When customers sign up for a product offer, a number of account processing steps need to occur, including recording of the customer information, verifying of the credit card, customer provisioning and notification(s). The efficiency of these steps is critical for maximizing new conversions and early rentention.
Whether you are a small or large business, your competition does not stand still. Your market is evolving and your pricing always needs to reflect current conditions. With the almost limitless pricing flexibility our system offers, you can design pricing which maximizes your revenue and is a strategic differentiator. Built-in flexibility and agility allow you to make pricing a strategic asset for your business.
A well designed pricing strategy carefully defines product tiers, included and optional product features, recurring timeframes, recurring and potential one-time fees, overages, product terms, conditions and promotions.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Traditional offline subscriptions and memberships are structured on a one-time annual renewal event. Today's more sophisticated online subscription and membership models are ongoing, open ended agreements, with shorter recurring time-frames, and highly automated two-way relationships.
Tiered subscription offers, also referred to as tiered plans, let you strategically create, promote and manage a menu of recurring price points for a single product, or package of products. Among the benefits of creating tiered offers are:
- The ability to attract, acquire and serve a wider range of customers.
- The ability to engage customers with low-level product commitments in order to cultivate a deeper commitment over time.
With tiered offers customers can select the product price and features tier that best suits their current needs. Low pricing tiers allow consumers to experience your product with little initial investment or commitment. Higher priced tiers can provide superior pricing, features, flexibility and/or support in exhange for deep product commitments or engagements For example, a freemium tier, or an initial tier with free access for a limited time or usage level, can be a highly effective way for getting a large number of users to experience the product.
Track usage to find out what and how much your customers are consuming or to implement pay-as-you-go pricing and licensing models. Use it to determine what is really driving customer behaviors and how customers are using your products and services. Let usage patterns inform your pricing strategy, drive improvements, and streamline your highly used functionality. Usage is divided into metered usage and allocated usage.
Metered usage measures dynamic consumption such as disk space used, compute time used, number of messages sent, etc. It can be defined as anything that you can measure. You can record usage for insight only or for implementing pay-as-you-go pricing models which charge based on actual consumption.
Allocated usage is used to track reservations and allocations. You can use it to track and rate based on number of locations, number of users, etc. You can track allocation usage to implement reservation based or licensing pricing models.
Signup forms are more than just forms. They're virtual marketing and sales agents charged with converting interested prospects into newly engaged customers. They have a challenging task in balancing conversion objectives with activation data requirements. Their success is measured by how well they secure data needed to successfully activate and provision the new product experience. With Accumulus, you have a range of options for implementing your signup forms keeping you in full control of the customer signup experience:
- Create your own signup form and use our API
- Use a signup form page hosted by us on your behalf
- Use a plug-in form hosted by us and plugged into a page you create (as shown below)
Activating the customer is more than just recording their signup information. It includes the crucial step of getting the customer into the product experience in a timely manner. Accumulus gives you the account creation, provisioning, and customers service tools to activate the customer successfully. Seamless and efficient management of customer account data across products, platforms and channels allows your business to serve customers with less overhead, complexity and costs.
When the customer first signs up, we verify the credit card to make sure it is good. In addition, PCI compliant recurring payment processing makes it possible for you to fully focus on building your business and not your billing systems. We work with your existing merchant account and payment gateway or you can obtain a merchant account through us. In addition to secure recurring credit card processing, our flexible architecture can handle ACH / bank account transfers, PayPal, and invoicing. And unlike other vendors, you own your data. If you ever want to move providers, you can.
Your product provisioning systems prepare and manage your products for appropriate use. Via our API, these systems are automatically made aware of new customers as well as changes in customers' subscriptions in order to fully automate the customer lifecycle. Custom provisioning information can be set up to let your systems know exactly what access to enable and disable for which products and services, providing the needed subscription specific information to do so.
An event is generated and transmitted to a configured server for provisioning purposes when any of the following has occurred:
You can configure notifications to be sent to your customers at different times in the subscription lifecycle. For example, a welcome e-mail when a customer signs up and a cancellation e-mail when a subscription is cancelled. The Accumulus notification system uses editable templates to allow you to fully customize the contents of any notification we send on your behalf. The templates contain both the text for the notification and tokens which are replaced with your company and customer data when generating the notification. This is analogous to a mail-merge in which certain parts of a message are filled in with customer specific information. Timely communication with the customer, especially during the early on-boarding process, but also throughout the customer and subscription lifecycles are key in maximizing successful product adoption and use. The system automates sending of many notifications, including subscription confirmations, monthly statements, and many others. Off course, you always stay in control of your customer experience and can customize any notifications to match your company's brand messaging.
Leverage insightful reports and subscriber information to close the loop on the data and understand your customers' behaviors. Use promotions and resellers tracking information to get insight into where your marketing dollars are working best. Use product offer tracking information to find trends in customer behaviors. Use subscriber interaction information to keep your pulse on what is happening. And use customer product usage information to identify upsell opportunities.
Renewals and Upsales
Increasing the average lifetime value per customer requires a focus on both reducing churn or increasing retention and upsales.
Reducing churn is a primary concern for most existing recurring businesses, since keeping existing customers is almost always easier and less expensive than acquiring new ones. We help you establish long lived profitable customer relationships by streamlining and shortening the activation process, by enabling efficient customer service and support, by keeping your customers informed of their subscriptions and keeping you informed of customers' usage patterns.
Keeping a constant focus on upsales is equally important in increasing overall customer lifetime value. Upsales can be greatly improved when you understand what your customers value most and how to package your offerings in a way that speaks to that value. Use our systems to both understand customer behaviors and design pricing that strategically maximizes upsale revenue.
Helping you scale your business is at the heart of what we do. From scaling signups and payment processing through automated provisioning, dunning, and customer notifications, we help you gain the efficiency required to scale your operations all the way.
In order to scale your operations to many thousands and even millions of customers, automation at each step of the subscription lifecycle is essential. Our systems help you achieve just that. Automated signups are just the beginning of a fully automated subscription lifecycle, secure and reliable recurring payment processing with intelligent dunning, provisioning to automatically turn on and off access to your products and/or services without human interaction are other critical ingredients in achieving scale. You can rest assured that our systems will support you at each step of the way.
Service and Support
While human intervention can be significantly reduced by fully automating the subscription lifecycle, it cannot be eliminated completely. When customers call you with questions regarding the products and/or services they have purchased, your customer service and support personal needs to have the right information at their fingertips to quickly resolve customer issues. Our tools provide you with an operationally focused view of the customer helping you achieve highly efficient handling of customer service and support issues.
Accumulus is built on top of the state-of-the-art Microsoft Azure worldwide data center infrastructure. As a 100% cloud based solution with horizontal scaling capabilities built-in, we can tap into near unlimited resources to scale our systems to meet your demand.