Subscription billing can be a great option if your business is using top-notch subscription management software.
In addition to keeping newly-established companies on the track to success, subscription billing can also be an attractive feature for customers. What makes subscription management software exceptional? How can it improve customer lifetime value? Read on to learn more.
Subscription Billing 101
While SaaS companies and other software vendors were the early adopters of subscription billing for services, more businesses are embracing the concept. There’s Amazon Prime, which serves roughly 65 million members each year, and businesses such as Harry’s (the shaving brand) took the concept of subscription billing and turned their razor company into a revenue-generating juggernaut. Failure to offer subscription billing isn’t just a financial mistake, but also a deterrent to potential customers.
What can subscription billing—particularly with a solid subscription management software— do for a business? For one thing, it helps ensure a predictable cash flow, which increases the value of your company. Subscription billing will also save time, particularly the time spent hunting down payments, creating new invoices with mounting late fees and sending dunning notices. You’ll also see an increase in customer retention, as customers often elect to keep the service rather than go through the trouble of canceling.
Customer Service and Subscription Management
How do customers benefit when a business puts subscription management software into place? Here are just a few of the advantages that customers enjoy.
- Convenience— When a customer chooses to use subscription billing, they no longer have to remember to pay a monthly bill to continue enjoying their product or service. Offering a “set it and forget it” option shows customers that their time is important to you, and they appreciate it. No more trying to recall usernames and passwords, logging in to make a payment, and paying late fees when the due date inevitably passes.
- Savings— Many businesses offer discounted rates when customers sign up for longer periods of time, such as quarterly or annually. Even if they don’t, there are savings to be had in postage, as well as in fees associated with late payments.
- Payment Plans— If a customer could benefit from a product but can’t afford to pay for that product in a lump sum, offering a monthly payment option could lead to conversion. Additionally, enabling customers to get the product they need at a price they can afford is an easy way to build brand loyalty.
- Eco-Friendly— Automated payments are far greener than sending invoices and receiving checks. Not only will it save paper, but it will also decrease the carbon footprint generated by mailing both invoices and payments.
Top Features of Great Subscription Management Software
If your subscription management software isn’t top-notch, it’s almost as difficult as working without one. Here are the features that make a subscription management software product stand out above the rest.
- Ease of Integration— A good subscription management software is easy to integrate within a business’s preexisting payment gateway(s), e-commerce platform solution, financial systems, and any other e-commerce tools that might be employed. Fast and efficient implementation of the software results in faster ROI.
- Accommodate Multiple Payments— The best way to ensure conversions is to offer a wide variety of payment methods. If a customer gets all the way through the buying process and is ready to commit to a subscription billing plan, but finds out that their preferred payment method isn’t supported, they’re far more likely to abandon their shopping cart.
- Secure Data Storage— Ideally, subscription management software will store all of the sensitive customer data entered, including payment information. This information must be secure, or it’s unlikely that the subscription billing option will be popular with customers.
- Seamless Automation— While customer convenience is important, it’s also essential to choose a subscription management software product that will streamline your business’s processes. When you and your staff aren’t wasting time dealing with invoicing and payment processing, it frees up time to grow your business, increasing your bottom line as well as potentially expanding your product line.
Results Index for Subscription Management Rankings
G2 Crowd recently released their Results Index for Subscription Management, ranking the top nine subscription management software products according to a survey of real users. They awarded badges for categories including Best Results, Best Estimated ROI, and Users Most Likely to Recommend. FastSpring crushed it.
- Going Live—When users were asked how long it took them to take their subscription management software live, FastSpring beat all other competitors, including Stripe, Chargify, Recurly, and Zuora.
- User Recommendation—FastSpring dominated Chargify, Recurly, and WooCommerce when 94% of users stated that it was likely that they would recommend the product.
- User Adoption— FastSpring scored a 100% user adoption rate, compared to Chargebee’s 80%, Stripe’s 91%, Chargify’s 63%, Recurly’s 83% and Zuora’s 53%.
To read more into the details of the Results Index for Subscription Management, and FastSpring’s results within it, click here to view the comprehensive report.