When someone signs up for a subscription, they’re putting their trust in your company and expecting a great customer experience for months to come. If you don’t provide this, there are lots of hungry companies just waiting to snatch away your hard-earned customers. So how can you create and maintain a great customer experience?
Most subscription customers expect four things:
- They want to feel part of a community
- They want you to understand their needs
- They expect great customer service
- They want their purchase to be processed without any snags
Build a Community
Subscription customers are different than customers of other business models where a person buys something once and you never see them again. People interested in subscriptions are coming in knowing they will be with you for many months, or even years in some cases. They are putting a huge amount of trust in your business, and they are depending on you to follow through on your end of the deal. They aren’t just buying something from you, they want a connection.
According to Robbie Kellman Baxter, author of The Membership Economy, people crave community and membership. Organizations that build their business around this need to connect are the ones winning in today’s economy. People want relationships, not products.
Why are people looking for a relationship with a business? That could be because we’re spending less time in traditional communities, such as churches, service organizations, or even talking to our actual neighbours. This drives people to look elsewhere for the sense of community they crave. Remember when Apple first started as a disrupter of the personal computing industry? People embraced Apple ownership as their own special club. Creating this same sense of community is a huge part of creating a positive customer experience.
Reward customer loyalty by offering something new, upgraded, or different to help keep customers longer.
Understand Customer Needs
Once you have the customer though, you need to stay in touch with them to see how their needs change as they move through their subscription lifecycle. What they first signed up for might not be right for them a few months into their subscription and they may be thinking about leaving. These changing needs are your opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. That’s why staying in contact with your customers is so important — you need ask them if you’re still hitting the mark or what you could be doing better. And be sure to reward customer loyalty by offering something new, upgraded, or different. This will help keep customers longer, which means more revenue.
Provide Great Customer Service
Customer service is the backbone of any subscription business. You begin providing customer service begins as soon as someone visits your website and begins interacting with your company. The experience must be positive and enticing, and that means your website should have clear language, easy navigation, and a variety of subscription options for different price points. Your customer needs to get excited when they visit your website. If they get frustrated, they will click away and you may never get them back. In a nutshell, when you provide a positive online user experience, you’re providing great customer service.
Of course, problems are going to happen, but having a proactive customer service team helps create a great customer experience. How your team responds to an inquiry or a problem is a strong reflection on the company as a whole – a bad customer service experience can make or break the customer relationship. Your team needs to be easy to reach and driven to respond quickly. If the process is going to take longer than expected, don’t let your communication lapse. Send regular updates to your customers and keep them informed about what’s going on with their problem or inquiry. Don’t make your subscribers feel ghosted by a customer service representative who leaves them in limbo.
Eliminate Payment Problems
While these are all important ways to create a positive customer experience, you’re throwing it all away if your payment process creates friction. Your customer has provided their credit card details and they expect you to provide their order or deliver their services, but this can’t happen if their payment fails.
Failed payments are legitimate transactions that are falsely declined by payment authorization systems. The customer wants to make the purchase, but the authorization system doesn’t have all the information needed to make correct decision and ends up declining a legitimate transaction to avoid potential fraud. Customers don’t want service interruptions, especially when the problem wasn’t their fault. Learn more about this in our eBook about Payment Authorization Management.
Failed payments hurt business and ruin the customer experience. According to Visa, recurring transactions are declined 24% of the time, on average. This means almost one in four transactions for recurring or subscription payments are falsely declined. Subscription companies must prioritize failed payment recovery because there’s more than one month’s transaction at stake when a payment fails— you’re losing a customer.
The FlexPay Invisible Recovery™ platform is an AI-powered solution that creates individual strategies for each failed payment. Invisible Recovery™ works quickly behind the scenes while completely avoiding customer visibility to the failed payment, which eliminates the churn created when subscription customers are made aware of their payment issue.
To find out how using a failed payment recovery system can help you create a great customer experience, watch our On Demand webinar or schedule a consultation with one of our failed payment recovery experts.