Running a subscription business means that you need to set up an auto-renew payment system at some point. This is by far the most cost effective way to generate a long term income from your customer base. However, setting people up on an auto-renew system can be difficult and you should ensure that you are as transparent as possible so you don’t upset them.
If you do upset your customers you can be sure that you will hear about it. If you don’t receive complaints, you’ll notice the significant number of individuals leaving your subscription service and finding another supplier.
Therefore, you need a process that will allow you to properly set-up the auto-renew process. Here are several tips for you to setup auto-renew for your customers that will keep them happy and improve their retention.
It is essential to be transparent about your charges. This means that you need to say to your clients that they will be placed on an auto-renew system, which gives them an opportunity to either turn down the service or be prepared for it.
If you aren’t informing your clients in the first place they will become annoyed when they see your charges on their bank statements.
2. Specify Dates
When you are setting up an auto-renew, ensure that the customer knows exactly when the auto-renew will come into effect. If they don’t know when the payment is going to be collected from your business then they will be unable to budget for it. By giving them a specific date they can prepare for the payment and ensure enough funds are in the bank.
If you take payments on any days that could become bank holidays, as banks are often unable to take payments on these days, you should ensure that your clients know what the alternative payment details are.
3. Specify Amounts
Sometimes, there are times when the auto-renew might be a different price than what they initially paid. This might be because you have offered a discount on their first subscription payment or a free trial. Alternatively they could have changed their order in the interim. Whatever the reason, you need to ensure that you carefully detail the charges to the customer.
This should be communicated clearly, along with the other information that is applicable to the payment.
Sometimes there are changes which need to be made when it comes to the auto-renew charges or dates. This could be because you’ve had to increase the price or changed the date for accounting reasons. Whatever the reason, you need to inform your customers immediately of any changes.
At the same time as informing clients of changes, you need to communicate immediately when you set up the auto-renew.
Finally you need to make sure that your clients have the chance to back out of the auto-renew. This could mean that they have an option on the signup sheet or that you have a simple cancel button on your website / through their account.
Be sure to inform them that cancelling the automation puts their subscription, and access to your services, at risk and that they should think twice before doing this.
You need to make sure that your customers are happy before putting them on auto-renew. If they aren’t happy, they will soon let you know by complaining or walking away from your service. Ensure that you are considering the above when it comes to your auto-renew process to keep your clients happy.