How to make a customer (or a fan / champion) for life?

I have never met Blake Rhodes. I dont profess to know him well. I know about and have used the blog search engine iceRocket. Blake’s iceRocket’s CEO. I dont have a good photo so you’ll have to make do with this one.

We have been working extremely hard to get a solution that required his blog search engine. But as luck would have had it, like most other online web services, they block requests over 100 per day. This is the same for flickr, delicious, etc. Nothing new. My previous experience was with another company which after 6 weeks of back and forth did not give us any information (even though we documented exactly how we were going to use the API for non commercial use) about putting us on a “white list” of API users.

With iceRocket, in a matter of 14 minutes and 2 emails the issue was resolved. 14 minutes – that’s it. I was expecting like close to 20 days, extensive back and forth and lots of hedging.

Very pleasantly suprised. Kudos to Blake.

Apparently I am not the only one. He has built a reputation of doing this.

I think I learned a lot from a simple email interaction today. He further reinforced a key tenet of building great companies – be responsive. It pays off big time.