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As ecommerce is propelled towards a ‘new normal’, how can subscription businesses nurture their subscribers and what actions should they take?
As all aspects of our lives feel completely up in the air, it's easy for businesses to feel helpless in their ability to lend a hand. However, not all ways of helping customers stem from grand gestures. It’s time for businesses to go back to the essentials and think about fine tuning how they operate and what they are offering. Now more than ever, it is important to understand the customer and deliver the best experience possible. Within the subscription world, this is particularly significant in order to avoid customers from churning. So what should subscription businesses be thinking about right now? And how can they nurture their subscribers as ecommerce is propelled towards a ‘new normal’.
It all starts with customer centricity. Being customer centric is a concept that has played an enormous role in the business landscape in recent years. Yet its development has been propelled even further forward due to the recent turmoil across the globe. According to Mckinsey, ‘customers are looking for smooth everyday experiences which do not disrupt their already turbulent lives.’ And in an ever-increasing digital world, it is fundamental that businesses are equipped with the right tools to ensure that the safety, security and general convenience of their customers is taken care of. To do this, the focus needs to be on establishing long term relationships with customers and build trust. But how can this be done in the subscription world?
Zuora has recently shared research which showed that businesses with a recurring revenue model, on the whole, are weathering this fierce economic storm remarkably well. This is partly due to the fact that subscriptions give customers a sense of security because they usually consist of smaller manageable payments. However, in times like these, businesses need to keep continuously doing all they can to ensure that the customer experience is convenient and secure at all times - particularly when money is involved.
For subscriptions, this is not always easy because subscriber journeys often involve many complex processes due to their ongoing nature. Still, the customer experience throughout the subscription lifecycle needs to be smooth and seamless. And when a subscription business manages to make a complex customer journey easy, consumers feel secure and willing to continue on their journey with you. Adding to this, seamless processes not only provide safety to the new customer, but more steadiness and security for a business too - valued especially in these volatile days. Therefore, businesses need to be doing all they can digitally to cater to the needs of the ecommerce customer.
A smooth customer journey has to stand the test of everyday life. For example, when processing money, establishing contactless payments without the need for physical interaction marks a significant step towards prioritizing customer safety. “About 38% of consumers now see contactless as a basic need or feature of payments, up from 30% a year ago.” affirms Futurist Group. When a customer pays, there should be no doubt that their payment will fail or that problems will arise.
Fortunately, security of online payments is continually the primary concern for merchants & regulators. As the industry moves to a more open and collaborative environment, data protection (GDPR) and cybersecurity (PSD2, SCA and open banking) will become critical success factors. Now is the time to take steps to future proof and safeguard your business in order to remain competitive with industry leaders and retail giants.
Recurring payments are no exception to this. Protecting customers’ sensitive payment data from digital fraud is a priority. Payment service providers don´t stop working on fraudulent payment processing, fraud detection and machine learning tools that can be integrated with your recurring billing system.
“Recurring online payments are more important than ever before and may become a widely regarded standard in every industry including traditional B2C business and B2B companies. Thanks to the experience that subscriptions provide, payments become almost invisible, running at the back-end while the consumer or user enjoys the product or service delivered. By offering it, as a company, you gain your customers’ respect and trust by doing the simple things right and helping them to manage their everyday lives.” says Juan Vicente Carda Guinot, Partnerships at SlimPay.
In the end, the ability to provide premium customer service comes from having a bullet-proof digital infrastructure which can handle the demands of the subscription journey. The current overwhelming shift towards ecommerce offerings has meant that all businesses have had to evaluate their digital infrastructure. COVID-19 has simply such accelerated business processes, meaning that businesses that want to succeed need to optimise now. In ecommerce the new normal is here and it’s here to stay - so businesses must be aware of this and start to adapt right now.
How can you ensure that your business delivers superior customer experience?
If you are considering shifting your model to a subscription based business in such a competitive environment, you should count on the best tools and experts in the market to support your digital transformation.
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