All businesses, from the enterprise to the SMB, strive to expand their business and grow their bottom line. However, the steps taken and challenges faced in this process differ. The challenge for SMBs is to reduce friction with customers and make it easy to pay things, particularly because SMBs tend to be much tighter with their budgets.
David Gilardi, General Manager of Corporation Service Company (CSC), joined the Monetize 2015 guest speaker lineup to give a real life example of how CSC accelerated its income, increased customer lifetime value, and monetized its business with Aria’s active monetization platform.
In the past, CSC charged a one-time annual fee for its services that would be invoiced once a year at the end of the annual contract. In an industry with a 50% retention rate, CSC found it tough to collect a payment 12 months later.
When David joined CSC, he quickly realized that the current system was old and lacking flexibility to change the way the company billed its customers. He wanted to get into a recurring billing model but couldn’t figure out how to configure the system to accommodate the change. David’s division came up with a list of 12-15 new projects to implement within the year following a recurring revenue strategy but was told by the IT team that building a new system would take 24-36 months. It was a tight bottleneck – there were tons of ideas but it was a slow grind to get product out the door.
After researching recurring billing providers, David found Aria and negotiated a contract in six months. Just three months later, CSC launched its first product and started invoicing customers six months out, cutting the old billing cycle in half. CSC, empowered by a system that allowed them to control billing processes, started testing billing three months out, then two months out. Today, CSC is testing its latest idea – nixing the free trial completely and billing customers upfront for its services. As a result, CSC is finding an entire year’s worth of accelerated income and an increase in overall customer lifetime value.
In CSC’s business, they know customers prefer to pay things on monthly, quarterly, or biannually. Aria’s active monetization platform allows CSC to accommodate customer preference as well as identify new ways to monetize the business through customer alerts, online storage, a surplus of customer calls, etc. At the end of the day, CSC now has the flexibility and ability to update its product catalog and offerings to increase recurring revenue opportunities and customer lifetime value over time.
See David’s full story below.