SaaS Architects

Top 3 Customer Turnoffs and How to Avoid Them

In the dynamic landscape of SaaS startups, the adage “the customer is always right” has evolved into a strategic move. Yet, there are three customer turnoffs that extend beyond mere displeasure, leading to a direct and strong influence on key metrics that are crucial to the success of your business.

It’s important to acknowledge that customers may dislike specific aspects of their purchasing or user experience, and it is equally essential to identify these turnoffs in order to address them efficiently and appropriately. The question is, how can SaaS startups bridge the gap and transform these customer turnoffs into opportunities for success?

In this article, we’ll delve into the top three customer turnoffs, the potential pitfalls they could cause, and most importantly, discuss strategic insights on how to navigate these challenges effectively.

Top 3 Customer Turnoffs

It’s imperative to note that there are many factors and aspects that contribute to customer dissatisfaction. The specifics may vary depending on the type of products or services that you offer.

However, these three customer turnoffs that we have identified are the ones that can make the most negative impact on both your business and your clients. That said, it’s essential to evaluate whether your customers are experiencing any of these issues and develop solutions to permanently address them.

Customers strongly dislike:

  1. Surprises

Unexpected events, charges, upgrades, uncommunicated planned outages, reassigned customer success managers, sudden handoffs, product changes, and pricing alterations can all trigger negative surprise reactions from customers. Upon purchasing or subscribing to your products and services, they expect to receive exactly what you committed for the price they paid.

Whether you are in the B2B setting or are catering to individual consumers, surprises could lead to disruptions in their day-to-day operations. From a customer perspective, experiencing such surprise interference is a sign of inefficiency on the part of the developer.

While system outages are unavoidable, there are ways to address them that won’t surprise your customers. Develop a clear and concrete communication plan to constantly manage their expectations. If you’re running a system upgrade that will make the app inaccessible for a brief period, ensure to provide your customers with an advanced notification on when it will happen and what they can expect. This will also give you an opportunity to communicate the updates to be made for their added convenience moving forward.

  1. Unknowns

Practically worse than surprises are unknowns. These are typically due to the lack of information on the customer journey, failure to manage expectations, and the inability to facilitate proper orchestration between the customer and the company.

When your customers start to question why they were not informed about specific elements in your product package, then you’ll know that they are experiencing “unknowns”. More often than not, these scenarios are caused by a lack of transparency and clarity on terminologies, leading to miscommunication.

To avoid such instances, it’s important to have clear user guidelines, and if applicable, an actual onboarding process to eliminate uncertainties. Likewise, prepare a change management system that can seamlessly be implemented should there be any updates on pricing, features, or other facets that will impact your users. These solutions altogether will foster a more positive customer experience.

  1. Repeating Themselves

Handoffs are a natural part of business interactions, but the customer experience suffers when poorly executed. This occurs more often when customers raise queries and concerns about the product or service, requiring them to repeat themselves to every person they speak with– from sales, to customer support, to onboarding.

Ultimately, the more they need to repeat themselves, the less they would want to engage. That drop in engagement means less usage, advocacy, lower chances of customer retention, and a possibility for public complaints or negative reviews.

In this digital day and age, users expect SaaS startups to have automated records of their inquiries in the form of tickets. This is why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) softwares is now utilized in every business. However, the challenge of startups is maintaining an updated record of each customer query to avoid repetition.

Aside from leveraging the right CRM tools for your business, ensure that your team is trained to resolve basic queries and keep records updated. This can help avoid the need for customers to repeat themselves, thereby enhancing their perception of your company’s professionalism and reliability.

These three turn offs are discussed from the point of view of your customers- but what does it mean for your business?

Consequences of the Three Customer Turnoffs

Beyond customer disdain, these issues have a direct, adverse impact on the metrics that hold significance for your company as a whole.

Without properly addressing and mitigating the negative impact of surprises, unknowns, and repetitive queries, the potential outcomes are:

  • Delayed or incomplete onboarding (specifically for B2B)
  • Limited adoption and poor engagement
  • Absence of expansion opportunities (such as upselling)
  • Apprehensions during renewal
  • Negative sentiment in the market
  • Lower Net Retention (NRR or NDR)

Essentially, these results will lead to a decrease in your brand’s value, company’s overall profitability, and growth in the market.

In conclusion, addressing these turnoffs is not only essential for customer satisfaction but also pivotal in maintaining and improving vital metrics such as client retention. Every effort to eliminate these issues contributes to a stronger and more positive customer relationship.

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SaaS Architects is a coaching firm that helps struggling and aspiring SaaS startup entrepreneurs successfully navigate the world of application development, marketing, and sales. Through over 20 years in the software scene, we’ve built hundreds of apps for clients across various industries, learning from every experience.

Now, we are on a mission to make SaaS success simple and accessible for everyone. Our goal is to provide you with thorough guidance– from understanding the technical side of software development to leading you towards a sustainable and profitable business.

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