Choosing a subscription solution provider can be a little confusing. With so many choices, it's hard to decipher which service offers the features that you need and will actually use. Having 100's of features is meaningless if your company can't benefit from them. Instead of looking at the sheer quantity of features a SaaS company provides, it's more important to look at whether or not the "must-have" features are present. Here are 5 features that your SaaS subscription software should offer.
1. Detailed Analytics
Tracking is crucial to optimize your SaaS service. A good provider will provide detailed reporting for subscribers, unsubscribes, and include Google Analytics integration to monitor your sales funnel as well. Reporting should extend beyond the signup process and monitor user actions while using your application. SaaS application performance monitoring gives insight into the actual user experience. This data can be invaluable because it allows you to make improvements to your software which will decrease the number of unsubscribes you have and improve your customer life cycle.
Top notch providers will provide real time analytics instead of daily generated reports. With real time data, you can make changes on the fly.
2. User Account Management
Users should not have to contact support for every miniscule task. Look for providers that will allow your subscribers to manage some aspects of their own accounts. For example, users should be able to:
- Upgrade their plans at any time
- Cancel their plans
- Update contact information and payment method
- Access and print past invoices and receipt
Not only does subscriber account management offer convenience for your subscribers, it also puts less of a strain on the support team. When a user is required to email support to change their billing information or to change their subscription type, the help desk is wasting time that could be spent tending to customers with technical issues that only the help desk can fix.
3. Free Trials
One of the most commonly used methods to gain subscribers is offering free trials to capture leads. Most SaaS providers have taken note of this technique and offer the ability to offer free trials for set periods of time instead of requiring merchants to use loopholes.
Your software should also include the ability to offer coupon codes and discounts. This allows you to offer special discounts for select members or seasonal discounts without having to completely change all of your subscription plans.
4. Foreign Currency Support
With today's global economy, more and more merchants are receiving customers from all around the world. In order to avoid restricting access in certain countries, look for SaaS subscription software that supports local currencies. Certain countries only use specific payment methods. Having software that acknowledges local payment methods increases the number of customers that your products can reach.
Often times merchants are strictly accustom to the way that online transactions are handled in the U.S with debit or credit cards. However, there are several countries outside of the U.S that have other payment methods as the "standard".
5. Recurring Payment Management
One of the biggest issues SaaS vendors can run into is collecting recurring fees. Subscribers forget to pay, try putting off payment for as long as possible, or sometimes have technical issues. The beauty of the SaaS model is that users can opt-in for automatic or recurring payments. Not only does this make it easier to collect payments, it also helps decrease the amount of unsubscribes you get as a result of payment issues.
One service that some SaaS providers are beginning to implement is a payments retry system that is designed for SaaS companies. What this does is retry a failed payment if an automatic payment is declined or doesn't go through. Most providers also have a system in place that automatically sends reminders for expiring subscriptions, missed payments, and other billing related issues. This is all designed to increase merchant sales and decrease cancellations and unsubscribes.