SaaS businesses may run into billing errors every once in a while; however, it’s an unnecessary racket if the same mistakes are repeated, and they don’t have a functioning model that would save them from another billing error. To make matters worse, billing errors can cause your customers to lose trust in you as their billing authority, and might flock to your competitor(s).
But fear not! If you avoid these five common mistakes in SaaS billing, you’ll be on the right track in preventing new billing errors, and keeping your customers happy.
- Not Thinking About Failed Payments
- Building A Billing Engine From Scratch
- Not Valuing To Determine Price
- No Billing Notice In Advance
- Making Unsubscribing Difficult
“Failed payments are the leading cause of customer distrust,” says Olivia Cardell-Oliver, a tech writer at Boomessays and Australianhelp. “And the most excruciating thing about it is that customers might be unaware about it until you notify them. First, know what caused the error, whether it was from theft, loss, cancellations, expirations, or changes within your company. Then, you inform the customer immediately about the failed payment; don’t wait until the problem is resolved on its own to say something.”
When notifying the customer on the failed payment, Stunning gets the job done in three ways:
- In-app – Notifying your customer via app allows them to respond with valid credit card details in real time.
- SMS – Sending text messages to your customers is faster, and is more likely to be opened and responded to right away.
- Email – Stunning’s Smart Retries feature lets you automatically and intelligently attempt to collect payments, and retry failed payments within 21 days. Your emails should still inform customers on failed payments, and what you’re doing to resolve them.
Although you might feel like a tech wiz when you build your own billing engine, beware of the complications that that might cause. Building something for your current needs isn’t enough to save you from future issues that might be faced.
So, rather than wasting too much time and money on building a custom billing engine, focus on optimizing your business and its processes. Although ready-made, vetted billing engines can be costly at first, they can be a good investment, and save you and your team time and energy, as your company focuses on the tasks at hand – tending to customers’ needs.
Researching the true value of a product is essential to your business. Whether pricing is complicated or changing, you still need to inform customers on any changes to price.
Prices are determined using a value metric, which shows you how a product is measured, and how it’s billed. Although it might look simple on paper, when it comes down to implementing it, things can get complicated. So, it’s best to make your research thorough and organized. This allows you to charge your customers properly, and make the best out of knowing the right pricing.
“Customers always appreciate it when you send them an advanced notice of an upcoming billing time,” says Alexander Leonard, a project manager at State of writing and Paper fellows. “Even if you bill them monthly, you should still send them the heads-up beforehand via email, text, or in-app message. And even when prices rise, tell your customers about that recent change. This allows more transparency with customers, and be more open to any questions and concerns that they might have. This can even be an opportunity to upsell to them, offering options to either upgrade or downgrade any services.”
Customers may come and go, but you still need to be respectful of their decision. Make sure you tell them how much is owed, and when their billing cycle will end. Never bill them after they’ve canceled. And, ask if they still want to receive emails from you periodically – again, respect their decision, whether they accept or decline. Leaving a good impression is always a good thing; sometimes, customers may decide to come back, if you leave that good of an impact on them.
We hope that we helped you make sense of the common pitfalls made when dealing with billing errors. The next time your company is faced will a billing error, you’ll be ready for them. By doing research and understanding the billing process itself, you’ll be on your way to billing success, and keeping your customers for many years to come.
Molly Crockett writes for Academized.com and Ukwritings.com. As a marketing writer, she shares her unique lifestyle tips and personal development advice with her readers. She also writes for Essayroo.com blog.