One of the few areas a smaller software company can compete with large software companies, like the Microsofts or IBMs of this world, is customer service.
Our customer service queries are answered either by me personally or by a software developer who can review the actual source code. It pays for us to have software developers answering questions but not just for customer satisfaction. Customers are, more often than not, helping us to make our products better. It’s amazing. They’re spending their time making our product better and then they thank US at the end of it. Simply because we’ve listened to them.
We never forget that we’re the main beneficiary of the correspondence. Who knows how many other people couldn’t be bothered to tell us about the issue/feature deficiency and simply uninstalled the product? As a rule of thumb I put it at around 1 in 100 will contact us, which highlights just how special each correspondence is.
However, there are a rare few people who can create problems and waste time. Suddenly customer support can become quite a challenge. Fortunately we only have one or two challenging users but I thought it’d be interesting to show you the correspondence with one of those users over the past decade to illustrate the harder side of customer service.