Spotify provides users with access to millions of songs and thousands of podcasts. And while the music streaming niche is getting progressively more crowded, the business’s subscription service continuously manages to snatch the greatest market share away from even massive competitors like Apple and Amazon.
Its seamless customer experience begins the moment you sign up.
- Easy access: After choosing your preferred plan, you input your login credentials and payment method and you’re immediately tuned in and jamming with your free trial period.
- Simple account updates: Your account settings are just a click away, so you can always keep things up to date or adjust your plan when it suits your needs.
- Automated updates: Throughout your subscriptions, you can opt to receive automated messages about everything from your account and special offers to notifications on your favorite music and artists.
- Responsive customer service: Run into an issue? Spotify’s robust customer help page along with its community of users allows you to quickly troubleshoot any part of the process you‘re having a tough time with. The business is also known for its quick and excellent social media customer support. Sometimes they even send personalized songs based on social conversations with customers.
- Flexible pricing: After a month your free trial runs out—or three months if you happen to be a student. Finding the service too expensive now? Spotify often extends temporary discounts to make it more enticing and keep you streaming.
- Customized experience: Finally, your user data helps the service provide you with an even better experience. Spotify makes recommendations based on your usage history, which adds value and stickiness to the service.
Of course, it’s very easy to write off anything giants like Spotify do as being inaccessible to ordinary or even extraordinary scaling SaaS businesses. But with the right automated subscription management software, incredible customer-oriented features can become part of your SaaS business’s standard processes.
What is subscription management?
A process or system of managing customer lifecycle operations in a recurring revenue business. These operations can be automated or manual and include everything from account creation and maintenance to assigning discounts or credits and making mid-cycle subscription changes.
The subscription SaaS market is growing by the day, which means competition is growing too. To stay competitive, it’s not enough to just deliver a great product anymore.
Digitally transforming your subscription management process enables you to deliver a great experience and that added value customers demand.
1. Self-service functionality for a better SaaS experience
If your team has to manually activate every new account, it’s going to mean trouble both for you and the customer. On the user end, starting up will be a slower, less satisfying experience than they expect.
On your end, it means a vital resource—company time—is being wasted on something that could be quick, easy, and automated.
It should be no surprise that customers want their experience with your service to be as seamless as possible. Businesses that make it simple for customers to sign up for and manage products on their own time also enjoy several benefits.
Naturally, companies that use manual activations are limited by the number of hours in a day.
In the beginning, this might not be a big problem, but as your business grows you’ll quickly realize the manual logging and activation process is unsustainable.
The growth you experience will be constantly offset by the amount of time it takes to activate and manage accounts by hand. Automating the process solves this.
Reduced capacity for error:
Through a manual process, when a customer has to do something simple like update their contact information, the data might get passed around through many departments.
Every time the information gets passed along to a new department—or not passed at all—the possibility of human error is introduced.
By allowing customers to update basic information on their own through a self-service portal, you both make things easier on their end and uncomplicate the process on yours.
Improved collection assurance:
Subscription management software doesn’t just automate the sign-up process and ease data maintenance. It can also go a long way toward simplifying other account management chores like collections.
A comprehensive service will not only notify customers when their credit cards are about to expire and when their payment is late, but also provide them with a means of easily resolving the situation—all without ever consuming any of your staff’s time or attention.
This means customers never have to spend their time emailing or talking with customer service. And more importantly, they never need to worry about an interruption to their service.
2. Subscription management software increases account flexibility
Customers appreciate an experience that’s tailored to their needs. Some may be interested in your product, but not so receptive to the plans or packages your company currently provides.
The ability to quickly customize your offerings to your customers will sharply enhance the appeal of your business.
- For example, the ability to adjust existing customer accounts—either to include more or fewer services—can help you keep customers from switching to the competitor. Adaptive subscription management software enable modifications at the customer level without impacting your broader catalog.
- From the customer end, it’s usually much easier to adjust their service with a few clicks than it is to find an entirely new provider. So giving customers the ability to select add-ons or migrate plans seamlessly adds value.
- Flexible catalog options will also make it easier to upsell. The estimated probability of selling a new product to an existing customer is about 70%—a stark contrast from the 5-20% chance you have of finding success selling to strangers.
- Finally, comprehensive subscription management software also make it easier to extend discounts and automate the management of them from a finance perspective.
- You may be able to catch customers close to churning by floating an enticing coupon.
Tailored subscription plans and customized features and discounts are a great way to extend your customer life cycle and establish brand loyalty.
3. SaaS communication automation
While communication with customers is key, the method is everything. The customer wants their messages from you to be brief, helpful, and easily understood.
We already touched on how automated communication can aid in the collections process. Further automated messages could relate to onboarding as well as notifications about new products, changes to the service agreement, or impending subscription renewal dates.
Indeed, a significant portion of your customer-oriented communications can be automated in ways that are beneficial to both parties.
For example, an onboarding message at the start of the services may help customers initiate their program with minimal effort or headache.
4. SSOT and how it impacts business efficiency
SSOT or single source of truth is a data management strategy designed to eliminate the possibility of human error. With subscription-based services, data is subject to frequent change. Any time a discount is provided, a plan is migrated, or an adjustment is made to an account, the data needs to be accurately logged.
Subscription management software logs this data and acts as a single source of truth database. This is an effective means of managing data because accurate information is automatically uploaded and can be accessed across all departments by anyone who needs it. However, unlike other systems of data management, it can’t be universally altered.
SSOT provides a reliable source of data that’s unlikely to be corrupted by mistakes. For the customer, this can help to erase needless account complications that come about due to an error on your end.
With SSOT, you can eliminate the need for awkward phone calls with customers trying to clarify billing errors or other account confusions.
There are also impalpable benefits to the customer that can stem from a reliable SSOT. For example, because your team will spend less time combing through and interpreting data, you can focus more on product development and customer success efforts.
Keeping up with the subscription competition
The world of SaaS grows daily. Crafting a seamless customer experience isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s a necessary part of any good business plan that will help you retain your base and bring new customers into the fold.
A digital transformation to adaptive subscription management software makes it possible to create a world-class experience for your customers. Not only does automating account management and communication features keep things simpler for them and provide that added value they expect, but it also reduces stress for your team while opening the door a little wider for scalability.
For the SaaS company that wants to grow, it’s not optional anymore.