Zuora’s June '10 Release: Major new functionality allows Z-Customers to accurately track payment operations and improves

by Clement Wang

 

Once again, like clockwork, we’re pushing out our monthly release. We’re especially proud of our June 2010 release as it is the culmination of a couple of major features that we’ve been working hard on for a while now. Two of these features (our Z-Force 360 Improvements and our Payment Operations functionality) have been in preview with our lead customers who have been providing direct feedback about the features before we make them generally available. Highlights below:

 

Payment Operations (Refunds): Refunds and credits are a necessary part of doing business in a subscription economy. The ability to handle refunds and credits accurately and promptly are key tools for improving customer satisfaction and reducing churn. Of course, managing these properly is important, which is why our refunds functionality includes the following:

 

  • Maintain control and financial auditability
    • Allow only authorized users to issue refunds
    • Issue and track both electronic refunds on credit card payments as well as non-electronic payments
  • Respond quickly to Customers
    • Refund credit card payments directly to your customer’s credit card through a payment gateway like PayPal, or Authorize.net
  • Prevent Errors
    • Intuitive user interface ensures that users know exactly what refunds they are applying
    • Internal users can view all transactions that impact an invoice including payments, refunds, and adjustments
    • Refunds can be applied across multiple payments simultaneously
  • Clearly communicate to your end-customers
    • All payments, refunds, and credits that impact their balance can be made visible to end customers on their invoices
    • Refunds are fully-supported by our Z-Commerce API to allow easy access via a web-based portal.

 

Zuora customer TLC Innovations rolled out refunds during our preview several months ago, and had this to say: “With Zuora, we now have visibility not only into our subscriptions and income, but also into our refund requests,” said Tess March, CFO at TLC Innovations. “This helps us flag potential issues and reduce churn.”

 

Z-Force 360 Enhancements: Z-Force 360, our Salesforce.com integration built 100% natively on Force.com, is one of our most popular modules. Our customers use it to make sure that their front-office folks and executives who use Salesforce.com (SFDC) have a full view into their customers’ subscriptions, renewals, products, invoice status, and other important information.

 

With this release, we are improving our native SFDC integration to support:

 

  • Scheduled Sync: Automatically synchronize the latest data between Zuora and SFDC to ensure users see up-to-date information
  • Performance Improvements: We have greatly improved the performance of our synchronization so that customers with large amounts of data can synchronize their data in a fraction of the time that it used to take

 

As Willie Wang, VP of Products at Codesion stated, “Our customer teams live in Salesforce.com, so being able more easily ensure that the data they are seeing is always up to date really helps improve our responsiveness to customers.”

 

Invoicing Improvements: Based on customer feedback and our larger payment operations feature, we’re making more data available on our invoices to allow greater flexibility in presenting information to end-customers. For Zuora customers like Suzann Sylvester at TopCon, who have complex bills with many charge items, it is especially important to be able to control the way their billing information is presented to their customers to avoid questions and reduce errors. Among the improvements we’re introducing is a unified transactions table which shows all transactions (including payments and refunds) that have been applied to an invoice, allowing our customers to present an “at a glance” view of the exact status of the invoice. In addition, we’ve improved the sorting of charges on the invoice to make it easy for recipients to understand what they are being billed for.

 

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