If you provide software as a service (SaaS) on a subscription basis, and one of your customers needs your help, give it to them.
Let me tell you a story.
Back in the day we used to use AlertSite for our uptime and performance monitoring.
They were affordable and most importantly flexible.
Any time we spun up a new service or were in the process of evaluating other services they were really good about letting us spin up a 30/60 or even 90 day trial. We did this on numerous occasions. Like when we started using Marketo, and noticed a huge difference in the up-time that they reported with ‘actual’ up-time. It worked in their favor. The majority of the time those monitors turned into actual revenue generating monitors.
When renewal time rolled around, and I looked at other alternate services. They weren’t always the cheapest, but we still used them because they were good to work with.
Then one day something changed. I need to monitor something for 30 days on a trial basis and they said ‘no’. I’d need to buy a subscription.
What happened next? Well they lost us as a customer. We moved to neustar/Webmetrics. All and all we’ve been happy with them.
Until I need to use/evaluate their DNS offering. I needed it for less than 30 days, about two weeks to be exact. Guess what happened? I got the hard sell, I got the “No, we do 1 year minimum commitments.”
So instead of having a great opportunity to let me use it in the real world and earn my business, the pushed me into a corner. A corner that will likely cost them the Webmetrics business at renewal time.
So when your customer asks you to jump, especially when your cost is essentially “Zero”, yes the right answer is “How High”. Don’t look at me like I’m your next meal, because you’ll get 0 meals from me, and lose what you used to get. Treat me right as a customer and I’ll treat you right as a vendor it really is that simple.