More than a Number: The Bounty of Subscription Billing.
Your average consumer knows it just as well as your C-suite executive: subscription billing is all the rage. In a survey of more than 4,000 business and technology leaders who said they’re looking to change their business model over the next year, 29% reported that they’d like to adopt a “recurring revenue-based business model.” No doubt they’re growing more popular by the day, offering subscribers and businesses alike more reliability.
The flexibility of Chargent’s processing platform makes it easier than ever to quickly implement the billing and payments necessary for these business models.
But as a report by Forrester’s Lily Varon makes clear, recurring payment systems can also bring a business more than just a consistent revenue stream.
Pick the model that works best for you
Subscription systems aren’t one-size-fits-all, but every business–whether B2B or B2C–is looking to build sustained relationships with its clients. Returning customers should find the payment process as smooth as those who pay on a fixed schedule, which is why Chargent makes subscriptions as easy to manage as one-time payments, all right at your fingertips in Salesforce. And with 10 different recurring time periods to choose from, we’ve got options for any business ready to make the jump.
The model is flexible. Take the cloud backup service Carbonite, which not only offers plans for business and personal use, but has tiered membership levels for both. That requires a billing system that’s as nimble as it is dependable, which is where Chargent and Salesforce come in.
Don’t just win over subscribers, win them back every pay period
If you’re ready to move to a recurring revenue model, the goal shouldn’t simply be to win subscribers and hope they stay on. Every billing cycle represents a new opportunity to prove your worth and a new chance for your client to find the off-ramp. Companies like Slack are using what are called “fair billing” policies, adjusting rates and awarding credit for inactive users as a way to grow trust with clients.
Businesses should also look to sweeten the deal whenever they can. CLEAR, a service that expedites airport security checks for a monthly rate, is branching out to entertainment venues, not only giving its loyal customers something new to love, but also increasing the amount of data it collects and can sell to those same venues.
Which brings us to the final point…
Tap into more than just revenue
Subscription billing has taken off because it’s a win-win. Businesses get to build relationships with users and the steady revenue that comes with them. Customers don’t have to worry about forgetting a bill and losing a valued service; it’s one fewer headache. But your customers are more than just their billing information. With every transaction, they tell you about the market, your business, and what they’re looking for. The smart businesses are listening.
Ford isn’t exactly a subscription service, but it’s realized that it’ll need to do more than just offer one-time car purchases in a future of ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles. According to Varon, it now considers itself a “mobility” company, looking for ways to interact with new customers all the time. And when it does, it tries to learn as much as it can. Ford has even sponsored non-automotive services such as the GoBike city bicycle sharing program, ostensibly to better understand on-demand and subscription models and a different type of consumers than those who buy its primary source of revenue currently, the Ford F-150 truck.
As Varon puts it, “recurring customer relationships create more opportunities for insights because there are more touch points with which it can collect data.” Subscription models give businesses an open channel to learn more about their clients, and the best businesses will use every opportunity to get to know them better.