Recurring revenue is the future of business. Gone are the days of simple quote-to-cash and one-time transaction models. In today’s dynamic, mobile marketplace, sustainable revenue models make use of subscription or usage-based systems, where the relationship with the customer can span weeks, months, years, and decades. This is the driving force behind the rise of companies like Netflix, Spotify, AirBnB, Uber, and many other disruptive and wildly successful new businesses.
But there is a further opportunity hidden within these recurring revenue models, which many business owners may be aware of but have yet to capitalize on—revenue moments. Revenue moments occur each time a customer interacts with your company through a product, website, email, billing, servicing, provisioning, and so on. Each of these customer “touch points” generates the opportunity for you to optimize the exchange, increase revenue, and add another positive moment to your lifelong relationship with the customer.
If you’re not aware of these potential revenue moment opportunities, it can limit financial growth. Let’s look at a concrete example of how to leverage one such revenue moment, the billing anniversary—the monthly or annual time when the customer receives his or her bill for the next recurrence period of your product or service. Generating, sending, and collecting on the invoice is not enough. You’re missing an opportunity to delight the customer by offering real service and connection, which builds brand loyalty and leads to aRe win-win.
You can (and should) use this revenue moment to recommend relevant upsells or cross-sells based on individual preferences, location, and needs, or make the customer aware of your company’s mission or philanthropic efforts. Even including a customized happy birthday message will stick out as a nice touch. With each thoughtful, positive, personalized interaction, you add to the customer’s lifetime value (CLV), cultivating loyalty and strengthening the steady, predictable stream of income to build a reliable future for your business.
The billing anniversary is just one example of a revenue moment from a plethora of possibilities in a recurring revenue business. Other examples include the customer visiting your website, downloading or upgrading of a product, purchasing add-ons, usage alerts and email notifications, calls to a support line, or hundreds of other moments. With the right platform, any interaction with the customer can be turned into an opportunity to increase CLV.
Taking advantage of each revenue moment is the key to getting the most out of your recurring revenue model. Yet there’s often a rub. While many business leaders are savvy enough to exploit the unlimited possibilities, their monetization platform hinders them from doing so—either because it isn’t powerful or customizable enough. Inadequate systems are hamstrung by inflexible software that allows huge potential profits to slip through unrealized. As businesses strive to adapt to the hyperconnected, cloud-based world, they must compete with one another to gain loyalty in a climate where the customer is king/queen. This requires a billing system that has the capacity to optimize each interaction with the consumer.
What are the necessary features of such an ideal monetization platform? It must be flexible enough to easily facilitate highly-specialized pricing and packaging options. It must generate data about individual customer habits, preferences, personal information (like date of birth), and historical interactions with your company; then make it easy to use that data to capitalize on revenue moments or tailor-make pricing and packaging options highly relevant and desirable to that individual. Revenue moments are customer moments, and thus the ideal platform empowers you to customize each interaction with your brand loyalists.
It’s up to you to make the most of each revenue moment with the customer over the lifetime of the relationship. As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, puts it, “It’s our job everyday to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.” It should be your job, too.
Taking advantage of recurring revenue moments is crucial to a successful recurring revenue business. In the next post, I’ll cover how to leverage some of the more unexpected revenue moments.