Communication Is Key With a Subscription-Based Business
What is a Subscription-Based Business?
A subscription-based business is a business where customers pay a recurring fixed price that is either set weekly, monthly or yearly to receive an agreed-upon service on return.
This business model is believed to have been started by the publishing industry like newspapers and magazines where instead of selling the magazine as a standalone product for one-time purchase, a yearly subscription service is offered which comprises of 12 months service for a recurring 12 monthly payments where magazines are delivered on a weekly or monthly basis. This type of business model makes a strong revenue model for the company because it generates itself a sale for a year’s period than a single purchase.
Companies that offer software as a service (SaaS) companies also sell their services through subscription. This is also used by other industries or sectors such as utilities like mobile phone and cable companies, services like Netflix, Hulu or a local fitness club.
The basic advantage for this model for merchants is a regular recurring sale giving the business a mother flow of revenue and also makes the inventory easier to manage; creating a customer base is easier and helps the business to build the necessary brand loyalty. Customers also find this model convenient as there is no need for them to go out often to shop and also allows them to pay a manageable recurring price that can help them better manage their expenses.
The use of the subscription-based business to sell goods is growing significantly particularly in retail like groceries, home meal kits, and grooming products.
There had been new variations of the subscription model other than the traditional one.
1. Short-term contracts – As opposed to the usual yearly commitment period short-term contracts are offered instead such as quarterly or even monthly. This helps customers to eliminate the fear of getting committed for products or services they are not yet sure about and also giving them the option to cancel at any time. It also makes the merchant keep on finding ways to innovate their offers and be attuned to the needs of the customer since the customers can cancel at any given point in time.
2. Pay per use – This is where a subscriber is only obligated to pay for the months that the subscriber used the service making the business revenue fluctuate from month to month. This can be viewed as giving the customer a greater fairness since they can easily cancel anytime. This sense of fairness can possibly help the business generate customer loyalty.
3. The micropayment model – Allows customers to pay smaller than usual amounts but this only works for businesses that do a volume of billings that does not cost a lot. It has not gained many users as there is a cost implication on credit card transactions.
Businesses that offer the subscription to customers and offering them a recurring payment option are considered as high risk because of a large number of chargeback done by customers and subscribers. Keeping the customers happy is the main key to lessen the high potential chargeback and this can only be done through communicating effectively with the subscribers.
Communicating with subscribers help the businesses to connect with their customers and this formed connection with its customers helps subscription-based business to create a long-term, solid and mutually beneficial relationship with its subscribers. Good communication also helps this business in retaining their subscribers and also helps them develop a powerful marketing tool.
What are the main channels of communication that can help a business to connect with its existing and even future customers?
- Social media channels like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Marketing emails to include newsletters, promotions and campaign launch.
- Transactional emails which informs the subscribers of the actual order status among others.
- Branding on packaging
- YouTube posts or Podcasts
- Blog posts
- Advertisements on TV and radio platforms and even billboards or posters
- Customer service team who communicates with customers through telephone or Skype, email, live chat or bot chat.
All of these communication channels help in creating a better connection that in the end will pave.
The 4 C’s of Powerful Business Communication
1.Clear – Being clear in business communication can be done by providing concise and direct information.
This is achieved by letting the customers to contact your business easily by letting know how they can reach the business through email, phone, skype or social channels by supplying the said info on the company’s website, emails, packaging, promotional materials such as posters and leaflets, social channels and other channels the company is using.
The policy with the terms and regulations must also be clearly stated well not only on the usual website’s policy page but also on other important places inside the website.
Services or products offered must also be detailed well – what’s included and what’s not included in the subscription as well as offered discounts and promotions.
2.Consistent – Consistency is necessary for growing this type of business. Frequent and consistent communication should be done to keep the subscribers engaged. It is essential to determine how frequent the communication needs to be done by the business.
3. Caring – Making the subscribers feel good by providing them great service and also great customer experience helps to retain them as repeat customers and they can also positively impact the business by spreading good words and reviews on the businesses.
4. Creative – Creative ways of communicating can help the customers remember the brand.
Additional tips on how to communicate effectively with the customers.
1. Keeping tabs on customer feedback and to never ignore upset and frustrated customers – Listening to the complaints raised by this type of customer is also important and to help them the best way a business can to prevent losing them as subscribe and convert them to a retaining loyal customer.
2. Communicating clearly in case of policy changes – Should there be any changes in the laid policy, subscription fee changes; the business must inform the customers and subscribers as clearly as possible in all communication channels. Getting the customers informed and being transparent with the new set of policies can help avoid customer backlash.
We are ready to help you on an individual basis whenever you need with our 100% U.K. based customer support team. Give us a call at +44 800 776 5988 or get in touch with us through our website. Learn more by contacting IPAYTOTAL subscription merchant account representative today.