Paul Haarman: The top 10 reasons customers churn

Customer churn is a problem we all deal with. Some of our customers leave and we never even know why. This article will explore the top 10 reasons customers churn so you can see if your business experiences any of these common issues says Paul Haarman.

1: Your product isn’t solving their problems.

A customer may sign up for your product, but then they find that it doesn’t meet their needs or solve their specific problem. Not meeting their needs can be caused by simply not having enough features or providing what they need to do their job like SalesForce does with careers and jobs at major companies and contractors for customizations and integrations (E-Myth).

2: Your product is too complicated or hard to use.

If your product is difficult to learn or difficult to set up, then customers won’t be able to do what they need with it and will churn as soon as they find that out explains Paul Haarman. For example, many people who try to self-host websites at a home run into issues because they don’t understand how things work and/or how much time you have to spend on maintenance if you want it looking good and functioning well (website design).

3: You don’t provide support when needed.

If customers try to use your product but can’t get it to work and they don’t know how to solve the problem, then support is key. They will stay on as long as you provide quality support, but once they realize there’s no solution or help available, then they’ll churn. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for a service and not being able to get help when you need it.

4: Your product is buggy.

No Bueno. Customers want a product that works all of the time and don’t have any issues with every update. If every update breaks something, makes things slower, etc., then people are going to leave in disgust because who wants an app that crashes often? Not only does this annoy customers, but it can also cause them to take their business elsewhere. For example, in 2014 PayPal went down for an hour and people were not happy (PayPal outage). The good thing is that PayPal apologized and promised to do better in the future.

5: Your Company goes out of business or gets acquired/merged.

This one shouldn’t need much explanation. If you’re a small company or startup providing services but then get bought by another company, then your customers will probably be pissed when they find this out because now they have limited options on how to use your services (Quora). And if you’re a customer trying to contact support only to find out that there isn’t any… well, that’s just annoying AND frustrating.

6: You’re too expensive for what you offer, and there are cheaper options.

If your product price is high relative to other similar products then customers may be reluctant to keep it or purchase it, especially if they can get the same thing elsewhere without the cost (Microsoft Office vs Google Docs). Paul Haarman says low prices may not mean much if you don’t provide quality and helpful support and make updates that annoy people instead of adding value (O’Reilly Media).

7: Your service’s user experience is bad.

If your product has a poor interface or just isn’t as easy as others on the market, then people won’t want to use it because they know something better exists out there. This also includes features that don’t work correctly or that were designe incorrectly from the start. In this case, they find your product to be a poor experience and will churn because of it. Good design is key to having a good user experience.

8:   Your Company doesn’t have a clear vision for the future.

This one is related to #2 above in that, if you present a product but don’t have enough features or aren’t going in a direction that customers want, then people will leave when they realize there’s no point in paying for it any longer (Churn).

9: Your app doesn’t have great reviews.

This is related to #3 on this list, which means if your customers can’t get support when they need it then they are going to go elsewhere because there are plenty of other options out there. Even though you may have thousands or millions of users on your platform, if people can’t reach you in a timely manner for support tickets throughout the day… well, you’ll lose them all. To be fair this isn’t specific to apps, but it’s still a valid reason customers may churn.

10: Your product becomes free and you stop charging your customers money.

Let’s face it: we all like something that is free or really cheap. This goes back to #7 on the list as if you’re an expensive service and then put out a free version of your app/product; some people will stay because they don’t want to pay for anything explains Paul Haarman.


Finally, don’t forget about the myth of 1% influence. If you want to learn more about how important influencers are for marketing then check out this article about 1% influence in digital marketing.


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