5 ways to optimize subscription billing for a better customer experience

5 ways to optimize subscription billing for a better customer experience

Think about your favorite brand. Now think about why it holds the number 1 spot for you? I am sure it is due to all the positive interactions and experiences whether through their customer service, or the benefits derived from their product/service, or the website experience. 

 

Now think about your subscription business. Are you doing enough to provide a superior customer experience every time they use your product just like your favorite brand?

 

Good customer experience can go a long way for your business. Happy customers will not only re-purchase your products, they also become your brand advocates, telling everyone about the amazing experience your business offered them. Research by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Therefore, providing a personalized customer experience is crucial to your business growth.  

 

When it comes to subscription billing, there are multiple things you could do to ensure your customers have a seamless experience, like generating customized invoices with data that's most important to customers - including the ability to itemize subscriptions, group usage charges, and present the data that best suits your customer's needs.

 

We will dive into different strategies that you can incorporate into your subscription billing to ensure your customers have an amazing experience every single time. 

 

Automate subscription billing 

Manual billing processes are slow and error-prone and can be a cause for customer dissatisfaction. Inconsistent invoices and delayed bills make your business look unprofessional, yet billing automation is often overlooked until the business experiences customer churn. 

 

Therefore, it's crucial for subscription businesses to accept automated recurring payments for accurate and efficient invoicing and dunning management. Consistent recurring billing helps in maintaining a healthy cash flow and improves the customer experience as they know what to expect every month. 

 

Comply with PCI standards

Credit card fraud and identity theft has been a huge customer pain point for years and has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2019 the number of reports increased by 72.4%. With so many data breaches and compromises every year, customers are growing ever concerned about the measures online services providers take to keep their profiles and credit card information secure. 

 

This is where Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) comes into play. PCI DSS are standards all businesses that accept credit card payments must abide by. Businesses pay huge fees in case of data breaches caused by a violation of these regulations. 

 

If you accept recurring payments you must abide by these laws to keep your customer information secure. Your customers will transact with a sense of relief knowing that you comply with all the security standards set forth. However, it is a time-consuming task to set up a PCI compliant system. Using a subscription billing service provider means that you do not have to invest your time and effort into building and managing an expensive system. You can rely on experts like LogiSense to take care of compliance and easily connect to any credit card or ACH payment service. 

 

Support local payment methods

As a subscription business, you sell to customers all over the world, so your recurring billing system must accept local payment methods. 

 

While recurring credit card billing may be a more popular payment method in North America, credit card penetration is low in other parts of the world. Consumers often prefer their local payment methods for recurring bill payments over credit card payments. You do not want to limit your payment methods and lose out on these customers. So be sure you accept as many payment types as possible to remain competitive and make it easier for customers to transact with you. 

 

A recurring payment processing provider like LogiSense can help ensure that you are accepting recurring payments per your customer’s preferences. 

 

Optimize your billing to suit your customer

Many subscription businesses can be pretty rigid with their billing dates which may not always be ideal for the customer. There’s a higher chance of invoices being rejected if the invoices are sent out when the customer has insufficient funds. 

 

Be mindful of the pay dates when you set up your billing date. Different countries have different pay periods including bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly payments. If you have customers all over the world it is advisable to set up a billing date based on the pay dates of your customer as it is likely your bills will be honored. 

 

As a business, you do not want to lose loyal customers by not being flexible. You should always have strategies in place to combat involuntary churn and provide options to pause their subscription if needed. Often customers will fail to make a payment and you should have a system in place to plan for these failed payments. You should have a system that details the steps in case of billing failure and accounts for dunning management. 

 

Design Your Invoice Layouts to match customer’s needs

If you are a subscription business you are likely generating recurring invoicing to bill your customers, Make sure your customers know how often and how much they will be billed so that there are no surprises when they receive the bill. 

Your customers want to know exactly what they are paying for, so it's your job to ensure your invoices clarify their usage and billing details in an easy to understand format. You should also ensure that there are no errors or missing information to avoid any delays in payments. There are fewer chances of complaints and churn if your invoices are free from these issues. 

 

Here’s an example of what an ideal invoice should look like

  • Itemized list of invoiced items
  • Issuing date
  • Bill due date
  • Billing breakdown 
  • Usage/ Consumption Summary
  • Taxation breakdown
  • Mode of payment accepted
  • Late penalty if any
  • Date when they will be billed next 
  • Invoice item Adjustment
  • Invoice Adjustment
  • Credits
  • Refunds

 

Invoice

 

Also, use your invoices as an opportunity to create brand recognition, and share marketing messages, and upsell other products and services. A consistently branded invoice makes you look professional and builds trust. You can achieve this by using an auto-billing software like LogiSense that helps design and brand your invoices

 

Taking the above-mentioned advice will help you improve your customer relationships and improve profitability. Delivering amazing customer experiences is an ongoing process. If you want to remain competitive you should keep optimizing your business to provide positive experiences each time your customers interact with you.

 

As a subscription business, automated recurring billing is the way to go to improve customer experience. Billing automation makes your billing processes more efficient, flexible, and scalable. A robust recurring payment software provider like LogiSense grows with your business and helps meet your customer needs as they grow. Since you do not have to worry about complicated billing processes you can focus your efforts on building a much better customer experience

 

Contact one of our subscription billing experts today to help you guide through choosing a billing process that suits your needs.

 


 

About the author
Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Chris has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry dealing with Fortune 2000 enterprises and service providers globally. As VP of Solution Engineering Chris interacts in the market and internally providing: technical leadership and vision, mentorship, and creative problem-solving. Chris is responsible for a team that helps customers understand the technical value LogiSense can provide as well as guidance and industry consulting to ensure their business is prepared for success in rapidly changing markets.