Gartner: Three in five software buyers regret their purchase
According to a recent report by Gartner, three in five buyers regret a software purchase within the last 18 months.
The report, “Why Software Buyers Experience Regret”, details that most buyers (60%) find themselves regretting their purchase, and more than half (54%) of those buyers regret multiple purchases.
The survey — which had over 3400 respondents — also found that over half of the regretful buyers (56%) say the financial blow will have a significant impact on long-term business performance. It’s especially acute for small businesses.
The top product-related reason for regret is a higher-than-expected total cost (33%), and the second most common reason for regret is a slow or difficult implementation of the product (32%).
Plus, the top vendor-related factors driving regret include problematic handoff between sales and implementation (43%) and mismanaged expectations (42%).
Out of all the customers who faced issues with their technology, 29% of them replaced it with the same technology from another vendor. Another 33% of them replaced it with a different one from a different vendor. One-third of the customers went to their vendor to resolve the issues while 25% requested a refund.
To tackle any future issues, Gartner recommends building credibility with verified reviews from satisfied customers. According to its research, 86% of businesses considered reviews important in their software research.
As a recommendation, software vendors are encouraged to communicate with their buyers to clarify their goals and desired outcomes. During the sales pitch, vendors should also be vigilant and take note of warning signs that may indicate potential regret from the buyers.
These warning signs may include overconfidence in the product, inexperience in the business, a failure to use product comparison sites, or businesses that are clearly in their growth stage.
In advice to businesses, banking firm Santander’s CISO suggested firms manage their digital transformation in manageable chunks, “because sometimes something turns out not to work.”
Overall, for vendors and buyers alike, Gartner recommends prioritising post-sales communication. Regret doesn’t necessarily lead to cancelling the subscription but can be used to home in on what the customer actually needs from the software vendor.
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