A subscription or contract business model can bring big changes to your business and has become an extremely popular practice. There are many perks to this business model when your internal team can successfully and efficiently manage renewals, upsells, downsells, and contract terminations. But in reality, getting a recurring revenue model off the ground takes some legwork and preparation. Here are five subscription billing best practices to keep in mind.
Whether the recurring bill is for a subscription service (such as a software subscription) or products (such as Barkbox), one of the most important subscription billing best practices is to ensure your business and terms are visible. Have a packet of collateral ready for potential clients that includes pricing tables, terms, cancellation policy, additional charges, and more. This enables customers to make informed decisions about your products, services and ensures there are no surprises for either party.
Make Cancellations & Changes Simple
When the time comes for a customer to cancel or change their subscription, it should be a simple process. Having a complicated cancellation process will lead to complaints which harm customer loyalty and the reputation of your brand. To avoid issues like these, present clear terms of service and customer education right from the get-go and have these documents available in a client portal or other communication platform.
Keep in Touch with Customers
Once a subscription or contract has been signed it is important to keep the communication going with customers. For example, send newsletters with product or service updates, or notify customers of changes and give clear explanations as to how they will be affected. Ultimately, the key to growing your subscription business is to establish long-term customer relationships. Continue interactions through the billing period, issue surveys, and encourage customers to contact you with questions and concerns. Identifying problems ahead of time will lead to greater customer satisfaction and fewer cancellations.
Clear and On-brand Communications
Subscriptions come in many different forms. Communicating with clearly-labeled receipts and invoices allows customers to know exactly what they are paying for and more easily understand the value you are providing them. Whether it is an upgrade, a renewal, or a discount, it is key to keep customers in the know. Keep charges consistent and brand them effectively so they are noticed quicker on bank and account statements. This lowers the chances of charge disputes and increases customer service.
Utilize Recurring Billing Tools
Choosing to modernize your business with a recurring billing model is a big decision. One thing to keep in mind is that creating your own billing solution will most likely not be scalable. Using spreadsheets and other manual processes can lead to significant errors. Having to clean up manual messes leaves less time for creating innovative products, services, and focusing on how to grow your business. Luckily there are software solutions which automate your processes, leaving more time to focus on what your business does best.
By following these subscription billing best practices, you’ll be positioned for success and growth. Learn more about how 360 Subscription Billing for NetSuite can help you accomplish your recurring billing goals.