Software that Small-Business Users Rate Lowest

Small businesses have very different needs than multinational conglomerates or even mid-sized companies. We’ve already published a blog outlining the best software for small-business owners, so here are some tools you should definitely be careful of when considering new solutions for your business.

They’re not specific products, but rather categories that have gained a reputation on G2 Crowd for having low average satisfaction scores. Some vendors have been difficult to deal with, some software is just difficult to use.

Now a lot of these tools are completely necessary, but this post should just encourage small-business owners and managers to put a little more time into product consideration than usual.

Note: Data comes from verified reviews by users at companies with fewer than 50 employees as of April 20, 2017.

Toughest vendors to work with

When you’re a small business, it’s not always easy to get the attention of vendors to get the support you need. Sometimes issues doing business with vendors arise during the purchasing process while others pop up during setup or regular usage.

The lowest-scoring categories for our Ease of Doing Business metric were accounting software, display advertising software and cloud platform as a service (PaaS) software.

Accounting troubles have stemmed mostly from implementation and dealing with crises. If an accounting tool fails, people are instantly affected, and both customers and employees are typically unhappy when they do not get paid.

Display advertising vendors have received complaints for complicated pricing and the overemphasis of subpar analytics. PaaS tools are complicated in general, but most of these complaints stem from rapidly scaling pricing options and users attempting to implement existing systems atop the platforms.

Least likely to recommend

From inadequate ROI to poor performance, low recommendation scores are probably the most widely spanning set of complaints. The lowest-scoring categories for this metric were product management software, professional services automation software, and 3D modeling software software.

Product management tools had a variety of complaints, but many of them were simply detailing how the software does not improve products or simplify planning. Some tools are also overly complicated with unintuitive interfaces, and are geared to a specific type of team.

Professional services automation complaints were most often from users describing poor functionality, a lack of customizability and complicated reporting. 3D modeling tools, simply, are often just too complicated. These tools require highly specialized skills to use effectively.

Hardest software to use

Usability is such an important metric that we have reports dedicated to measuring it. The categories with lowest scores in this metric were display advertising software, accounting, and media monitoring software.

Users often said that with display advertising tools, it is difficult to understand how pricing works, where ads appear and what metrics really matter. Accounting software is often difficult to use because these programs are rigid and must abide by certain protocols and processes. Media monitoring tools were often described as unusable because analytics and reports are hard to set up, while interfaces are unintuitive.

Worst Quality of Support

This metric is straightforward. Did the product support staff meet the needs of your company? Users of accounting, display advertising, and cloud PaaS rated these poorest among all software categories.

Accounting users were not satisfied with the documentation and responsiveness of support staff, often preventing or delaying payouts. Display advertising and PaaS software providers also failed meet the support needs of users.

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