Everything You Need To Know About Subscription Management
Whether your brand is a subscription-based business or simply offers subscription services to customers, understanding how to manage your subscription program effectively is crucial for driving predictable revenue and growth from loyal customers. From ensuring a smooth sign-up and billing process to delivering exceptional customer service throughout the experience to make the subscription worthwhile, there’s a lot of time and thought that goes into subscription management. If you’re curious about how you can optimize your subscription-based business’s processes to maximize your revenue, join us as we dive into our subscription management best practices.
How Does Proper Subscription Management Impact Customer Satisfaction?
Picture this: after months of trial and error, you’ve finally found a deodorant brand that you absolutely love. Perfect, smooth formula, a variety of scents and sizes for travel and everyday use – it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for. Oh, and even better: the brand offers subscriptions! Now, you’re not only able to receive regular deliveries, but you don’t even have to think about adding “buy deodorant” to your to-do list anymore (which means no more dashing out to the store at the last minute when it runs out at the most inconvenient time – been there, done that). However, during the first few months of your subscription, you’ve experienced a couple of issues, including receiving the incorrect quantity and scent and learning that you’ve been overcharged. Ugh – total face-palm moment, right?If you’re like 80% of consumers, these issues will likely have you canceling your subscription or switching to a competitor’s subscription altogether. Surprisingly, the scenario we’ve described isn’t completely out of the ordinary for many E-Commerce brands. Harvard Business Review found that the subscription economy grew more than 300% from 2012 to 2019 – however, Gartner estimated that only 20% of subscription businesses would succeed in increasing customer retention, possibly because of the competition within the E-Commerce space as well as the lack of initiative many brands took to optimize their subscription services. Fortunately, you can avoid this outcome for your brand by optimizing your subscription processes and implementing automation to meet your customers’ needs without excessive intervention from agents.
Best Practices For Managing Subscriptions Within Your E-Commerce Business
If what you just read sounds simple, that’s because it is simple – as long as your brand prioritizes the right tasks. To ensure that your subscription services generate more revenue and promote growth, follow these best practices for subscription management.
1. Automate billing & payment processing
If automated billing sounds obvious when it comes to managing subscriptions, you may be shocked to learn that many E-Commerce businesses are still manually processing invoices for customers enrolled in subscriptions. In fact, as recently as February 2023, 56% of account sector employees reported spending more than 10 hours each week handling invoices and payments, reducing your team’s productivity and leading to troubling errors. With around 40% of churn being caused by displeased customers who were accidentally overcharged, it’s crucial to implement automation that charges customers the same amount (at the same time) each billing cycle. Luckily, there are several great subscription software options that you can use to automate billing, such as Recharge, Skio, and Bold.
2. Utilize subscription analytics & reporting to gauge success
Being the customer service-obsessed brand that we are, we highly recommend helpdesk software to all E-Commerce businesses that have to manage support tickets across multiple channels. However, the right helpdesk software will also offer tracking and analytics that give your brand insight into the success of your subscription services. From how and when people sign up to customer histories that compile the reasons why customers cancel subscriptions, the stores of information will help you brand determine where and how to improve your subscription management processes.
3. Practice proactive outreach & prioritize communication
A fundamental pillar of effective subscription management is prioritizing communication. By taking a proactive approach, your brand can anticipate and address potential issues with your subscription-based customers before they escalate, leading to increased customer satisfaction and reduced churn rates. A few examples of proactive outreach and communication that we suggest are:
- Creating onboarding and welcome emails. When done appropriately, post-sign-up welcome emails can set the tone for the relationship with your customers and offer clear instructions on how to get started (as well as any features and benefits of your subscription that you may want to reiterate).
- Communicate regularly. Sending your customers exclusive content, resources, and updates related to their subscriptions creates a sense of both value and community with your brand. Plus, it offers opportunities for your customers to reach out if they need assistance.
- Personalize the experience. You can never go wrong with tailoring the experience to meet the needs of each customer – especially when 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations. By practicing segmentation in email marketing and other communications that allows for greater personalization, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
4. Offer flexibility within your subscriptions
It’s no secret that customers appreciate flexibility from brands, but flexibility is especially important when it comes to subscriptions. Let’s take Bite, for example, a sustainable powder toothpaste brand that offers a range of additional hygiene products including mouthwash, tooth whitening gel, and deodorant. When customers sign up to receive regular deliveries of Bite’s signature toothpaste, “Bits,” they’re able to customize their subscription to meet their unique needs. Let’s say a Bite customer didn’t use up all of their Bits – within their member portal, they can easily postpone their next delivery to a later date. They can also add on products to be delivered either once or on a regular basis, cancel an item, change their shipping address or payment method, or even cancel their subscription altogether. All in all, the flexibility Bite provides gives customers the ability to take charge of their subscriptions and meet their needs without hassle. And, according to The State of Subscription Commerce Report 2021 by ReCharge, brands like Bite that offered flexibility were the ones that saw the highest growth and maintained loyal customers.
Optimize Your Subscription Management Services To Elevate Your Brand’s Customer Experience
If your brand depends on subscriptions to grow and scale, then it needs clear, straightforward processes that make it easy for customers to opt in and manage their subscriptions both independently and with customer service agents. At TalentPop, our qualified agents have experience working in a wide range of E-Commerce tools and software used for subscription management services and are prepared to step in and help your customers with their unique needs. Schedule a call with our team today to learn how we can generate more revenue through customer support by offering above-and-beyond customer service for your subscription-based brand.
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