LearnTalk isn't cheap

Treehouse
writes on July 25, 2011

I think there’s a really simple way to build amazing products: Talk to your customers every day.

It requires valuable time, but engaging with your customers on a daily basis has the following benefits:

  1. Reminds you what sucks about your product (so you can fix it)
  2. Shows them you care and that you’re human
  3. Keeps you connected to the product
  4. Uncovers interesting new feature ideas
  5. Strengthens your relationship with customers, thus making you happier and them more loyal
  6. It’s just the right thing to do (your customers pay your mortgage! :D)

Here’s how we do it at Think Vitamin Membership:

  1. Monday through Thursday (Carsonified works a 4-day week), I email around 10 Think Vitamin Members, thanking them for being customers and asking if they need anything. I’d say about 30% of people respond. I LOVE getting replies to these emails because I always learn something new
  2. Post to our private Facebook group. I ask questions or post interesting links. It’s a great way to be visible and connected
  3. Respond to all tweets mentioning us. We use CoTweet to do this

It’s simple really: Be visible, communicate a ton, show your passion. If you have any great tips for staying connected with your customers, please share in the comments!

24 Responses to “Talk isn't cheap”

  1. Interesting about you emailing us- I thought it was a very clever automated email when I received one hence didn’t respond! I’ll have to keep this in mind for the future.

  2. Interesting about you emailing us- I thought it was a very clever automated email when I received one hence didn’t respond! I’ll have to keep this in mind for the future.

  3. Anonymous on July 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm said:

    I agree wholeheartedly, I wrote a post called “Have you tried talking to them” on this topic yesterday. http://contrast.ie/blog/have-you-tried-talking-to-them/

    Our app Intercom (http://intercomapp.com/ ) makes this level of communication far easier for app owners dealing with many users

  4. I really like how you have enough faith in your product/s to open up a discussion that could result in both positive and negative feedback for all readers to see. Totally respect your outlook and commitment to a service!

  5. I really like how you have enough faith in your product/s to open up a discussion that could result in both positive and negative feedback for all readers to see. Totally respect your outlook and commitment to a service!

  6. Michael on July 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm said:

    I find it dissapointing to read blog posts like this, because while the videos at Think Vitamin are excellent, I disagree with your statements about customer communication.

    I’ve emailed you guys twice, and a third time on twitter about an important billing query, receive no reply, confirmation of reciept, or even an idea of the time scale for a response. 

    • Michael on July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm said:

      Apologies for bringing up individual cases in public comments, but I felt I should provide my personal experience as feedback.

      • I do agree 100% with Ryan, the best thing you can do when building a product company, is talk and listen to your customers. But you should also “walk your talk. I also have to agree with Michael, having exáctly the same experience as him with Carsonified and the Think Vitamin Membership.. 

        • Hi Peter, I’d like to apologize to you as well. I’m really sorry we dropped the ball on your communication with us. I always answer every support email so we must be having a spam filter problem some how. I will check with our developer and try to figure out what’s going on! Again, I’m very very sorry.

          • Anonymous on July 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm said:

            Hey Ryan, have you looked at Postini to filter your mail? Has worked great for me so far. Extremely few false positives and, I get a daily mail of the mails that was trapped with an option to deliver them if they are not spam.

          • I did look into them but went with SendGrid instead. We haven’t had any problems with them until now 🙁

    • Hi Michael, I can’t apologize enough for that. I’m really sad to hear that as I do all the support email personally and I pride myself in getting back to everyone within 24 hours (Mon – Thurs). I *never* ignore support email so all I can say is that it must’ve been spam filtered some how 🙁 Regarding the Twitter replies, I’m sorry I missed those too. It’s a little harder to get every single one, as there are a lot of re-tweets of our content, so genuine replies get lost in the stream some time. Again, I’m SO sorry!

      • Michael on July 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm said:

        Thanks for the quick reply Ryan, I appreciate the fact it’s quite easy to miss replies on Twitter, or have email misdirected to a spam filter or similar, I didn’t think you’d be ignoring support emails 🙂

        I hope you get the problem sorted soon, as it’s my only criticism of an otherwise perfect service. 

        I have forwarded my query on to you at help at thinkvitamin.com, and look forward to your reply.

        Thanks again.

  7. Michael on July 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm said:

    I find it dissapointing to read blog posts like this, because while the videos at Think Vitamin are excellent, I disagree with your statements about customer communication.

    I’ve emailed you guys twice, and a third time on twitter about an important billing query, receive no reply, confirmation of reciept, or even an idea of the time scale for a response. 

    • Michael on July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm said:

      Apologies for bringing up individual cases in public comments, but I felt I should provide my personal experience as feedback.

      • I do agree 100% with Ryan, the best thing you can do when building a product company, is talk and listen to your customers. But you should also “walk your talk. I also have to agree with Michael, having exáctly the same experience as him with Carsonified and the Think Vitamin Membership.. 

        • Hi Peter, I’d like to apologize to you as well. I’m really sorry we dropped the ball on your communication with us. I always answer every support email so we must be having a spam filter problem some how. I will check with our developer and try to figure out what’s going on! Again, I’m very very sorry.

    • Hi Michael, I can’t apologize enough for that. I’m really sad to hear that as I do all the support email personally and I pride myself in getting back to everyone within 24 hours (Mon – Thurs). I *never* ignore support email so all I can say is that it must’ve been spam filtered some how 🙁 Regarding the Twitter replies, I’m sorry I missed those too. It’s a little harder to get every single one, as there are a lot of re-tweets of our content, so genuine replies get lost in the stream some time. Again, I’m SO sorry!

      • Michael on July 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm said:

        Thanks for the quick reply Ryan, I appreciate the fact it’s quite easy to miss replies on Twitter, or have email misdirected to a spam filter or similar, I didn’t think you’d be ignoring support emails 🙂

        I hope you get the problem sorted soon, as it’s my only criticism of an otherwise perfect service. 

        I have forwarded my query on to you at help at thinkvitamin.com, and look forward to your reply.

        Thanks again.

  8. 100% agree, Ryan. You can’t have a product people want to use without connecting with them. I wish I could go out more and connect with the users of Kodery (http://kodery.com) even more, they always come up with awesome ideas and suggestions.

  9. 100% agree, Ryan. You can’t have a product people want to use without connecting with them. I wish I could go out more and connect with the users of Kodery (http://kodery.com) even more, they always come up with awesome ideas and suggestions.

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