Generally, when you ask people why service experience is important you will get an answer that sounds a lot like the “golden rule.” Treat people the way that you want to be treated. People do business with people they know and like. Eventually, you may start to wonder if these people have ever really thought about why service experience matters.

For our discussions, we are going to talk about how service experience affects retention, which is the lifeblood of subscription services. As you know, subscription services are built on a recurring business model. Value must be delivered each month if you want to keep your customers and the revenue they generate.

What this means is that your job is not complete until you’ve convinced the customer to renew. We know that some of you engage in markets that allow you to sell annual subscriptions. The concepts are still the same. Recurring revenue business models are all about retention.

What is service experience? Generally, service experience is every interaction that the customer has with you or your organization. For our discussion, it’s every interaction that could potentially impact your member’s willingness to renew.

For example, it’s great that you have a chatbot on your website that will answer new member questions day or night. However, if you aren’t tracking whether or not the member has completed the onboarding sequence then it’s hard to see how you get that renewal.  Unless the customer is completely distracted by other more pressing concerns.

Churn is a fact of life. People may fail to renew for their own reasons, which have absolutely nothing to do with you. The fact that churn is a given doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t attempt to understand why it’s occurring. Just because people leave doesn’t mean that someday they may not return. Service experience will have a lot to do with their decision.

Service Experience implies that you are delivering value in ways that customers are most inclined to receive it. For example, I spent a couple of years looking at how to build better makerspaces. Makerspaces that you and your community could be proud. One of the reasons that I started was because I felt that physical makerspaces couldn’t meet the needs of a significant number of makers.

Not everyone can afford to take hours out of their busy days to travel to a physical makerspace to get on a machine. The other thing is that not every skill requires access to a physical machine. If you use an expansive view of what it is to be a maker, one that is based on creative ownership, then the potential fan base is much larger than those willing to travel to physical makerspaces.

Every subscription maker must deal with service experience in their own way. Some will deal with it in a no-frills utilitarian manner. Others will take the opportunity to use service experience as a means of reinforcing their brand identity. No matter how you choose to address the issue of service experience, it could make or break your efforts.

Zachary Alexander