Five on Friday: Sales Cycles, Shopper Surveys and Subscription Jobs
Featuring LinkedIn, 2Checkout, Lighter Capital and The Hustle
It was a short week, but a busy one for Subscription Insider. We hope your week was a good one too and that you enjoyed the holiday weekend! In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, we share five customer service tips for you to try now, top subscription jobs from LinkedIn including jobs from Insider Inc. Crunchyroll and Amazon, information about The Hustle’s paid referral program for its new Trends newsletter, an introduction to SaaS, and 2019 global online shopping insights from 2Checkout.
5 Customer Service Tips to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Providing excellent customer service to your subscribers and members not only helps with customer acquisition and retention, but it can differentiate you from your competitors. Here are 10 customer services tips to try now:
- Today’s savvy consumer expects personalized customer service, and this goes beyond first names, says Nextiva. In addition to remembering your customer’s name and using it throughout the conversation, listen to what they’ve told you and mention it later in the conversation. This tells the customer you care about what is important to them.
- Don’t just pass the buck to a supervisor or another department if you don’t have the authority or tools to help a customer. Instead, stay with them until the problem is solved, says Fresh Desk. If you must pass them off to serve another customer, follow up with them later to be sure they got what they needed.
- Use positive language, including vocabulary and tone. This will improve the customer experience and can even prevent the escalation from a minor problem into a major complaint. Hubspot uses a good example in their customer service tips blog. If a customer says they are a little annoyed, but the customer service rep responds with “I understand where this is very frustrating,” the rep has escalated the situation. Instead, the rep could say, “I understand this can be a little tricky,” which shows that the problem can be overcome and avoids escalating the problem.
- Create an easy-to-understand customer loyalty program. Such a program can improve customer retention, increase referrals and extend customer lifetime value. Make sure your program is easy to understand though. Include a dedicate page on your website, or in your app, to explain the program, says Nextiva.
Be mindful of the customer’s experience, because a negative experience can drive your customers away. Pay particular attention to key touchpoints, says Fresh Desk, such as trial periods, subscription enrollment, onboarding and renewal. If you identify any snags in the process, work with your team to improve them to improve the customer experience.
LinkedIn: Top Subscription Jobs
Director, Subscription Lifecycle Marketing
New York, NY
Insider Inc. is hiring a Director of Subscription Lifecycle Marketing to lead our marketing initiatives to generate and retain subscribers. As Director, Subscription Lifecycle Marketing, you will lead a digital marketing team and be the driving force behind marketing campaigns that will grow the audience of our premium subscription products; Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider Prime, and free editorial newsletters. You will manage the campaign cycle from creative ideation to final execution. This role will report to the VP of Subscription Marketing. Read more.
Director of IT
San Francisco, CA
The IT team is an eclectic and passionate group who cares deeply about subjects ranging from baseball stats or which Final Fantasy was the best version, to providing robust IT solutions to the organization. We each have different areas of expertise, but support and collaborate with one another to deliver results for the company. We support Ellation employees across all five offices and 4 time zones; enabling them to do their jobs most effectively. We are core to empowering the Ellation mission. A day in the life of our Director of IT: Maintains daily IT operations and provides IT support across office locations to employees and contractors, ensures proper functioning of IT systems, including telecommunications, networking, voice/video conference system, security, finance, and productivity suite Read more.
Senior Relationship Manager, Learning Solutions (German)
We are looking for a Senior Relationship Manager to join our Learning Solutions team in acting as a trusted adviser and bringing value to our customers. You will be responsible for helping our customers effectively engage with the LinkedIn network using our professional talent solutions. You will be dedicated to making our customers stronger and seeking out opportunities for growth. Although you possess a strategic approach to selling and strive to meet/exceed revenue goals, you will always have your clients’ best interest in mind and act as their internal advocate to ensure they are set up for success. Read more.
This Program Manager will work within the Consumer Talent Acquisition organization and will drive Employer Branding for the entire Consumer business organization. You must be able to successfully communicate and partner with the recruiting organization, the business organization, human resources business partner organizations, and other diversity staff members across Amazon. The successful candidate will have a track record for being exceptional with candidate experience. They possess strong organization, analytical, verbal and written communication skills, have an ability to prioritize their time, demonstrate push back and a sense of urgency, and understand the value of providing amazing customer service. They thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment, can roll up their sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. Read more.
Member Relationship Manager
New York, NY
The newly developed Professional Membership team is responsible for recruiting and retaining members of the world’s foremost influential business membership. We equip ambitious professionals with the essential intelligence and tools they need to better lead their industries, grow their businesses and advance their careers. We provide a highly specialized service that builds on the power of our journalism, the insight of our analysis, the ambition of our audience and the continuity of community. Reporting to the Executive Director of Sales, this position will be responsible for managing the relationships and retention of the Executive Membership propositions. Read more.
The Hustle Launches Referral Program to Grow Hustle Trends Readership
n June, The Hustle, the publisher of a free daily business newsletter with more 1 million subscribers, launched a premium weekly newsletter, Hustle Trends, to up its game. For $299 a year, subscribers get access to premium content about new startups and startup trends, a weekly newsletter, a reports library, access to a private community and more. To help grow its subscriber base for Trends, The Hustle has launched a paid referral program.
“We have thousands of subscribers for Trends and many of them asked for a way to earn some cash for referring their friends. And, because we’re a brand for the people, we made it happen,” said The Hustle founder and CEO Sam Parr, in an August 6 blog post. “Have fun. Earn cash.”
For each person who signs up, the referring subscriber receives $50 and the new subscriber gets a $50 discount on their subscription. Each subscriber receives a unique URL that they can then share with friends on social media, via email, etc. When someone signs up using a subscriber’s link, they get $50. Parr cautions that subscribers can’t promote their link in “a spammy or misleading way.” Otherwise, they could cancel the link and void any referrals.
2Checkout: 2019 Online Shopper Survey Offers Key Findings and Trends
Part of being successful subscription company is following industry trends, including those of online shoppers where they are most likely to buy a subscription product or service. A recent survey* conducted by 2Checkout, an all-in-one monetization platform, revealed interesting insights and trends into global online shopping behavior.
Some of the key findings and notable trends from the survey:
- Data privacy and security: 76% of respondents said that data privacy and security is a top priority
- Localization: 69% of shoppers want to pay with their preferred payment method, 62% want pricing based on their local currency, and 61% want merchant websites translated into their native language
- Frequency: 17% of survey respondents said they make online purchases at least once a week, and 26% said they buy online at least once or twice a month.
- Products and services: The most popular products and services include software (53%), mobile apps (33%), eBooks (20%), films (18%) and music and concert tickets (18%). In physical goods, computers and other electronics ranked first at 36%, followed by clothing and accessories at 33% and mobile phones and tablets at 30%.
- Subscriptions: Streaming entertainment services are the most popular with 36% of respondents saying they subscribe to streaming services. Subscription-based software were next at 33% and subscription-based retail (subscription boxes, food delivery, etc.) are next at 12%.
- Subscription renewals: People prefer manual subscription renewals over automatic renewals at a rate of 61% to 39%.
- Customer Support: 62% of survey respondents prefer to contact support via email, followed by online chat at 39% and by phone at 35%.
- Payments: People prefer to pay with debit and credit cards (63%), followed by PayPal (39%). Mobile payments were preferred by 12% of respondents, followed by direct debit by 10%.
*The survey was conducted between May and July 2019. It included more than 1,000 respondents from 130 countries.
“Online shopper’s increased interest regarding data privacy and security is an ongoing trend, as evidenced in the findings of our Global Online Shopper Behavior Survey. This is yet another reason why merchants need to carefully select their digital commerce partners and pay closer attention to compliance and industry standards,” said Erich Litch, 2Checkout president and COO, in an August 30 news release.
“At the same time, shoppers are purchasing more goods and services online as well as subscription-based offerings from their country or elsewhere. This is very much in line with our product strategy as we continue to enhance our monetization platform to support global commerce and subscription sales with a local approach,” added Litch.
SaaS 101: Sales Cycles
A recent article by Rachael Pilcher for Lighter Capital shares an introduction to SaaS, including everything from sales cycles and commissions to models and metrics. Today we are going to address sales cycles. Pilcher points out that SaaS cycles vary widely based on a number of factors including price, audience and the complexity of the product. Here are other things to consider when calculating a typical SaaS sales cycle:
- How long will it take you to acquire a customer?
- What is the average size deal?
- Are you offering a free trial? If so, how long will it be?
- How is your product priced? Is it plug-and-play with one price or set tiered pricing? Or is it priced as an enterprise product that will require more sales time?
- Do you have competitors with similar products that beat you on price?
For more on the SaaS sales cycle and other SaaS 101 topics, read Pilcher’s August 19 article on Lighter Capital.