If you think a cloud subscription billing will help your business, it’s important to remember why. Just getting the cloud may seem innovative, but it isn’t the end goal.
You want to boost customer satisfaction and make your internal processes more efficient to increase your profits. To do that, your cloud billing solution should have these six features.
One of the most important benefits of cloud billing is being able to make changes as you go. You may want to add new products and services, implement new features, change your bundle options, or adjust your pricing structure. This may be based on your own internal data or from suggestions made by customers.
Once you’ve decided to make changes, the sooner the better. With a cloud billing solution, virtually anything you could want to do should be configurable with a couple of clicks. Waiting for your IT team to make changes or having to have a developer code the changes means delaying the moves that you think will add to your profits.
Further, if there is too much friction to implement changes, some of your best ideas may never get implemented at all if management decides there aren’t enough resources to work on them. With a fully customizable cloud solution, you’re free to experiment until you get things right.
When you take customer payments, there are a number of security standards that you need to meet.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. PCI standards apply to card payments. They require you to take certain steps to safeguard your customers’ information and also set rules for what information you can collect and store. PCI standards are primarily a contractual obligation imposed by credit card issuers as a condition of using their cards. Some standards have also been incorporated into law depending on what state you’re in (if you’re in the USA).
- US-EU Privacy Shield. The US-EU Privacy Shield is an agreement between the United States and European governments setting security standards for transatlantic transactions. The goal is to make compliance easier, but you should still be aware of these standards in addition to those that apply in your home state. Even if you don’t actively target European customers, you could still fall under these regulations if someone accesses your services from Europe.
- Industry Standards. Certain industries also have enhanced requirements. Examples include those that are set by law, such as HIPAA for doctors, and those that are set by professional organizations, such as client confidentiality rules for attorneys.
The good news is that a reputable cloud billing platform provider will have compliant security features built-in and regularly update them to meet any new requirements. Instead of worrying about security, you only need to choose a provider who complies with the standards that apply to your business.
The right billing solution for your company will take care of everything for you. Instead of manually taking orders, activating new accounts, sending invoices, and collecting payments, everything should happen in the backend. Once a customer initiates an order or submits a payment, the system will automatically make your accounting entries for you.
With the right integrations, this automation can also extend beyond your accounting department. You can update inventory, schedule onboarding calls, or do any other routine task that’s triggered by recurring customer actions.
Automatic recurring reports will allow you to quickly settle your books at your own convenience instead of having a lengthy month-end close. After that, you can spend your time analyzing the reports and making smart business decisions to propel future growth.
Sample reports include:
- Payment transactions to update your sales account and profit and loss statement.
- Sales breakdowns by period.
- Growth rate in customers and sales.
- Customer retention percentage and time.
- Reasons for canceling transactions.
In short, if you think a piece of information will help you figure out how to improve efficiency or increase your profits, you can set up a report to give it to you.
Another important reason to use a cloud subscription billing solution is scalability. With a traditional billing model, you might only have a license for so many customers or the software may be unable to handle your growth. That could mean starting almost from scratch every time your business needs change.
In the cloud, there are virtually no limits on customers, features, or usage. When you’re at your busiest, you don’t need to spend time scrambling to figure out how to scale up. You just need to update your account for the increased usage.
While the tiered billing that may come with increasing scale may seem like a downside, it’s important to remember two things. First, you’re increasing your sales and your profits, and may even have a better profit margin than you did before. Second, having to switch between one-time licenses or spending time updating an internal system could cost you even more.
When your billing system goes down, your entire company goes down. For example, what happens when your traditional system goes down in the middle of the night? Even if you can start a fix right away, how long will that take, and how many sales will you lose in the meantime?
With a cloud billing solution, you have almost 100% reliability. Redundant servers mean no power outages, server failures, or equipment upgrades taking you offline. In addition, constant monitoring by dedicated engineers means the likelihood of a crash is much lower and that any rare problems can be fixed much faster.
Try Our Cloud Billing Solution
Ubersmith’s cloud billing solution offers all of these features and more. Contact us now for a free trial, and see how it can help you improve your customer retention rates.