When signing up for a subscription or contract you usually need to take a deep breath before signing on the dotted line, because you know you will be locked into that offering, at that price, for at least the next 12 months. None of us have crystal balls so we just pray and hope that we will be able to pay each month and that this product is actually the one we want or need to use for that length of time!
Netmetix know that annual subscriptions can be scary and daunting and that is why we only offer our customers rolling monthly contracts. Why? You may ask. Doesn’t that mean people can leave easily? Well, yes, but despite this, our customers don’t. In our last customer survey, 81% of our customers have been with us for over four years!
Below are five reasons why we think rolling monthly contracts could work in your favour:
A rolling contract means just that. It rolls over, every month unless someone stops it. No catches.
This is great for your customers as they have nothing to lose:
This does not look great for the business offering the rolling contract though, does it? How do you predict your cash flow if people can just leave? How do you stop your customers from leaving?
The answer is great customer service. From start to finish.
Ensuring that your customers are looked after and know what they are getting means that it is unlikely they will cancel soon after signing up. Using demos to show what they are getting or giving the customer a free trial to test out the service takes away this worry too.
A helpful service desk to solve customers’ issues quickly avoids customers cancelling out of frustration, and can also be available to discuss pausing a subscription or lowering the cost for a few months if the customer is going through a rocky patch.
“93% of Netmetix’s customers said they would recommend us to a friend or colleague”Netmetix Customer Satifaction Survey, Dec 2021
This type of great customer service creates satisfied customers, who, despite being able to leave at any time, choose not to. These customers also become your company’s advocates and are more likely to recommend your service or product to a friend or colleague.
A rolling contract can seem like a crazy business model at first glance. Even with the best customer service available, you are still giving your customers the flexibility to choose what they do, every month. This can be daunting but on the other hand, you are also giving your business the flexibility to choose what you do, every month.
Some examples of why this can be a good thing:
“Avoiding long or minimum-term contracts removes a significant barrier to entry for your clients. We want clients who want to be our clients and who are also good clients for Netmetix.”Paul Blore, Managing Director of Netmetix
As well as all the great reasons above that show flexibility can be beneficial to both parties, a rolling contract can also mean you can say goodbye to customers who no longer fit with your business’s ethos quickly and easily and making more room for customers who serve your business better.
A rolling contract business model works around trust. You trust the customer to not cancel, and they trust you to keep them happy by providing the product or service you sold them.
Trust is an incredibly important part of running a business in general, so working with the right customers who understand your service and trust you makes business easier.
Creating a rapport with your customers early is imperative. This can be done through marketing, email communications, regular contact with account managers and a responsive, efficient service desk. Developing this trust throughout means that the customer knows they can ask you anything about your service, or about the contract and you will be fair and honest in your response, and it also means they are more likely to work through the niggles with you rather than cancel and move somewhere else.
As above, having a rolling contract business model means that you can fluctuate your prices as and when necessary, rather than having to wait until renewal time comes and having to add a hefty price increase to your customer’s next annual contract.
Having the flexibility to add (and subtract) a few pence or pounds to your monthly billing not only means you can recoup any costs to your business quicker, but your customers can make minimal amendments to their payments over time rather than one large lump sum at the end of the year which could, potentially, scare them off and go looking for another provider.
Rolling contracts also gives you and the customer the flexibility to add or subtract services when this is needed. If the customer’s business grows and needs additional services, then they don’t need to wait until their lengthy contract is up before adding to it.
They could also discuss opportunities to downscale any services which are not currently being used, therefore saving them money. For instance, seasonal businesses could pay for more services in their busy periods and drop down to less in the months they are not as active. This flexibility means they still stay on as a customer and not only do you benefit from their busier periods, but they will also be highly likely to stay with you for years to come because of it!
Even if you crossed my palm with silver, I could not tell you what was going to happen with the economy or your business over the coming years. What I do know is that using the rolling contract business model can future-proof your business for any substantial changes that may happen.
Having the flexibility to change pricing, services and contract clauses leaves your business able to quickly pivot or amend your services no matter what happens. This can be seen now with energy price rises and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to pass on these costs to the customer straight away, although unfortunate, means that your business is more sustainable. Those waiting for nine months to be able to rise prices when the next contract renewal comes around may not be so lucky.
What do you think of a rolling contract business model? Do you use one in your business, or do you prefer the more standard, longer-term contracts? Let us know in the comments.