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Finance

3 Ways Subscription Billing Promotes Customer Retention

3 Ways Subscription Billing Promotes Customer Retention 3

3 Ways Subscription Billing Promotes Customer Retention 4By Matt Frank, director of technology evangelism & product marketing at Blackthorn.io,

Everyone has been there: Frustrated by a processing mistake or billing error, you call customer service to resolve the issue. Instead of a quick transaction, the call becomes a game of “Telephone” bouncing you from department to department. You repeat the same information, frustration growing while you waste time and still lack a solution to your problem..

Customer retention suffers when a company loses track of a simple request, such as modifying or canceling a subscription. A third of customers will stop doing business with a brand they love after one bad customer service experience, and more than half will take their business to a competitor after repeated negative experiences.

Why is customer retention so crucial? Gaining a new customer is at least six times more expensive than keeping an existing one. A mere 5% increase in customer retention results in 25% revenue growth. And repeat customers are more likely to buy more often than new customers and spend more.

Organizations committed to customer satisfaction don’t just evolve their product and service offerings around customers’ needs — they also adjust their billing structures to incorporate new technologies and accommodate customer preferences. Along with improving your customer experience and automating workflows, subscription billing software drives customer retention by:

  • Reducing frustration from billing mistakes.
  • Saving customers time with recurring payments.
  • Offering a centralized source of payment information.

Improve customer touchpoints

SaaS companies reliant on recurring revenue can easily lose customers over billing mistakes, as the subscription model is part of their selling strategy. One way to improve customer retention includes minimizing the risk of relationship-ending payment processing errors. Subscription billing software eliminates friction in the customer experience.

Integrating subscription billing software with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform provides insight into a customer’s payment history and interactions. By consolidating information into one location, you equip your team to stay better aligned and informed so they can provide better customer experiences.

With subscription billing software, customers also benefit from automated messages with account updates to confirm receipt of payment, signal a bill due date, or verify account preference changes. These messages keep customers updated on account status and help build trust, resulting in a deeper connection with your brand. When your subscription software interfaces with your CRM, your customer teams can monitor open rates to identify the best channels for delivery, improve personalization and identify opportunities to upgrade services.

Save time and reduce errors with automation

As your organization scales, your billing practices must evolve. A growing customer base strains businesses relying on spreadsheets alone to manage invoices. The difficulty compounds when a growing company manages customer information with one system and payment data with another.

As the possibility of incorrect or outdated data increases, your accounting and IT teams will lose time reconciling fragmented data to align your systems. And with bad data floating around in your systems, customers will likely encounter more significant errors and take their business to competitors, stagnating your company’s growth.

Instead of searching spreadsheets, use technology that automates subscriptions, saving your team time while reducing errors. By automating payment processing, businesses get paid faster, reduce errors, and offer customers the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade their service as needed.

Activate customer data to inform retention strategies

All companies want to deliver an exceptional customer experience. But as consumers shop more online, businesses lacking access to customer data will struggle to evaluate and improve touchpoints in the customer journey. When data exists siloed in different platforms, the challenge becomes even greater.

From a billing perspective, inaccessible data inhibits a clear view of revenue health and customer satisfaction. Searching multiple systems to identify flagged or past-due accounts becomes cumbersome. It’s impossible to produce real-time reporting and respond strategically to problems without insight into the customers and products affecting your revenue.

Centralized customer data enables you to understand and manage customer accounts. A system connecting payment history to the rest of your customer relationship data allows you to improve relationships with unsatisfied customers before they leave.

Look for subscription software integrations capable of surfacing insights, including:

  • Common customer issues, to identify roadblocks and solutions.
  • Customers’ preferred payment methods and channels, to personalize their experiences.
  • Marketing and sales campaigns with the highest ROI, to focus your efforts on what works.
  • Most profitable customers, to target your audience and develop loyalty programs.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV), to determine cost per acquisition and average CLV.
  • Why and when customers cancel, to understand and reduce churn.

Centralized access to these insights saves time, empowers decision makers’ strategic planning and offers customer teams the tools to offer more meaningful customer experiences.

Customer retention relies on the exceptional experiences you offer, including your organization’s billing strategies. By incorporating subscription billing software into your customer relationship management, you equip your teams to improve the customer experience from one customer on the phone to your overall retention strategy. Centralized data insights equip your teams to personalize each customer interaction, reduce errors and plan for future success.

About Author:

Matthew Frank, a Denver resident and avid music enthusiast, has one goal in mind: to empower organizations with apps that delight and, simply put, ‘just work’. After years working for nonprofits and in higher education, Matthew became frustrated with the many disconnected legacy services that dominated those industries and fell backwards into the world of SaaS technology. This led him to the Salesforce ecosystem where he has worked for multiple award-winning ISV partners that focused on nonprofits, NGOs, associations, and higher ed. After working in the US ecosystem, Matthew moved to the UK where he continued to work in service to NGOs & EDUs in EMEA and ANZ, before returning to the US in 2020. He is currently with Blackthorn.io, an award-winning Salesforce.org Partner that has seen exponential growth and success since its founding in 2015.

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