Billing Software for an Ideal Subscription Customer Journey

Billing Software for an Ideal Subscription Customer Journey

The success of any business under the sky hinges upon the quality of the legal, financial and emotional relationship it fosters with its customers. Nurturing dependability, accuracy and trust is the only way to make sustainable growth! This becomes all the more relevant to businesses operating off a subscription-based model that requires an active continuity in their relationship with subscribers who may terminate if they feel this partnership no longer serves them! After all, there are plenty of retailers offering the same services in the market.

What’s one way to avoid this tragic parting of ways?

Automated Billing!

During a customer’s subscription journey, the one consistent interaction they have with your business is through billing and payments. Accurate and timely recurring billing, invoicing and payment processing are the bedrock upon which your relationship rests.

Handling these processes manually comes at the cost of great damage to your customers’ subscription journey. A survey reports that 93% of consumers consider switching to a competitor after a single negative experience with transactional emails. That’s the risk associated with a single manual billing error. You can only imagine the real extent of the damage when dealing with involuntary churn from missed payments, invoices full of errors, revenue leakage, frustrated clients and clogged customer support helplines leading to high churn and the list goes on.

Also Read: How Much Money Is Your Subscription Business Losing with a Manual Billing Process? 

“93% of consumers consider switching to a competitor after a single negative experience with transactional emails” 

The Different Stages of the Subscription Customer Journey

This is where billing software comes in to save the day and optimize your subscription customer journey across its many stages! But first, let’s take a quick look at the stages a customer passes through during their subscription cycle:

1. The Research Stage:

It all begins with a catalyst of change which may be an emotional, financial or logistical trigger. Irrespective of the cause, the customer encounters a problem and sets out to discover what options they have to solve it. Intuitively, the business with the best resources to guide the subscriber in this phase will be the one they gravitate toward.

research stage

At this stage, several assets help you establish contact with a potential subscriber including your website, advertisements, email marketing, as well as, your presence on social media, the quality of your blogs and your thought leadership in the industry.

Word-of-mouth is also an invaluable asset which is only as good as your customers’ experience in other phases of the subscription cycle.

2. The Deliberation Stage:

After the research stage comes deliberation. Here the subscriber cross-examines their options while attempting to delicately balance an equation of capability versus pricing.


Third-party resources are the champions of this stage, which include case studies, references and FAQs representing the value of your product or service, as well as, the quality of your subscribers’ journey.

3. The Subscription Purchase Stage:

A customer entering this stage has made a decision to onboard with you thus initiating their relationship with your business and giving you an opportunity to leave a good first impression.

The Subscription Purchase Stage

Organization, clarity, effective communication, appreciation and artificial serendipity can help your customer-business relationship hit the ground running on its way to success!

4. The Relationship Stage:

Active subscribers experiencing your product or services fall into this stage. This stage is critical as only when well-executed will it feed subscribers into the loyalty phase of their journey which could be cut off through negative experiences. Additionally, the health of this stage also feeds into the research and deliberation phases.

The Relationship Stage

If you fumble the bag because of poor operational accuracy and efficiency in managing billing cycles as an example, you’ll have to deal with the big bad monster of massive churn, both of voluntary and involuntary nature!

5. The Loyalty Stage:

Subscribers entering this stage are convinced about maintaining a relationship with you. Good job! This implies that the rest of the subscription customer journey was well-executed!

The Loyalty Stage

You must now focus on customer retention by finding the sweet spot between being present for your client’s needs while also refraining from unnecessary contact as most customers prefer not being bothered much when a self-sustaining cycle has been initiated. Steven Van Belleghem, a keynote speaker on digital transformation, recommends programming artificial serendipity as a rising trend in boosting customer experience at this stage.

That’s a wrap on the steps in the customer subscription journey.

But how do we boost each of these stages making our customer experience convenient, smooth, pleasurable and memorable?

Here we tackle one sure-shot way to do this by employing billing software for frictionless payment processing to build a long-term and mutually high-value customer relationship!

How a Billing Software Is a Must to Streamline Various Business Processes

1. Greater Autonomy for Customers

Increased technological savvy in your customer base means businesses are no longer dealing with helpless people who need everything done for them by a customer service agent.
Harvard Business Review reports that 81% of all customers attempt to take matters into their own hands before reaching out to a live representative! By means of billing software, you can empower your customers with self-service pages to upgrade, downgrade or cancel their subscriptions without any need for external support. This not only gives your customer complete control over their purchase but also prevents the clogging of your customer support channels.

Forbes reports 96% of customers will leave because of bad service. Late, incorrect or unclear charges are frustrating experiences that greatly damage your customer’s experience.

2. Automation in Billing and Billing Adjacent Tasks

The billing software allows you to automate your billing, invoicing and payments which means you never have to send out a late invoice ever again and can closely track missed payments.

CEO Patrick Campbell shares how 20% to 40% of your subscription business churn is due to failed credit card payments that are very hard to manually keep track of. This heavy involuntary churn results in huge revenue loss that can be completely avoided through automation, creating heavy traffic flow between the relationship and loyalty stages of your customer’s journey.

Additionally, billing adjacent tasks such as dunning, email reminders and credit card retries can also be completely automated leading to considerable revenue retention.

3. Handling Usage-based Charges

Usage-based charges also called meter-billing are fast becoming popular in a world where the average person is handling multiple subscriptions. This is a straight-up impossible pricing strategy to keep track of, without employing automation to track and bill users based on their usage.

Any error or discrepancy can lead to a really rough breakup and a complete loss of trust in your subscriber.

4. Integrations for International Business

Premium billing software will provide you with an opportunity to integrate with a host of different payment gateways to service customers in specific geographical areas that might be of interest to your business, or enable international transactions and expand your business to a global market. By selecting the right payment gateway for your business, you can give the same smooth payment processing experience to your customers no matter where they are on the globe! Good billing software will give you the option to choose between a wide variety of payment gateways.

Billing is of central importance to Revenue Operations as a financial function that is a consistent companion on your subscriber journey. When done right, it can help boost revenue, retain customers and drive down involuntary churn among other key metrics. Mess up this vital operation and before you know it, your business can find itself six-foot under!

Behind every successful subscription business is premium subscription management and billing software!

To get your hands on one of the best subscription management software, schedule a demo for SubscriptionFlow!