10 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Subscription Management and Recurring Billing System

For a long time now, subscription-based businesses have been thriving across the world. For your subscription business to be running smoothly, what you need is a modern, highly scalable subscription management system that has been built specifically to manage recurring billing, and all the complexities that come with it. However, if you find yourself struggling to manage your subscription business, due to a dysfunctional billing system, its time upgrade.

Here are 10 sings you need to upgrade your subscription management and recurring billing system:

  1. You’re struggling to deal with multiple pricing options:

    In any subscription-based business, you’re not dealing with a one-time cost, but with multiple pricing options, with variations, over different periods of time, for different products and product bundles. Your options vary greatly: from monthly recurring services to usage-based subscription service with multi-year contracts. If your subscription management system can no longer support price variations across these scenarios, its time you upgraded your system.

  2. You’re not able to efficiently track product usage:

    Given the nature of subscription business, chances that you have a wide range of products and packages on offer is extremely high. For every product you offer, and every release that follows, your subscription billing software should be able to keep up with all the options and keep track of bills, payments, and revenue. If you find yourself unable to manage the constant changes to subscription plans or fail to efficiently track product usage, you need to get a system on board that enables you to easily manage all of these changes.

  3. Your billing system is unable to keep pace with the growing business:

    As your business grows, your need to efficiently managing a larger subscriber base automatically grows. You don’t want your billing system to thwart your growing business, do you? If you’re billing system is unable to scale in sync with your launch into a new geographic area or a new segment, the customer experience you offer is going to get substantially affected. For every new customer you take in, or every new product you release, your billing system should flawlessly be able to accommodate it. If it doesn’t, it’s time to move on.

  4. Customer complaints are on the rise:

    Anyone in the subscription business would know how complex billing is: price per user, discounts, different billing cycles, different plans, monthly, quarterly, annual contracts. Yet, customers expect to receive a simple invoice – one that’s easy to understand, and mentions the payment amount accurately. If your subscription management system is generating confusing or erroneous bills, it’s time to upgrade. After all, dissatisfied customers pose a high churn risk.

  5. You are no longer able to customize invoices:

    Invoices are an important aspect of any subscription business; hence, it is important to get them right the first time. Since every customer will opt for a different set of products, with different billing cycles and prices, your recurring billing system should allow you to customize invoices for your subscribers. If it only issues generic invoices and fails at customization, your customers will not get end-to-end visibility into their subscription; such lack of transparency can make it difficult for them to understand their usage and the breakdown of their payment.

  6. Simple manual adjustments result in a tsunami of errors:

    Very often, subscription vendors need to make certain changes to their systems in order to keep up with the times. However, if any manual adjustment results in accidentally billing a customer twice or stating the wrong amount in the invoice, it can make managing the business excruciatingly difficult. How do you keep track of the changes? How do you go about rectifying each one of them? If your billing system is unable to accommodate changes and results in a tsunami of errors, it’s certainly time to upgrade.

  7. You’re drowning in the sea of spreadsheets:

    Most subscription businesses need to track a plethora of bills and invoices, payments with due dates, payment amounts, discounts, and more. In an ideal business scenario, all these details should be confined to just one source. However, if you find yourself pulling data from multiple spreadsheets to create a single bill, there is a high probability of rows being added or deleted, and errors being made in the entry. In short, if you suddenly find yourself in the midst of a spreadsheet nightmare, its time to rethink your subscription software solution.

  8. Customers are unable to make changes to their plans:

    Today’s customers expect high levels flexibility; if your subscription billing system doesn’t allow them to upgrade or downgrade their plans, or be reminded of due or failed payments, plan renewal date or credit card expiry date, you could lose the trust of your customers and eventually experience high customer churn. Your subscription system should be able to adapt to changing customer needs, without introducing additional headaches for them or for your business.

  9. There is substantial revenue leakage:

    Considering how dynamic the subscription management business is, if your collections are inaccurate or billings are erroneous, it might be due to revenue leakage. With customer needs frequently changing, if your system doesn’t allow you to make necessary changes to customers’ bills, you stand the risk of undercharging your customers and missing out on revenue. A modern recurring billing system will fix the problem of revenue leakage without you having to rack your brains finding the source of the error.

  10. You’re unable to track bills across different subscription term:

    A term is how you define your period of billing, and it can be anything from monthly, quarterly, annual, or any pre-defined period of time. For different contracts, you need to bill customers differently. However, if your recurring billing system cannot automatically track different payment schedules and manage bill runs accordingly, you will end up with wrongly calculated bills, which can either mean the customer is overcharged or under-billed – both of which is an unfavorable business situation.

Drive Substantial Value

Subscription-based businesses are growing immensely in popularity. Since they produce a predictable income, they lay a wider net for attracting customers, providing them flexibility in product offerings, and facilitating scalability. It is this flexibility that offers subscription providers an edge over their competitors, as it ensures customer loyalty, and guarantees repeat business.
Likewise, customers stand to benefit from products and services for reduced upfront costs, and pay-as-they-go. With so many benefits to offer, it is crucial your subscription management system has the flexibility to adapt to customer needs, efficiently handle different billing cycles, payment terms and discounts and avoid revenue leakage. If your current system fails to drive these benefits, it makes total sense you upgrade your subscription management system into something that can drive equal value – both for you and your customers.

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