Two recent stories; one point to make.
Another Mac issue. My trusty MacBook had an odd smell coming out of it. That electronics burning, uh oh, kind of smell. It was in passing but the Ethernet port stopped working. The Apple genius says, ruh oh, fried board. They have to order one and then it will take 3 or 4 days based on workload to get it back to me. I keep the machine until I get a call the next day. Part is in, come on by. I drop by on Saturday morning and check my sick puppy in. They say, yeah, based on backlog, 3 or 4 days. That evening at 6:30p, I get a call from the Apple store. All fixed, come get it.
I was inviting somebody to connect on LinkedIn and I got this warning notice that said be careful lots of people are ignoring you or some such. Very weird since ever single LinkedIn invite I’ve sent has been accepted (I track em) or bounced because of people’s email addresses. I sent a note to customer service asking for the explanation of the error message and I got back the standard email acknowledging my note and indicating they’d get back to me shortly. About 24 hours later, I get back a nice note from “Stacey” removing this warning and giving me a full explanation of what/how/why, etc.
My point to you and your startup is from the second you start to interact with the fickle public (like me) you are on the expectation setting treadmill and you need to be in seriously good shape to stay on it. There are services I use and products I buy which have choices driven totally by the expectations met/exceeded.
To all the software startups who have sent me ‘instant responses’ on questions or bugs, it’s a great investment to get a loyal customer.
Set expectations and blow them away. Your competition will be forced to follow and if it isn’t in their DNA, you get the advantage.