Managing the Customer Experience in a Subscription Economy

by Katrina Wong, Director of Customer Experience


As the world moves to more and more subscription-based businesses – the customer experience becomes ever more important. Why?


In the traditional product-oriented world, selling may be a one-time transaction. How a customer thinks, feels, and interacts with your product is important up-front, but your business might not depend heavily upon repeat business (e.g., a customer buying a car from a dealership may not come back for several years).


However, in the subscription economy, not only is your revenue based upon a recurring model, so is your customer relationship. In a world characterized by subscription businesses, we are constantly reminded of this recurring customer relationship, as customers ask themselves “Do I really need this?” every time they are billed.


Because we want our customers to not only renew – but to pay for what they have committed to when they subscribed – regularly taking the pulse of the customer and building a feedback mechanism to your organization is key.


Below, I’ve outlined three tenets of operating a thriving subscription business with a customer experience focus, which we’ll cover in more detail over the next few weeks:


  • Focus on the customer and anchor your business around the customer’s experience
    • Understand the perspective of the customer.
    • Shift from an internal/company focus to a customer-centric one.
  • Embrace the voice of the customer
    • The good, the bad, and the in between.
    • Share customer insight across your company on a regular basis.
    • Talk about customer needs and not personal or organizational preferences.
  • Build a company culture that internalizes the customer experience and customer feedback
    • Create employee metrics around customer satisfaction.
    • Celebrate specific actions employees take to ensure customer satisfaction and success.


The bottom line is that at Zuora, we take this very seriously and we are working on some exciting initiatives focused on Customer Experience.


Stay tuned for future posts where we’ll dig deep into each of these tenets and provide some tactical suggestions as to how your organization can maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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