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Partner Content

Pendula: The importance of CX in the Subscription Economy

By Ji-Soo Kweon
Pendula: The importance of CX in the Subscription Economy

We've partnered with Pendula to empower the ultimate customer experience within the subscription economy. Learn how good CX can be a game-changer.

 


 

We have seen the economy change significantly in recent times. The digitalization of many sectors and the shift from a product economy to a subscription economy has only been accelerated by the ongoing pandemic. As such, there has been great focus on the importance of good user experience (UX) for company websites, apps, and online marketplaces. However, as it was in the old product economy, so it is in the new subscription economy: the customer is king, and customer experience should always reflect that. 

In a digitalized economy it is easy for companies to focus on UX, which evaluates the experiences of people interacting with a product with metrics like success rate, error rate, abandonment rate, time to complete task, and clicks to completion. These metrics are important to keep track of, but it is equally important to consider UX as part of the broader customer experience (CX). Good CX includes professional and helpful interaction with customer service, to give customers a positive impression of a product or organization. The metrics for CX are nebulous, but vital for maintaining a brand’s reputation and reducing customer churn. 

Good, old-fashioned customer service may seem like just that - old-fashioned. However, because it is far more expensive to acquire new customers than to maintain existing ones, reducing churn is vital to keeping businesses afloat. This is especially the case in the subscription economy, which relies on a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship between businesses and consumers; a relationship that can be easily soured by bad CX. 

According to ‘How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life’ by Dr. Michael LeBeouf, 68% of customers ‘quit because of an attitude of indifference or rudeness toward the customer by the owner, manager, or employee’. This major cause of customer churn dwarfs other factors including dissatisfaction with the product (14%) and ‘because the competition provides something they seek that you do not carry’ (9%). 

What does this tell us? That providing an engaging, seamless and valuable online experience is more important than ever before. Within the subscription space, the ecommerce experience brings with it a whole new set of CX challenges. This is due to the ongoing nature of subscriptions, meaning that the relationship between business and customer is continuous and must constantly be nurtured. As a result, subscription businesses need to work on maintaining premium CX along the whole subscription journey, without ever dropping the ball. 

Good CX can be a kingmaker in markets that are increasingly oversaturated with both legacy brands and innovative, hyper-relevant start-ups. According to a B2B Marketing survey, two-thirds of marketers are making CX a priority in 2020; these companies are reporting more than a 2x return on their investment. An advantage that SaaS companies have is the wealth of data available that can be used to infer customer experience by proxy. However, it is also important for SaaS companies to have an ‘outside-in’ perspective of customer sentiment, to improve customer service and to allow companies to continue to provide relevant, flexible services that accommodate customer needs.  

Personalisation and automation are two major components of CX. Throughout their journeys, customers should receive timely and relevant marketing information which is coherent with their step of the purchase process. For example, if they added a subscription to their basket and then abandoned cart, only then should they receive a reminder to return to the cart. By adding personalised information here such as the customer’s name and their basket items will help build trust between business and customer, because the customer will feel valued. 

In today’s fast paced environment, businesses must react and respond proactively with new and existing customers or risk losing to competitors. According to McKinsey, understanding channel preference is key when retargeting customers. Over 80% of participants of survey respondents in the US and UK are happy to use email as their primary communication channel, but it is important to remember that an omni-channel approach with personalisation and context is paramount when sending communications to customers. Context and frequency remain a key challenge for many businesses as data is siloed thus making it difficult to automate appropriate offers and follow-up to customers through their journey.

In order for such automation to take place, businesses need to have the right system architecture which can track what stage the customer is at along their journey. This is particularly true for businesses with a large subscriber base, as it would be impossible to personalise every single customer journey when there are a lot of them. Ecommerce capabilities such as shopping cart, product catalog, customer centre (where customers made amendments to their subscriptions) must all be seamlessly integrated with the right marketing tools to enable the conversations with customers to keep on flowing. How can it be done? With the right integrations between software services, businesses can provide a premium value proposition for their customers throughout their subscription journey.

 


 

Our partner Pendula is powering the shift from broadcast to conversation by enabling two-way messaging and workflow at scale. To learn more about how Pendula has improved the subscription experience for Zuora customers and how we can help, contact tim.beriau@pendula.com and we'll be in touch.

 

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