15 ways to annoy your SaaS customers

Traditionally you wouldn’t set out to give bad customer service or annoy your SaaS customers.

As such, there’s not much out there telling SaaS businesses what annoys and frustrates their customers. But why not? When you know how to annoy your customers, you know what not to do.

So, what are the pitfalls? Here are 15 ways to annoy your SaaS customers.

1.    Hide your pricing options

Start to annoy your SaaS customers early, by not having an online pricing page. It’s not like they just need to know if you’re in their price range. Make them call you for this basic information.

2.    Spam the customer with notifications

Once the customer has downloaded your software, make sure you send them an email every day. Sometimes several a day. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure in-app notifications are frequent to the point of intrusiveness.

3.    Bill without warning

Don’t you love checking your account and finding out that you have much less than you thought? Recreate this feeling for your SaaS customers by billing them without any warning. This is particularly effective following a free trial they may have forgotten to cancel.

4.    Add every possible feature you come up with

The more features in your software, the better, right? A great way to annoy your SaaS customers is to stuff your software to the brim with features. You’ll bury the functionality they need in a cluttered interface and slow them down with unwanted features. It’s a double whammy.

5.    Redesign your interface multiple times a year

When you redesign your interface, your customers need to re-learn your software. Change aversion isn’t a real thing, and they welcome such disruption to their day. (Especially when the change doesn’t improve anything.)

6.    Ignore or deny outages and downtime

A SaaS service outage can quickly become catastrophic for you and your customers. If one happens, pretend that everything is fine. Deny all responsibility, and sweep the problem under the rug until it goes away.

7.    Outsource your support

Annoy your SaaS customers by giving them low quality, outsourced support from agents with a minimal understanding of your product. Bonus points if you use an offshore contact centre.

8.    Be impossible to contact

In fact, just be as difficult to reach as possible. Don’t bother with real-time options like live chat software. Make customers wait for ages for email replies. It’s not like ‘service’ is part of your software as a service offering.

9.    Speak only in jargon

Once they have gotten in touch with you, annoy your SaaS customers by confusing them with jargon. They should know all the tech terms associated with your product (even the most obscure ones). If they don’t get it, repeat yourself until they do.

10.  Your software is perfect, it doesn’t need updates

Security? What’s that? Your software will never get outdated or threaten your customer’s data privacy.

11.  Only update your software at peak times

If you decide that you want to update your software, be sure to only do so at peak usage times. (That is, when your customers need it to work most.) This way, all your customers will know that you’ve updated the software for them.

12.  Don’t give advance notice of impending downtime

To make sure you annoy your SaaS customers, don’t tell them about any scheduled upgrades or downtime. Let them enjoy the surprise.

13.  Constantly ask for feedback

You’ve worked hard on your software. The least your customer can do is tell you how great it is. So, annoy your SaaS customers by constantly pestering them for feedback. If possible, embed triggered feedback questions at the click of every button.

14.  Reject all feedback

Having received your feedback, don’t do anything with it. You collected it on principle, not because you care what the customer thinks. Making them feel ignored is a great way to annoy your SaaS customers.

15.  Make it impossible to leave

Finally, your SaaS customers might decide they want to leave you. No matter why they want to leave, make it incredibly difficult to cancel their subscription. Show them how much you want them to stay.

(If they do still leave, you can always annoy them one last time by continuing to bill them.)

Don’t annoy your SaaS customers

Your SaaS customers are busy, and they rely on your software and service to keep things running smoothly. Impeding easy use of your SaaS offering, then, is a great way to annoy your customers.

So, if any these 15 strategies sound a bit less ridiculous than you’d like, it could be time to change your tactics.

Useful links

SaaS pricing models explained

Why your users hate your flashy new design (and what to do about it)

The security risks of outdated software