This is what a startup is like. One thing happens that makes you change your strategy. What happened? For some reason, our text messages did not go through yesterday so people did not get advance notice messages, and by the time we noticed water had been on for an hour before we manually pushed the valve open messages. We fixed the technical glitch, but the fact is we still didn’t get advance notices out, and valve open messages came pretty late.
What do people think about us? We don’t know because we just called all our customers the day before (i.e we don’t want to be THAT company that calls, seemingly, every 2 seconds).
So what do we do? We roll with the punches. What exactly changed?
- We are going to stay in testing mode until the end of the month (instead of adding 200 more customers each week) because we realized there are more technical things we want to test with a large number of families (i.e. making sure automatic verifications work and adding/piloting the close valve message).
- We will launch a marketing campaign with the 200 families to make sure credibility is in tact. The best way to do this is just giving people good information for extended periods of time. Luckily, water now comes once every 3 days (instead of 5) so this should help expedite the process. Personal attention never really hurt either. We realized that people hang up on the NextDrop number (when we call to verify that water is on) so I think we are going to go back and tell everyone to save the NextDrop number on their phones/gauge reaction to the NextDrop brand.
- To stay on track, we are having a more “official” launch the third week of October with 600 families (Instead of 200 each week for 3 weeks).
One thing about startups- no two days are ever the same.