I just started reading Derek Siver’s book Anything You Want. In it, he lists his utopian dream-come-true distribution deal from his musician’s point of view. He’s basically listing the reasons he’d want to be a customer of his own business.
This got me thinking about why I’d like to be a customer of Spreedly. So here it is - a customer perspective.
Store the credit cards for me. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to have security people on staff to ensure our servers are always locked down and secure. I don’t want to become an expert at storing sensitive information in a secure way.
I can’t stand the hassle of PCI. I want to fill out the simplest form I need since I hate busywork. I’m not in the PCI business and I don’t want to be. I know that PCI compliance could cost a truckload of money if I do it myself. I also know that a security breach could mean the end of my business.
If I want the card numbers, give them to me. They’re my customers, not yours.
Let me switch gateways whenever I’d like. Many of the gateways can be pretty difficult if not hostile to work with. Give me the freedom to avoid the annoyance of lock-in. As the gateway market becomes more competitive both in terms of rates and levels of service, I want to be agile and ready to adjust.
Give me a ridiculously simple, easy-to-understand API. If I’m not successfully talking to your service in the first hour, there’s something wrong. If your docs mention the word SOAP, I think I’ll vomit.
Don’t go down. I need a reliable service that’s up all of the time.
I have some pretty straightforward subscription plans. I’m even willing to adjust them some to fit into your framework because there’s a ton of logic there I don’t want to deal with. And I want the freedom to change my plans and prices whenever I’d like. And please handle the grandfathering. And pro-rating. And renewing at the right time.
I’d like to occasionally add some fees to a customer’s bill knowing they’ll get added to their invoice when they get renewed.
I’d like my customers to not even know that you exist. I don’t want them to see your pages when they checkout and I don’t want them getting emails from you. When I’m first starting a business, I’m happy for my customers to see your pages and your emails because I don’t want to spend the time making them. But eventually, I want the ability to hide you completely. Once again, they’re my customers, not yours.