This was from a few months back. Cleaning out the inbox, and coming across this gem makes me sooooo happy about changing my business model.
WHY YOU’VE GOTTEN SO BIG THAT ITS CHANGED YOU FOR SOME AND AGAINST SOME. YOU’VE GROWN AND GOTTEN PICKY, BUT TAKE IT OUT ON US, YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT KEEP YOU GOING. YOU NEVER ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS, YOUR SO BIG IN THE HEAD, WE’RE IGNORED. BUT I LIKE WHAT YOUR DOING FOR EVERYONE, EVEN THOUGH. I COME ON YOUR SITE, BECAUSE I LIKE TO BROWSE, TO ENJOY YOUR SITES. WHEN I STARTED IN 07, I GOT SITES FROM ALL OVER, NOW THEIR FROM DOWN THE STREET. BEFORE I FOUND 5 AUCTION WEB SITES, NOW ONLY 2= YOUR GETTING LAZY. SUCH IS LIFE, HAVE A NICE DAY.
Laziness was perhaps a bit inaccurate there. Overworked? Perhaps.
The bigger your brand gets, the worse your customer service gets unless you put barriers (typically financial) between you and the people giving you feedback (even requiring free registration kills much of the noise though). 100,000 people will tell you what they think you should be doing (I literally have probably exchanged emails with that many people), but only 20,000 of them would actually be willing to pay you to listen to their advice (for a nominal one time fee), and only a few thousand are willing if you charge recurring for that opportunity.
As competition and market saturation heat up, weak and cheap relationships get killed by lowering perceived relevancy and value (free is much easier than cheap), while close and high value relationships that are nurtured flourish.