Subscriptions really have us around their little fingers. In time, this pricing model will replace everything else in the entire market and there will be no choosing anything else. Meanwhile, however, we really need to figure out how everything really works and try to enjoy the benefits it brings forward. Nevertheless, to accomplish this goal we need to go through the fire and come out in one piece. This means surpassing the difficulties or the challenges of subscriptions.
Most developers like to think in simplified terms, not because they don’t know otherwise, but rather because they are well aware of the fact that each department has its specialists and they know the strong points and challenges of their tools. However, trying to let the big words stay on the shoulders of experts and trying to keep a fair distance from them will eventually do you more harm than good.
Looking at things in a highly simplified manner, more specifically the need to bill recurring payments and the tool, any software that fulfills this purpose, might expose to the following challenges.
Rigidity in terms of software architecture
The subscription market seems to be impatient and has a real tendency to grow and rather fast too. As a developer part of this market, you really need to stay on top of all these changes and make sure you can handle them correctly.
If you have chosen rigid software, implementing updates and changes may prove to be rather difficult. If this happens, you might the potential growth of your company. The areas that usually hurt your business most are related to the relationships you build with your customers.
Take the dunning process management, for instance. Instead of recovering lost payments, you could easily have canceled subscriptions, which is always bad for business. So, looking at things from this point alone should make you question the improvement capacity of the billing software chosen. Rigidity in a market that encourages change is never a good thing, but rather a challenge that must be overcome by means of thorough research.
Adequately dealing with process requirements
Now, this sounds a bit vague, as it usually happens when using the term requirement. You never really know what one means exactly. The truth is that this challenge really walks alongside the changes brought forward by the subscription model. While some are known to us, others may very well appear in the future. Let’s stick to those that already happened.
Yes, you are most interested in billing and when having to choose dedicated software of this kind, the focus is on this aspect. However, it’s not enough. There are other aspects that need to be adequately analyzed. Sales analyses, financial reporting, credit card reporting, not to mention the shopper interaction with your subscription, meaning upgrades or downgrades and even subscription cancelation. Just like you need the previously mentioned features, your customer needs to have freedom. For the shopper, it is very important not to feel trapped in a subscription plan.
Your software needs to offer shoppers the freedom to manage themselves in terms of subscription commitment because you will grow in their eyes and make the work of your customer support team so much easier.
Once again we have to refer to the nature of the subscription market, which is, as we already know, a bit of a shapeshifter. And it’s not so much about happens inside of the software right now, but what happens left and right. Some billing software may not be great at making friends. They might even have issues when it comes to collaborating with other existing apps. The integration capacity of the billing software you have selected could really affect your business and make things a lot harder than they already are. You don’t want that.
You want smooth, easy, fast integration with other existing apps. Unfortunately, this is an issue a lot of developers have had trouble with. It’s a challenge, but it can be overcome. Surely, there is a way out of any sticky situation. Perhaps a platform dedicated to developers, part of a complex billing solution that allows you to integrate your existing apps is an idea you could consider.
Customer Service left behind
At a time at which the entire world speaks about the importance of the customer and his experience on your platform or handling your tools, investing in billing software that does not fulfill this goal seems like madness. You need a system that accepts customer account modifications, a system that is easy to use, that is convenient and comfortable.
Otherwise, you will be left to respond to all the requirements coming from your customers immediately to ensure that there are no chargebacks. So, are you ready for this kind of work? Take the time to think things through, because as your business grows in terms of customers, you might have a lot more work on your hands than you initially thought.