It happens to all of us… You cook a steak and someone wants it cooked more. You plant a tree and your wife wants it on the other side of the yard. You carefully plan, design and create a beautiful document viewer but the customer wants the backend to run on Jboss rather than Websphere. You optimize for TIFFs and PDFs but one company is working with very large JPEGs. Ok, maybe those last two are very specific to us at Snowbound, but you get the idea. Regardless, if you care about the relationship, you have to make them all happy.
One thing I have learned over the many years I’ve been in business is that if you’re going after the high-volume, low-cost market, special features are not where you make money. In a perfect world, everyone gets the same thing and if they make a special request, that goes to the bottom of the to do list and the top of the wishful thinking pile. But I prefer dealing with customers who are thoughtful and demanding, provided they recognize that high-performance, fully-featured products that are modified or adapted to their needs are not found in a bargain basement.
Most companies today are averse to designing and creating a large enterprise system from the bottom up. They prefer to buy a well-tested, well-exercised product that’s been around for a while, resulting in fewer unwanted surprises. Rather it does their job with some integration effort and perhaps a few tweaks for their special circumstances.
This is a business we like: customer and vendor working together to create a solution that works well, evolves, and adapts to new operating systems and environments with workflows added or modified over time. Relationships based on this kind of mutually beneficial business can last decades.
You want fries with our products? Of course you do, fries are great and we are happy to include them. We want to make you happy and efficient, so just ask, but recognize that it won’t be free.