Small Business people live by the seat of their pants. They sole entrepreneur knows exactly how hard it is to build a customer list and market to those customers. Middle managers of large companies are hired into their position, maintain it for a period of time, then move on for career growth. This is an entirely different process than a small business owner who is fully invested in building the business from the first day.
One durable trait of small business people is that they do not trust external vendors to handle their core customer management functions. As shown in the chart by Forrester Research, despite 30 years of Cloud Based CRM products, a vast majority of small business still use a PC or On-Premise CRM solution for their core Contact and Accounting functions.
1. Not Sorry I’m Sorry Letters
Every small business owner has used an AOL or Yahoo account, and knows that online vendors are merely a target for hackers. What is worse, the online vendors take advantage of bias consumer protection laws and legal agreements that leave them with no responsibility for anything they do. Anyone who has spent years building a customer list gets completely frustrated to learn from an “I’m Sorry” letter that their customers were stolen and being marketed on the dark web.
2. Insatiable Costs
There is not a single SaaS product that is less expensive to own than a PC based product. Microsoft Office 2010 cost $199 for a perpetual license, Microsoft 365 costs $99 per year for the same features. QuickBooks 2012 cost $190, and QuickBooks Pro in 2020 now costs $299.99 per year. There is not a single common product that is less expensive as a SaaS than it was as a perpetual license. SaaS never saved anyone any money – it was used as a cover to provide less service for a far higher price.
3. Unexpected Downtime
The promise of SaaS is that since they take care of the equipment, they will responsibly ensure there is no downtime. The reality is that every service has downtime and aside from pestering you with a message about it, unexpected downtime is a serious cost to business. Whether it is a network backbone or a local internet issue, a business that relies on internet service has a real vulnerability to uncontrolled downtime. A business based on in-house software may have a failed computer, but this is a fixable problem. Anyone who has sat for hours waiting for some uncontrolled event knows this.
4. Poor Technical Support
The past days of PC Software gave us a time when you called for technical support and received it. There was no guarantee of quality, as Franklin Covey learned when they outsourced their entire product team to India and lost their product position in the market. But for the most part, you knew if you needed help you could get it on the phone. Today, no SaaS product provides adequate support. They merely listen to what you say and blandly tell you to try a different browser. It is impossible to reach someone who cares.
5. No Loyalty to Customers
Customers are often loyal to a product, but that loyalty is not reciprocated by SaaS vendors. They treat customers as throw-away goods in their constant effort to charge more for less service. This comes in the form of email marketing that shows little concern for small business priorities, cost management or offers for the best price. Every small business knows the frustration of making a large purchase, only to see it go on sale shortly after – without any way to get credit for the sale price. To buy the wrong product and be told you cannot refund it (Apple -I’m looking at you!). SaaS vendors take zero responsibility for misinformation on their website.
Years ago, Blackmail was a crime. But with SaaS, every vendor has their moment where they inform their customer to cough up money now, or you will never see your data again. The heart of this is the ambiguity over who owns the data on the SaaS service. The customer has carefully curated and added the data, but the vendor may not reciprocate and provide robust tools to extract it or migrate it to another platform. This leads to a standoff where the SaaS vendor literally blackmails the customer when the customer attempts to regain control of their on contact and opportunity lists.
Blackmail is compounded by the short half-life of SaaS vendors. Every few years, a vendor change hands, and their careful customer support policies of “We will never sell your data” or “We pride ourselves on our service” changes overnight to a very cold “If you object to this you can end your service but never see your data again.” Check out Sunrise Calendar, SwiftKey Keyboard, or Picasa.
DejaOffice has disrupted CRM by introducing affordable On-Premise Customer Management. Contacts< Calendar, Tasks, Notes, History, Deals, Follow-Ups and Sync to Android and iPhone built into a product that costs just $59 per user. Compare this to similar “low cost” SaaS products that are six times more costly and you cannot even call them if you have a question. If you run a small business and have experienced any of the frustrations above, you will save time, money, and frustration by switching to DejaOffice today.