I was reading a feedback email from one of our users saying "Great going guys!Keep up the good work.....", which evidently drew a smile from me. Right next to me was my sister-in-law teaching her toddler how to say "thanks" and smiling victoriously when he finally said it.
Managing a 6 month old startup and seeing my 2 year old nephew grow up right next door, I can't help but compare my experiences with my brother's. Sometimes we both wonder what they will just "grow up" and pay back. Customers and babies. it seems to me, are remarkably similar in their behavior and our expectations from them.
To state a few similarities...
1. Regardless of what you do, babies cry - customers do too
2. Babies are demaning, they want to be taken care of all the time. They think they are doing us a favor by letting us take care of them. Same with customers. Of course, we suck it up - because longer term, we think it'll pay off
3. Both are influenced by their peers more than their parents or vendors
4. Both are tired of what they have and love what the next door neighbor has
5. They take a loooooong time to pay back. Treat them well, give them the best (whether its education or product experience) and they'll treat you back well
6. They are gullible. Teach them a way to do things and they'll hate to change it
7. They are weird. You think you understand them and know what they want, but it's hardly right.
8. A smile from your baby, a 'thank you' from your customer - both worth a full-day's worth of work
And now, a few things we do with our babies, but probably not to our customers...
- We never knowingly misguide our babies
- We recognize that sending kids to work instead of school when they are young is only a short-term win and a huge long-term loss.
- Within the resources available, we try out utmost best to provide the best to our kids
- We absolutely love our babies. We think they belong to us and protect them from others
- Finally, our ultimate goal is to make our kid successful when it grows up.
We make our customers successful, good things will follow...