That’s what someone said to me somewhere last year. He believes that in order for a company to be successful you have to please everyone. All the time. At any cost.
“You must please all the people all the time or you will fail in your business.”
But why? To me that makes no sense at all. You can’t possibly please everyone. And “all the people”? Why? People are not customers. They are potential users and hopefull will become customers at some point.
Sure if they come to you with genuine interest and questions. Do your utmost. Even if they peek at you. Try to get their attention and interest. But that’s about it.
Soon after this discussion with the guy I lost my job and decided to start my own business. This wasn’t a new idea. Just a means to an end in a poor economy. I had been doing a lot of development work in the past years already and found that pleasing the people who care for your product is more important and rewarding than supporting the masses.
Starting my own business gave me a viable way to finally do something more with AdRotate for WordPress. Spend more time developing ideas and work out new ways. As some of you may have noticed quite a bit has changed in the past 12 months.
Among other things, I have (finally!) brought support under one roof with the AdRotate site. Also I’ve tried to make support a bit more personal and friendly. I’ve tried to streamline the sites I maintain to make it easier for people to reach me and find information.
A bigger change is that AdRotate now has a premium version. And it’s fairly successfull so far. But it didn’t please everyone. If some are to be believed I’ve ruined their business. Well that’s too bad, if not spending 25 euros ruins your business it wasn’t a good one anyway. Others are just hugely displeased because I ask money for a product that was free before. I don’t believe those people were going to buy AdRotate anyway, even if AdRotate was a paid product from the start. It was a calculated risk and decision that I know will work out in the end.
Some others have been left in the dark because I simply had no time to help them with their projects. Over the past months I have turned down some projects and disappointed a few would-be customers for projects I simply had no time for. Unfortunate. And I hope they think of me for their next project. Perhaps I can make a better impression that time.
But then there are the heaps of happy and satisfied customers that I left in my wake. A whole bunch of them came back for more. Extra work. New projects. And some even said I’m their go-to guy for anything related to websites. Awesome stuff!
And that’s how it works for any company out there. It’s unrealistic, to say the least, to think you can please the world. It’s dumb to even try.
More realistic is to try your best in supporting existing users and customers and see that group grow and hopefully convert users into customers.