Flexibility Is Never Important Until You Need It

Change is often hard to predict, especially when you’re initially signing up for a service. For example, when I first got my cable TV subscription, I knew exactly what I wanted and exactly what I didn’t want. I got precisely the type of service I needed at the time, utterly disregarded what I didn’t need, and had no thought of ever really having to alter the services I purchased.

As with all situations, however, things tend to change.

It just so happens there’s a certain based-in-a-fantasy-world TV show returning to a premium cable channel at the end of March, and I’ll be riddled with woe, remorse, and self-loathing if I happen to miss any second of it. Simply put (and all joking aside), my needs have suddenly changed.

Luckily the cable company I deal with grants me the ability to call at any time, even one minute before the show premieres, to add the channel I want. I can then call as soon as the last minute of the last episode is over to cancel said channel. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it saves me money. Suffice it to say, this makes me feel slightly wonderful about my decision to deal with this particular cable provider.

The key to this situation is something that’s often overlooked when signing on with a business, even though it can become suddenly and significantly important. You see, the key here is that the company is flexible and agile. They understand their customers don’t exist in some sort of stasis and that their needs will evolve, oftentimes in unexpected ways. So companies not only have to constantly revise what they offer in order to meet their customers’ evolving needs, but they also need to allow their customers’ needs to be easily and swiftly addressed when they do change.

I couldn’t help to think of my blithely analogous cable TV dealings when I found out about an issue that an important client of Aria’s had recently. When the client first signed on, Aria configured for them a SaaS subscription billing system that worked perfectly with their current business model. Through the course of time, however, this client realized that the business model they were employing was not an optimal one to move their company forward, so they decided to drastically modify their billing methodology.

One of their major concerns was how this bold change to their entire business model was going to affect the subscription billing service that they already had in place. Lucky for them it really wasn’t going to affect it at all, because Aria’s solution accounted for a few different pain-free options to address the wholly new way that this client was going to do business going forward. These multiple solutions not only allayed all of the client’s concerns, but also afforded them the freedom to choose the remedy that was best for them at the time.

Aria was able to help the client in this fashion for two reasons. First, because of their knowledge, expertise, and ardent concern that the client is getting all they need from the Aria system. And secondly, because the Aria platform has unrivaled flexibility—not just the kind that can easily handle all the small day-to-day changes that the business world hurls at you, but the kind that can also smoothly and adroitly conduct a sea change to how your entire subscription billing process will function.

As I said, when we start making plans, sometimes it’s extraordinarily difficult to predict when change will come. The only thing we know is that it will come, because all things change. So, when something as important as your business changes, flexibility suddenly becomes vital. During those times, when you’re navigating your way through the turbulence that change often yields, knowing that you’re dealing with a company and a product with a hallmark of astounding agility can be a tremendously reassuring and invaluable asset.

–   Steve Pisarek, Aria Systems

Just learning about subscription billing? Download the new Subscription Billing for Dummies book and learn more. Are you concerned about buying the right subscription commerce solution for your company? Consider downloading the Six Key Buying Considerations e-Paper and make an educated decision on the future of your recurring revenue offering. 

 

About the Author

Steve Pisarek
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The Forrester Wave: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015

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