3 CX Strategy tips to succeed in the subscription economy
Businesses in Australia have been forced to adapt quickly to seismic shifts during the pandemic as everyone pivoted to the new ‘normal’.
The customer journey has changed dramatically as businesses depend on digital methods to reach their customers as extended lockdowns and other restrictions make face-to-face interactions harder.
And while those shifts may initially have been temporary, it’s now clear that these changes are part of a permanent shift that will reshape customer experience (CX) as we know it.
Customer retention is an even higher priority now, than ever before.
This is why businesses must get their subscription services right.
With Gartner reporting 70% of organisations have already deployed or are considering deploying some sort of subscription service the focus on one-off sales is shifting to repeat purchases.
The customer relationship must be nurtured by making transactions seamless, interactions frictionless while assuring security.
Businesses can not buy customer loyalty through discounts and special offers. While these are important, customer loyalty needs to be earned continually by prioritising CX and focusing on serving rather than selling.
When your customer can cancel their subscription at any time, you must unceasingly strive to create the best possible CX.
Businesses and brands can create loyal subscription customers by delivering a streamlined and effortless experience at every touchpoint.
Removing friction is key.
The rise of subscription services means success is no longer about winning a bid or making a one-time sale.
It’s about constantly delighting the customer and making their life easier at every step of their journey.
3 CX Strategies to improve your Customer Journey
Here are three CX strategies companies can leverage to better calibrate the customer journey:
1. Adopt a customer-first approach
When you focus on one-time sales, the focus is on closing a deal quickly and moving on to the next sale.
But subscription businesses are about more than signing up a customer, they need to retain customers for the long haul and reduce churn to increase their long-term viability.
When the payback on service delivery for a customer may take over a year, keeping the customer satisfied into years two, three and beyond depends on a laser-like focus on continuously delivering great products and service.
The CX after the initial sale becomes even more important as it sets the stage for customer loyalty and retention.
When a company makes every interaction valuable and leaves their customers with a smile on their face, they are well on the road to achieving a successful customer journey.
This starts with putting the customer at the heart of everything you do.
Never pass up the opportunity to thank your customer for doing business with you.
When a company does this well, customer loyalty is high and the chance of contract renewal skyrockets.
This does require a shift in focus and culture towards a “customer first” approach rather than a “sales culture”.
Sales results and increased revenue will follow when every employee is focused on delivering value in every customer interaction.
2. Remove friction in the CX journey – break down silos
Think about every single interaction your customer is likely to have, from first browsing your website, through to choosing a product or service, completing a trial, signing up for a subscription, requesting tech support and even how they can close their account.
Amazing customer experiences don’t happen when just one link in the chain works well.
Great customer journeys are formed through a kaleidoscope of experiences with a brand.
Success in delivering subscription services comes from aligning the efforts of all teams.
Marketing, sales, and service teams that work in silos and don’t have the same success metrics and don’t collaborate regularly will struggle to align their efforts and create a unified, cohesive and delightful CX.
A unified effort across the entire organisation is critical for delivering a great CX.
3. Anticipate your customer needs
Think about the GPS in your car.
When you enter your destination it guides you along the way.
It knows where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going.
Great customer service comes from understanding where your customer is in their journey.
When you get this right, your organisation can anticipate and fulfil customer needs even before they realise they have them.
Every time a customer calls your contact centre, visits your website, and opens an email, they’re providing you with valuable insights.
That digital trail lets you connect the dots and discover insights that help you pinpoint customer needs.
Time-aware CX lets you look at what stage of the buyer’s journey the customer is in right now and look holistically at the full scope of experiences.
When you know where customers have been and how they’ve responded, you can anticipate what they need next.
Great customer service in the subscription economy is all about cultivating long-term customer satisfaction.
They are looking for a world of effortless interactions.
Subscription services that support their customers and communities in a real and authentic way will likely see dividends in the post-COVID economy.