What does it mean? It means that for whatever reason (be it cost, time overruns, loss of the creative muse, a breach of trust or confidence, being ignored, fobbed off with excuses) your customer makes a momentous decision. That now is the time to move on, to search for and find another supplier.
If things are really bad, that may well include a decision to change; even if the new supplier is not quite as good, is a bit more expensive, doesn’t exactly do the ideal job…but emotionally your client is at the stage where almost anything is better than having to continue to deal with the existing supplier.
Well – can I give you an example?
We have been using a particular suppliers accounting software and payroll for over 10 years (let’s name them as Intuit and Quickbooks). In that time we’ve put up with;
- new versions, which entail a bunch of work on our part to configure to do what the previous version did
- having to re-learn how to use the stuff
- a software purchase fee, which morphed into a vastly increased monthly charge and resulted in a huge argument with a Customer Service rep when we found that new customers were charged considerably less than we were being charged, before getting it reduced
- and today…well today the damn payroll table wouldn’t update and Intuit Customer Service essentially tried to blackmail us into having to pay them to get the answer (‘…all software has bugs and you need to pay £50 or £10 per month for us to fix it…’)
I’m afraid I sense a pattern here – this is an organisation that relies on us finding it more difficult to move away from them and thus reluctantly accepts what seems like an unceasing effort to extract more money from us.
The Intuit Customer Service reps may be polite, but that just seems to be a mask; underneath is an organism only interested in itself and existing to feed off its unsuspecting customers.
Today was the day that we went POP. Tomorrow we start to find an alternative (any suggestions?)
And Intuit – if this is your status quo, then sooner or later you may have to face up to the reality, nasty companies eventually get found out.
And you dear reader…what would you do if your customers went POP on you?