There Are Many Reasons for Customers “Churning” Or Defecting.
The Following List Is a Sample of The Most Common Ones.
- They have more needs than they realize at first, so they sell you on things your product can’t do.
- Your sales reps raised false expectations about features that don’t exist in your product and didn’t qualify them properly.
- Your competitors offer better products that fulfill their needs better than yours does, says Peter DeCaprio.
- You offer them a trial version to try before they buy, but it sucks compared to your competitor’s paid versions, so they never use it again after the trial period ends unless forced to by IT policy (passwords expire).
- Your sales reps are poorly trained or not product knowledgeable, so they don’t sell your product effectively.
- The user interface is terrible, and the documentation is worse.
- They get stuck with version 1, but your competitor releases new versions that quickly surpass your product in features or usability, so they switch to the competitor’s later products after the initial purchase of yours.
- It takes too long for upgrades to arrive (e.g., 6 months), during which time you’re missing out on new feature developments offered by competitors who update more often (e.g., every month).
- You mislead them about how easy it will be to integrate your product with other products they have installed on their system(s).
- You fail to deliver on promises made in your sales and marketing, such as:
- “Your employees will save 30 minutes per week because our product can do X.” (It doesn’t actually do X, and it takes 15 minutes just to figure out how.) b. “We have an online demo that you can view right now!” c. “Our product works seamlessly with other products from Vendor A.” d. “With these 3 easy steps, you’ll be up and running!” e., etc..
- Your company is too cheap to hire a top-notch support team, so their calls aren’t answered for 1 hour or more until the person they get was trained only 5 weeks ago but still doesn’t know how to fix their problem.
- “Here, let me send you a free CD in the mail that has everything you need on it.” (It is incomplete or outdated.)
- “We have a 30-day money-back guarantee,” even though they won’t get any of their money back because all sales are final and there’s no way to get your hands on the software without paying for it first — not even if you were going to return it!
- They get so mad about having wasted so much time trying to make your product work that they just want revenge: they badmouth your company and its products nonstop until everyone knows what incompetent fools work at the company, and decides not to buy from them.
- They don’t want to pay a software license renewal fee a year later, so they steal your product and use it for another 12 months until you catch them with the help of their Internet service provider or network administrator.
- You have too many separate modules that are not integrated well enough to offer a cohesive solution, so “one size fits all” is an illusion at most companies using your product. Everyone needs unique customizations, so customization can eat up half of the developer’s time even if he/she knows the source code inside out.
- You have done everything right so far, but still lose customers due to circumstances beyond your control: Your competitor has the power to convince the customer, through its marketing, that your company is not trustworthy. Your competitor bribes the customer with some special bonus or exclusive deal to sway them in their direction. The customer has a bad relationship with the representative from your company on the account (a “passive-aggressive” personality who doesn’t get along well with others). Etc.
- You make software for Macintosh computers, but neglect to support Mac OS X until version 10.11 (El Capitan) comes out more than half a decade later — by which time most of your existing customers have either switched to different products or retired their old systems and don’t bother upgrading again because “nothing much changes anymore”.
- They’re stuck behind a corporate firewall that won’t allow access to an Internet site, so they can’t download the product.
- You try to charge too much for your software or services – even though your customers know that your competitors are typically charging 50% less than you!
- “We’re sorry, but our server is currently down.” (Your hosting company has shit equipment and/or bandwidth.)
- The installation failed at 60%, so now we have to start all over again because nothing was saved after 35 minutes of downloading worth thousands of dollars…
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
Don’t be a fool. Be careful in selecting business partners in which you invest your precious time and money.