’d made a choice within myself that even if I never heard back from her, I’d be happy that Stunning was a better product because of that feature. So I was happy either way.
As a bootstrapper, I live and die by my products, and my customers’ happiness is of paramount importance to me. That doesn’t mean that I should be expecting praise or congratulations for everything (or even anything) that I do. I should be finding the delight in making life better for my customers, one customer at a time. It’s something I’m constantly working on.
Adding requested features to your product is a great way to increase customer happiness and therefore retention (because happy customers stick around for the long haul), but don’t let their lack of response to your feature announcements get you down. If you know that your product is better because of the new feature, be happy about that. Your app is not the most important thing in your customer’s life.
Kill your churn. Keep more of your customers. Get an invite to Retained.