What are you missing by not having control of your subscription data?
by Niclas Lilja, on Nov 22, 2018
While we often talk about what you have to gain by using better reporting tools and having more automations for subscription management, it's important to note what opportunities you may actually be missing. When you don't have proper control of your master data, and spend a significant amount of your time on administrative tasks, you may be overlooking important details that are hurting your business now, and in the long-run.
Upsells and renewals
Without understanding your individual contracts, customer usage rates, and contract terms, you may be missing out on opportunities to secure future revenues. Do you have a system in place for identifying when you can increase contract values, upsell a customer to a higher pricing tier, or even simply renew existing contracts that are ending?
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Take this hypothetical scenario: You may have multiple customers with different types and lengths of contracts, all starting and ending at different times depending on when you acquired them. Perhaps they are enrolled in automatic renewal for their contract, but what if they are right at the height of their usage limit? Or their existing contract doesn't include new services or features that you've rolled out since they became your customer? If you don't have a good system in place to identify when a customer may be ready to upgrade their account, or if they may benefit from add-ons to their existing contracts, you could lose out on the potential earnings that such additions can incur.
What automations do you have in place to avoid delinquencies and unpaid account balances? Especially for growing companies, liquidity can be crucial, so having any contracts that are going unpaid not only affects your immediate cash flow, but can throw off all your future forecasting and budgeting that you've done. If you do not have proper control over your master data in order to see which accounts have fallen into the red, or who are at risk for being cancelled, you need to prioritise it now.
Take this hypothetical scenario: You have grown to the size of having dozens or maybe hundreds of contracts; keeping a close eye on each of them is difficult until maybe you have the revenue to hire more account managers. You create a forecast for the next quarter earnings based on existing customers, but find later that one account is three months past due on payment. Not only have you not taken in those fees from the last three months, but now your projections are incorrect, making you scramble to recoup losses.
Better customer relationships
One of the most important things companies need control over their master data for is customer relationships. It is impossible to closely understand each customer's usage and experience with your products or services when you can only see and evaluate data manually. If you have the right dashboards in place that allow you to drill down into your customer reports, you can then know how to better approach and handle each customer individually. This in turn, elevates the customer experience, and can help boost retainment and referrals.
Take this hypothetical scenario: your company has grown to the size of you now not being able to know each customer personally. You do know that your customers have similar challenges and needs, but the way they use and interact with their subscriptions from your company varies greatly. If a customer approaches you with questions regarding their experience or contract, how easily are you able to access and manage information regarding their specific account? What types of data are you able to see and what inferences can you make through running a report? What could it cost you if they realize they do not have a personalized experience with your company, or that you need time to manually evaluate their case? Reporting automations can help you to achieve customer interactions that feel more like concierge service, which can in turn result in better customer satisfaction.
In the long wrong, can your growing subscription business afford to spend countless hours on manual reporting, or lack the control over your master data that allows for true agility? You could be missing out on countless opportunities to secure future revenues through upsells and renewals, reducing delinquencies and unpaid invoices, and improving the kind of customer service that leads to better retention.