Subscriptions to capture customers
A current trend is the building of a subscriber base for your products. It is very common in areas like streaming services and product replenishment, but it has been around for years with industries like consumer insurance products. It is almost like forced loyalty; usually, the person subscribing doesn’t even notice if the bill is small enough, and once you notice, you’ve already been billed.
The model is great for companies that can convince their customers to subscribe, steady revenue usually enforced by a credit card and an indecipherable list of terms and conditions that no one really reads, but ultimately benefits the brand. Even better, most of these subscription packages have no real additional cost to deliver. An insurance company will provide you with an Agent, but your relationship likely doesn’t involve regular communications with you, except to remind you to pay the bill.
Are they loyal?
This is a question every subscription brand should be trying to answer. Typically, with so few interactions, how would one know if loyalty is increasing or decreasing? I recently received a notification from a travel-related subscription service that I’ve used extensively over the past five years. Of course, in today’s climate, it hardly seems relevant. Yet they are so confident that, in addition to the 30-day subscription renewal notification they promise, I received a 60-day notification as well. They’ve reminded me of my tenure as a customer, noted how many times I used it prior to the pandemic, and even showed my decreased usage during the pandemic. A bold move to show me a sharp decrease in my usage just ahead of renewal. However, one other thing they noted is that I had responded to several surveys indicating my satisfaction with the service during several transactions. While that might not seem overly relevant, it was the comment that I included in one response almost 4 years ago that they shared with me that resonated. I had praised how it made a rough travel day go so much smoother than I had anticipated, and turned around the hectic experience of getting to the airport. With just that personal note, I’ve decided to renew. Even though this service is not available at my home airport since I’ve moved and despite the decrease in my usage over the last few months.
Treating the customer right
Even bolder, they added options for me to easily opt-out of renewal, delay renewal (suspending service) until a later specified date, or to confirm my renewal. In a climate where most people are scratching for customer dollars, attention, and retention – especially in the travel industry – I was surprised to see such a simple step. This only makes me more loyal to them and recognize that they value me as a customer, and not just a paid subscription.
I also feel compelled to point out that it was my own words that reminded me of why I am loyal to them. If you aren’t taking the pulse of your customers for fear of losing them as customers, then they really aren’t loyal. If you take a moment to get their feedback, you may just find what will keep them for longer, even when tough times present themselves. Even when there isn’t an interaction that would prompt such a survey, it may be invaluable to get their feedback through a simple tool like QuestionPro’s NPS+. You never know when you might need that feedback to continue the conversation with a customer or keep the relationship moving forward.