3½ ways to lose customers in 2011

If you’re marketing a SaaS solution and have had enough with year-end wrap-ups, predictions for the new year, or sure-fire tips for success in 2011, here’s the antidote:


3 ½ ways to lose customers in 2011.


Ignore them


Once you’ve won a customer, consider your marketing job complete. Focus on the prospects, not the ones who are already sending in a check every month. Leave them out of the loop on product and service enhancements, and ignore their suggestions for improvements. Just remember to turn on the charm a few weeks before the end of the subscription.


A corollary to ignoring existing customers: oversell them


Pitch them on renewing and upgrading with every single interaction. That includes unresolved customer support issues. Nothing an exasperated customer wants to hear about more than a discount… if they renew their service for another 3 years.


Hide from them


If your service goes down, your communications to customers should go down as well. Keep them guessing about your system’s status, and let them rely on other uninformed customers for information. Shrug off their concerns and don’t even consider an apology.


Surprise them


Add new features and functions without warning. Better yet, remove certain features without warning. Make major changes to the user interface. These are especially effective for applications used only occasionally, such as annual performance review solutions.


OK, back to the traditional new years' self-improvement resolutions. Pardon the interruption.

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