Love or hate the apple fanboys, they’re the ones who keep coming back every year for the latest hardware revision. What’s that, a new screen? OMGWTFBBQ. Gotta have it. They send your company’s praises constantly to family, friends, and strangers.

These are the people who will be with you through the hard times. These are the customers you want for your business. But how do you get them?

Let me give you an example. I read about CottonBot the other day on Hacker News. Put simply, it’s a side project by Muzzammil Zaveri and Ethan Fast. I wasn’t aware of it, but Startup Schwag had shut down, but the basic premise is that you can subscribe and get cool startup schwag each month.

After checking out their idea, I loved the idea, disliked the price, and was unsure whether I’d like all the shirt designs they would release. I figured I’d send them an email with a couple questions too see if I’d get a response.

Would you look at that. They got back to me in a couple days, had lowered the price, and had noticed me talking about the Stripe tshirt on Twitter and offered to send me one for free!

That sold me right then and there. They cared, and I trusted they would do a good job. I received a hand written thank you and the tshirt in the mail yesterday. I’ll be a fanboy for life.

It didn’t take much, they didn’t even need to send me a tshirt to gain my trust. All they did was listen and show me some respect. It’s more than you get from most businesses, even when you’re talking in person with someone.

Simple customer service can turn an unsure customer into a fanboy with a simple email. They are more likely to be understanding when you have to raise prices. Netflix could have used this tactic when they raised theirs. Without customers you have nothing. Never forget that.

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