Acquiring new subscribers for your product or service can be expensive.  To maximize this initial investment it is critical that they stay as a customer for as long as possible.  Many times investing in your existing customers can be a very profitable proposition.  Although it may require a lot of effort to satisfy existing customer needs in order to get them to renew, that effort can be well worth the alternative of having to find a brand new customer.  Renewals are a primary focus for many types of subscription based businesses.  These include periodicals, utilities such as cell phone or TV subscriptions, SAAS applications, and other such services.  These types of businesses need to come up with specific strategies targeted at getting their subscribers to remain in the service and renew their subscription.  Here are some tips that can help you devise such strategies for your company.

Listen to your Customers:
Sometimes getting customers can be the easy part via partnership programs or free trials.  However many of these customers may drop off within the first couple renewal periods.  It is critical to understand why these customers are dropping off and devise product or marketing fixes to solve key customer problems.  Part of this process also includes developing platforms that customers can use to provide feedback and which you can then use to improve services.

Improve your Product:
To retain subscribers you must continuously improve the product or service that you are offering.  It is also important that customers understand that you are committed to improving the product.  Customers should be convinced that some pain points that are not being solved currently may get fixed with future product/service enhancements.  Update your product with new features that solve specific customer pain points.  Benchmark your offering vs. competitors and ensure there is a valid value proposition compared to the competition.  Keep two way communication open with customers and let them know if there are certain features that you're working on or if you are planning to experience scheduled downtime.

Offer Great Customer Service:
Customer service plays a critical role in any organization.  It can make or break your renewal rate.  Provide efficient customer service to all your subscribers. Whether it is through online chat, phone calls, emails or face to face service, your business must quickly answer all your customer inquiries.  You can also try leveraging web technologies to automate responses to the most common inquiries.  The key to subscriber renewal is good customer service all the time.

Be Proactive:
Proactively segment and target customers that are up for renewal.  Make sure they're satisfied with your product and provide extra service if necessary.  Encourage subscribers to provide their latest contact details to ensure you will be able to contact them when renewal time comes up.

Structure Products for Renewal:
You can also encourage subscribers to opt for annual subscriptions vs. monthly subscriptions.  Longer term subscriptions may require initial discounting but avoids competitors stealing your customers with new promotions mid term.  Also consider features such as auto renewal.  Auto renewals can help consumers as they cause less interruption to service and easier payment and processing.


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