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What is Subscription Management?

Subscription management is the art of handling your customer's subscription life cycle from start to finish. It starts when a customer signs up for or purchases your product or service, and ends at the point where they cancel or leave the subscription. It also involves making sure that customers are happy with your product or service.

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So, how is subscription management different from recurring billing?
Recurring billing involves processing new signups or purchases, which means it deals with the moment when a prospect becomes a customer. Subscription management, on the other hand, deals with your existing customers and the ongoing process of ensuring that they stay with your service.

If you run a subscription business, recurring billing shouldn't be your only concern. Studies have shown that focusing just on getting new customers might produce results in the short term, but it will not help you in the long run. To establish a successful subscription business, you need to strike the perfect balance between billing and subscription management.

How do I efficiently manage subscriptions?

To manage customer subscriptions well, you need to get the key aspects right. These aspects can be divided into three stages:

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Product or service information

Customers should always be in the know about what they are purchasing or signing up for. Foggy product information may lead to customers signing up but later canceling their subscription because it wasn't what they were looking for. So, you should make sure that the important product information is always communicated to the customer upfront.

Pricing plans

Give prospects who are evaluating your offerings a wealth of pricing options to choose from. This win-win situation provides the customer with what they are looking for, and also gives you an opportunity to reach a wider audience and convert them into paying customers.

Add-ons, discounts and free trials

If you have additional services that aren't included with your pricing plans, mention them while people sign up. You can also provide discounts from time to time to help those prospects who might find the price point to be a deal-breaker.

Another important option is to provide free trials. This is most applicable to SaaS businesses, but some clothing businesses have also adopted it recently. By offering a free trial, you provide the prospect with transparency and the ability to make a well-informed decision.

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Proration

During a subscription period, customers might decide to upgrade to a higher pricing plan or drop a pricing rung lower. You must make sure that these processes are seamless and that the customer isn't left with a bad experience. Additionally, this change must be updated in all of the relevant places (subscription information, invoices, and charges) automatically.

Communication

Happy customers tend to stick around longer. Make sure to maintain a rapport with your existing customers by politely informing them about upcoming payment deadlines, and giving a friendly nudge about overdue ones. They should also be able to access their subscription information at all times.

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Involuntary cancelation

Sometimes, customers forget to pay for their subscriptions, or they might not have sufficient funds when a payment is due. Following up on these involuntary payment failures and retrying them after an appropriate period increases your chances of successful payments.

Feedback

If a customer is certain about discontinuing their subscription, make sure to get their feedback on what went wrong and use it to make your offerings better in the future.

Good subscription management is important for your business, but it takes a lot of work. A one-stop solution helps you enjoy all of the benefits of subscription management without all of the work.

Meet Zoho Subscriptions, the perfect subscription management solution.

Automate your subscription management tasks and focus on growing lasting customer relationships. Zoho Subscriptions helps you with:

  • Product and pricing plan management
  • Automated proration
  • Retry settings
  • Add-ons, coupons, and free trial management
  • Payment reminders and a customer portal
  • Feedback automation
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