Many payment gateways have a “one size fits all” approach to platform features. When you think about it, it’s clear who benefits. Spoiler Alert! … it’s not you, your company or your customers.
Offering a menu of options ensures that every customer can find an option that works for them, but you’ll find it difficult to implement a list like the one below when using large payment gateways, whose focus is not firmly on recurring transactions:
- 1x payments
- Recurring annual memberships/purchases
- Recurring monthly purchases
- Recurring weekly purchases
- Upgradeable recurring purchases (Like trial programs that upgrade to premium programs)
It’s crucial that you offer options that make being your customer easy. Today’s customer lives in a world where they can customize their own radio station on their smartphone. You want to offer a variety of options that allow your clients to tailor their relationship in a way that ensures that they’ll be a customer for a long time.
I’ve already shared my thoughts on how “most” payment gateways lack the experience to help you get the most margin possible out of your relationship with your subscription customers. If you missed them you can find them by reading, What Your Payment Gateway Won’t Tell You.
I’ll give you another reason why it’s crucial that you choose a payment gateway who truly knows how the subscription business model differs from models that rely on single transactions.
Not Adapting to Client Changes
Let’s imagine for a moment that you sell pre-prepared meals that ship to your customer’s door. You decide to offer an option for the customer to set up a standing order to be shipped and billed at a scheduled interval. Your current payment gateway would love to have that extra revenue from a client that already trusts them!
What They Don’t Tell You
If you set up recurring payments through Paypal or Authorize.net, and your client decides that she’d like to move from the 7-day-a-week plan to the 4-day-a-week plan, you’ll have no recourse but to completely cancel their old subscription, and re-key in their new one … BY … HAND … EVERY … TIME.
As you get more and more new customers, this will become difficult to manage and may even require an additional payroll expense to handle all of the requests — or you risk losing all the business!
A gateway designed for subscription businesses would have a self-service portal available so that clients could upgrade or downgrade their relationship with you quickly and easily.
Every system has its limits, so it would be great if the sales rep you’re talking to was educated about what their company did well and where it fell a little short, so that what’s best for the client takes precedence. Unfortunately the larger payment gateways can’t provide this type of consultative service.
Constellation Payments provides a unique consultative approach … hands-on guidance you don’t find with other payment gateways. We’ll work with you to make sure you have the options in place that make being your customer easy, so your retention remains solid.
To learn more about choosing a payment gateway or how our company can help you grow your business, give me a call at 267.287.1035 or send me an email at email@example.com.
Rick Ellis is a Business Development Executive with over 20 years of experience operating a membership-based company. Rick has experienced firsthand the types of unique challenges present when using a recurring billing business model. Rick enjoys working through complex business models to find and leverage every opportunity to optimize profit and reduce risk.
7 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Offering Recurring Billing to Your Clients
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