by Chargify Blog
Due to our current economic climate caused by COVID-19, many of our customers have reached out looking for ways to support their end customers through their billing. To help, we put together a list of options that are already available in Chargify to help you better align with your customers’ changing needs. Our goal is to help you maintain the base you have worked so hard to build.
We’ve included a cross-section of small changes you can make that drive big impacts.. As our customers have proven to us, there are infinite ways the Chargify platform and features can be combined to solve unique problems. Below, we will discuss a few of these options across our subscriptions, product catalog, insights, and site settings.
A lot of the questions we’ve been getting tend to relate to specific subscriptions. It would seem many customers are working directly with their own customers and using Chargify’s tools to pause, delay, or reduce billings for the time being. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can use subscription tools to curate an offering to not just one but all of your customers.
An easy solution to get discounts directly into your customers’ hands is to use coupons. One thing to note is that coupons can be stacked with existing coupons on a subscription while offering the ability to limit the total discount of a product or component. Coupons can be found under your Catalog–>Products section and are created in their respective product families.
While loss of revenue is not what any business wants, temporarily suspending a subscription might be favorable to losing the customer altogether. This option is available when viewing a subscription and clicking “Subscription Actions” at the top right. With the on-hold option, we recommend specifying a date when the subscription hold will end. This will allow the subscription to begin billing again automatically, and can act as a future touch point with your customer to discuss their health. If needed, the date can then be extended.
Issue Service Credits/Balance Adjustments
Also found in the Subscription actions dropdown, balance adjustments for customers using our older statement-based architecture are similar to coupons but create a negative balance on the subscription that future charges will draw from. For those using our newer Relationship Billing-Based architecture, you can issue service credits with the same behavior in mind.
When viewing the subscriptions section, you’ll notice a set of check boxes on the left and a button at the top right labeled “Bulk Edit”. When clicked, two options appear:
- Change Billing Date – Changes the next renewal date of the subscription allowing you to give a grace period before the renewals occur / next invoice is generated.
- Change Product – Immediately changes the product on file for the subscription and will allow it to renew at the new product price.
The filter option is another great way to increase the efficiency of your bulk edits. With the filter button at the top left of your subscription table, you can sort by subscriptions with a variety of combinations including ones on a specific product, or that meet a certain status. You can also select by dates, such as when their next period ends.
One helpful tip when bulk editing, is to include ?per_page=200 to the end of your URL. This will increase the number of subscriptions listed on the page and will help your bulk edit process move faster . If you use the filter options discussed above, then you’ll append &per_page=200 instead.
If you’re an API user with Chargify, both of these options are available.
Product Catalog Updates
While there’s the option to make updates on an individual subscriptions level, we wanted to make sure we covered a few options specific to your Product Catalog. Many Chargify customers are using this time to restructure and optimize their offerings altogether, and you might wish to do the same.
With price points, it is now possible to have a single product with a wide selection of prices and renewal periods depending on what a merchant might need. This functionality has been used in cases of custom setups for special clients or simply keeping the product catalog as minimal as possible to reduce overhead.
When a price point has customers assigned to it, there is an option to migrate these users to a new or existing price point, right from the product’s edit page. This function won’t charge the customer immediately and will take effect at the next renewal or billing cycle. While some merchants have used this to increase prices as their company needs have grown, others have used it to offer discounts.
Under the catalog section, our offers feature is often used when wanting to either extend a custom package to a customer or provide a limited time promotional signup option to a range of new customers. An offer can be built and an offer signup page exclusive to that offer package is available. For merchants using our Public Signup Pages, this is a quick and easy way to offer a discounted signup option as you look to bring on new customers during this time.
Being armed with the right data is crucial as businesses begin making important decisions regarding the future of their business. While this is true at any time, it’s becoming increasingly important in 2020. Below is a list of a few reporting areas that you may want to monitor. Keep in mind that reporting features vary based on Chargify plan. If you’d like more information regarding these options and availability, do not hesitate to contact our support team and they’d be happy to discuss!
- MRR – While this reporting is more of an operational snapshot of the business, it also gives amazing insight into the trends your business is seeing across time. This report can also be filtered to specific items in your product catalog, giving you better insights into how your specific products and offerings are performing and trending.
- Revenue Retention and Churn – Revenue Retention is a great way to see how your current dunning configuration is working and if changes may need to be made to improve efficacy. With Churn Analytics, you’re able to see a span of both financial and customer churn. This is very useful when managing your customer lifecycle and managing customer retention.
- Finance – The financial sibling to MRR, this gives you an accurate breakdown of revenue within your site and most importantly can provide you with an overview of outstanding balances.
- Cross-Site Analytics – Customers who have multiple sites under the Chargify account can find this option when viewing the Site Dashboard. Next to Sites, the option for Analytics will show. Once clicked, a data span of MRR values and total subscribers can be found. There are additional settings to filter which sites are included and currency conversion.
- Subscription Insights – The subscription insights tab gives you a detailed understanding of a specific subscriptions growth and contraction trends. This is especially relevant when your customer service teams are working with your customer. Growth trends highlight possible upsell opportunities, while contraction trends indicate a possible churn risk.
Review Site Settings
The site settings are high traffic areas of the platform when customers are first setting up their Chargify site, but often forgotten once they’re up and running. Below are a few areas you might wish to review:
As mentioned in the analytics section regarding revenue retention, your dunning settings may benefit from a second look now that your site has been running. It’s possible an extra retry or additional email might have a meaningful impact on minimizing churn.
Adding additional churn reason codes to your Chargify instance can provide insight into why your customers are leaving. Once tracked, these codes can be used to influence your processes, product roadmap and customer engagements. It is even possible to create a specific churn reason code in relation to COVID-19. Once a cancellation has been submitted, the churn reason code is available on the subscriptions export and in the subscription summary. These codes can also be leveraged to inform future marketing or outreach programs to win back lost customers.
With the Chargify Billing Portal, merchants can customize what features their end customers have access to. If you currently allow your end customer to cancel directly in the Billing Portal, you may wish to update this and instead push your customer to a support representative. This additional contact point will allow your team the ability to save the cancelling customer and / or offer one of the options from above (ie. discounted pricing for a specific period of time or putting their subscription on hold).
We’d love to hear if you come across other ways Chargify is helping you adapt during this difficult time – if you have additional ideas you would like to share, please contact you Customer Success Manager or Chargify Support.
If you have any questions – we are here to help! – please contact your CSM or our support team by chat, phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .