Why do SaaS Customers Leave?

Don’t overcomplicate it, customers typically only leave a product behind for one of a few reasons:

Adoption / Product Fit

  • Did we sell the product outside our target market?
  • Did the customer have challenges with implementation or rollout?
  • Is there an internal champion of the product?

Missed Expectations

  • Did we sell something that was not deliverable by our product or service team?
“Son, your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash”


  • Did customer go to an alternative solution at a lower cost, or stop using it all together?
  • Did the need for the product go away?

Organizational Change

  • Did we lose a champion/sponsor or get a new key stakeholder?
  • Did customer get bought and contract abandoned?


  • Did client care team or processes fail to perform?
  • Did product have performance, availability or quality issues?

Tracking churn

For me, it’s important that we have a conversation with every churned customer about why they left. Depending on your volume, this may have to be done through automated surveys, but it should still be done. You’re looking for anecdotal feedback from which trends can be identified. Once the top churn reasons are understood, you can plan to attack them through product, positioning and service enhancements.

Jay Nathan

Written by

I work with B2B SaaS companies to find and fight the causes of churn, and sell to existing customers to accelerate growth. http://www.customerimperative.com