These days, where the customers have been crowned as kings and set the “rules of the game”, we see many companies that have adjusted towards reality and offer their services not only as a free trial (and sometimes for free, as in freemiums) but also on a subscription basis (i.e. Microsoft, Adobe and many more).
In subscription-based companies, the customers can sign up for a service within a limited time frame in which they determine what value they can get. Then they decide if the solution of the service suits their needs or whether they’d like to cancel and try other available options.
So what does it take to offer a successful subscription service? Below are 5 points you should consider:
Offering a subscription based product has it’s advantages but can also increase your risk. Your users have the “power” to walk away after every subscription cycle – that gives you a very short time frame to prove your service fits their needs. Make sure they see your full potential by staying in touch with them, guide them throughout your product and keep them engaged at all times (an example of a company that does it well would be Salesforce.com).
Think “Customer Centric”
Constantly supply value to your users so they know your service is worthwhile to them. They should end up each subscription period of time thinking: “I MUST have/keep this service” (a good example for how it should be done is GoToMeeting).
Land and expand
Your goal is not only to bring in new leads to try out your service – you also need to make them stay, so thinking “retention” and “Customer Lifetime Value” is just as important as bringing in qualified traffic (for a good example, look how Dropbox does it).
Approach “at risk” customers
Identify who needs your help or hasn’t gone through your service potential and contact them – react in real time and be very sensitive for distress signals – that will help you to reduce churn and keep your retention high! (Zendesk does it really well using Totango tools)
Adjust your service by your user’s needs
Find out what your users need and be flexible and agile in altering your product to fit those needs at all times. For example, this is how Adobe understood that the market is going for the cloud and they started to offer their software in online packages.
PS: If you’re in town Sept 19-20, we’ll be at the Subscribed conference in San Francisco and we’d love to meet you!