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Customers are key for IoT businesses on a subscription billing model

 

Ask the average person what skill is most important for employees of a business that creates IoT products, and they're likely to say you'd need extensive knowledge of various programming languages. Others might even point to problem-solving skills, noting that they're absolutely critical for solving bugs before and after product launch. While these are both incredibly important, the most valuable skill for IoT employees is the ability to empathize with their customers. Understanding how the end user wants to interact both with a product and a company - including purchase, use and billing - ensures a business not only creates a successful IoT product but is effectively able to market, sell and fund it through a subscription billing model.

Considering the consumer
Computer Business Review conducted an interview with Liam Kelly, Microsoft U.K.'s general manager of developer experience. Kelly believes the ability to anticipate the end user's experience is what's most important for IoT developers.

"They need to be able to deliver something that is personal, which maximizes the capabilities of the device connectivity," he told the publication.

"Businesses should anticipate and meet the customer's needs and expectations."

This idea applies not only to developers but the entire IoT business structure as well. Businesses as a whole should focus on the idea of anticipating and meeting the customer's needs and expectations, especially where billing is concerned. Using a recurring billing service helps in this endeavor by appealing to widespread consumer preferences.

Customers prefer subscriptions
As Multichannel Merchant noted, customers enjoy subscriptions for their flexibility, convenience and value. In fact, customers have not only gotten used to subscriptions and memberships - they actually prefer them over ads and other forms of funding for internet-related services. Businesses should respond to this demand not only by offering subscription options, but by providing solutions that accept multiple payment methods. Doing so makes interaction easy and gives customers the ability to pay how they choose.

In addition, businesses should use a frictionless solution that ultimately simplifies the customer experience. Customers want their payments to be as easy as possible. For proof, just think about how payments have evolved from cash to checks, then to cards and finally to mobile devices. Each option is more convenient than its predecessor.

Providing a frictionless solution that eliminates as many barriers to billing as possible - for example, enabling automatically recurring payments and using a system that automatically retries failed transactions - supports the easy experience customers want. 

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