Across the globe, there is a massive shift to a digital-first economy.
Consumers increasingly want self-service digital services as much as possible and today – nearly all necessities from healthcare to retail shopping and food delivery are available on a subscription basis via several digital platforms. By 2025, it is expected that the global eCommerce subscription market size will grow to over 687 billion USD with a highly exponential annual compounded growth rate of around 68%.
These reports were, however, before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. The pandemic was a catalyst in forcing several leading businesses to offer their services as subscription services to a population that was restricted in mobility and relied on the internet for nearly all of their needs.
Today’s customers have attained higher levels of digital literacy and have evolved their mindset from taking whatever the market offers into one where they decide what the market must produce. With the massive growth in the number of companies offering subscription-based services in every category, customers have a lot more choices to pick from than in the past.
Earlier, music sales to customers were done mostly as a single license transfer wherein a customer pays for a CD or a download and they get to keep it forever. In the new subscription economy, consumers get access to a collection of music, movies, and other entertainment content ranging from good old times to the latest blockbusters. The best part is that they get access to all content as long as their subscription is active, and they can manage their subscription on their own with intuitive portals. Thus, convenience becomes a more tangible benefit than just the pricing factor which traditional business models practiced for years.
More companies depart from their traditional business models and move into cloud-based subscription services that allow customers to manage their own experiences.
Here are the top reasons for this shift to self-service subscription services:
Customers are happier when they are in control
With self-service subscriptions, customers have control over what they do with the services they are subscribed to. They get to choose and configure the best features, the desired sub-services and evaluate varied pricing options available for the service they are subscribing to. Customers feel empowered and delighted when they are in control of what they use and can decide how to use them. They don’t want to contact a customer service associate every time they want to make even a small change in their subscription.
Greater staff productivity for businesses
When customers move into a self-service mode of managing their subscriptions, businesses can empower their employees to focus on more valuable tasks and improve their productivity. For example, a self-service KYC and configuration dashboard can relieve staff from having to engage in manual data entry and configuration of the product offered every time there is a change request from the customer.
Opportunity to learn more about customers
Self-service subscription services take customers into confidence and encourage them to engage in more digital interactions with a business. These interactions contain a treasure trove of data that companies can use as feedback to improve the customer experience quotient of their offerings. They get insights such as the time it took for a customer to complete a form or navigate a dashboard, the number of times they clicked on a help button for aid, etc. These insights can be used to build more user-friendly portals and dashboards that customers can use to manage their subscriptions.
Lowers errors and delays
When employees enter customer data into the business’s information management systems after speaking with them, there are chances of mistyped spellings or errors that will creep in during the data entry. This will ultimately lead to delays in services because of different administrative bottlenecks that will arise at the time of crucial customer data processing activities like verification, configuration selection, etc. With self-service, the onus is on the customer to have his or her information entered correctly, and their desired configurations were chosen for the subscriptions they need. This will prevent any unwanted errors and also speed up verification and customer onboarding practices.
The growth of self-service subscription services also necessitated the evolution of traditional pricing and billing mechanisms followed by companies.
For example, in the music and entertainment industry, streaming services like Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime introduced monthly subscription plans with varying prices that allow subscribers to choose the most preferred option for them.
The need for modern billing management and monetization platforms is on the rise, and studies predict that by 2025 the market size for such software would reach a staggering USD 7.8 Billion with a 14% CAGR growth.
For businesses, it is imperative to have the most advanced billing management solution like OneBill, so that consumers can seamlessly engage with their subscription offerings on their own through self-service.
Here’s a recorded webinar session of our Customer Self-Care Portal: