Delivering real value to your customers doesn’t end once the contract is signed and products or services are delivered. This is especially true for subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) businesses, where retaining customers is even more important (and profitable) than acquiring new ones. However, meeting customer expectations takes more than exceptional products and adequate services, it requires going the extra mile in all that you do – including billing. Cloud-based billing software platforms have proven to be highly effective customer retention tools that provide numerous additional benefits.
Before diving into cloud-based billing software, let’s discuss the cloud in general and the impact it’s having on organizations. It was determined that cloud data centers processed 94% of all workloads in 2021 and that SaaS processes account for 75% of the total workload. What does this mean for businesses? With the public cloud computing market projected to be worth $800 billion by 2025, on-premise data centers are on their way out. In fact, according to Gartner Research, a whopping 85% of enterprises will adopt a cloud-first strategy by 2025. Unsurprisingly, the benefits of a cloud-based billing software migration are plentiful and companies that postpone moving to the cloud may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. In the words of McKinsey and Company, “Businesses that follow the lead of cloud-migration outperformers stand to unlock some $1 trillion in value.”
Cloud-Based Billing Software: Benefits You Can Bank On
From improving the customer experience to reducing costs and everything in between, cloud-based billing software delivers a plethora of benefits that span customer experience, customer relationships, launching new offerings, leveraging disruptive technology, availability and collaboration, scalability, reliability and data security, multi-currency/multi-language support, business insights, and cost reduction.
1) Customer Experience
Customers expect fast, efficient, and seamless interactions regardless of the touchpoint. Cloud-based billing software integrates with your existing enterprise applications to provide a single source of the truth and a consistent brand experience for customers. Your staff gains instant access to real-time account information from anywhere, enabling them to quickly identify and address billing issues as they occur. For example, tailored messages can be automatically generated to notify customers of upcoming payment due dates, expiring credit cards, or failed payments – giving them the notice they need and enabling you to quickly rectify a potential revenue-affecting situation. Additionally, customer portals offer exceptional benefits by providing customers with direct access to their payment history, amount due, usage data, etc. It also allows them to easily make payments and upgrade/downgrade services – giving them the power to serve themselves.
2) Customer Relationships
When it comes to building and maintaining profitable customer relationships, cloud-based billing software plays a key role. As one of the most delicate areas of a business relationship, your customers must trust that they are being invoiced correctly and are receiving value for dollars spent. When the billing process doesn’t go smoothly, trust can be irreparably damaged. Cloud-based billing software built for today’s complexities offers multiple lines of protection against potential setbacks. From flexible pricing, billing, and payment options to automation of recurring billing, the right cloud-based billing platform enables you to support any business model and continuously provide high-quality transactions.
3) Launching New Offerings
Staying ahead of the competition means having the ability to unleash your imagination and bring new products, services, pricing schemes, and bundles to market faster than your counterparts. Doing this requires flexible cloud-based billing software with the agility to support all your business requirements – any product, any service, any business model. With a billing system that doesn’t require IT intervention, you’re able to react to market trends in real-time to quickly and easily launch new offerings, packages, and pricing models in hours instead of weeks.
4) Leveraging Disruptive Technology
Industry disruptors can turn what may be a negative experience into new revenue opportunities. The ability to roll out combinations of subscription, recurring, and usage-based payment models quickly and efficiently is increasingly important as technological advancements further accelerate. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) is now fueled by 5G technology while providing the foundation for IoT to reach its full potential. Unlike on-premise billing systems, cloud-based billing software enables you to collect and convert large quantities of raw usage data from multiple sources and use the data to diversify offerings and turn usage into revenue.
5) Availability and Collaboration
With cloud-based billing software, employees have the flexibility to securely access the information needed from anywhere at any time. Instant access to data and documents enables team members to effectively collaborate whenever and wherever. This means that your business runs more efficiently, and customers receive the experiences they crave.
Workloads peak and wane so with on-premise billing, you routinely need to purchase and install additional equipment. Once the load spike passes, you’re left with pricey, redundant resources. Cloud-based billing software provides the ability to flex up or down without incurring long-term infrastructure costs. When billing is in the cloud, you’re able to increase and decrease capacity as needed without expensive IT investments.
7) Reliability and Data Security
Most cloud vendors offer service level agreements that guarantee a certain percentage of uptime. What happens when data is lost either through a crash, error, cybercrime, etc.? Thankfully data security is paramount to reliable cloud vendor offerings. They employ cybersecurity experts to prevent and protect against security breaches. Additionally, these providers comply with regulations by regularly upgrading their services to help ensure uptime and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
8) Multi-currency/Multi-language Support
When expanding your business across borders, you need the ability to quickly and accurately localize your solutions. The best cloud-based billing software provides the ability to configure user interfaces, pricing, packaging, and other documents to meet local requirements. It also enables you to define the currencies and languages to use for billing, rating, and reporting, as well as comply with local tax regulations.
9) Business Insights
The benefits of cloud-based billing software extend beyond the customer-facing aspect of your business. It’s instrumental in providing the business intelligence needed to enhance internal processes. By collecting usage data and generating reports, sophisticated billing solutions provide you with insights into the customers’ experience. This way you can anticipate data usage to determine how the products are being used. Then enhance them to better suit customer needs, track revenue changes after product rollouts, provide statistical data on a new product’s success, and more.
10) Cost Reduction
One of the most compelling reasons to migrate billing to the cloud is to reduce the cost and effort of on-site installation and maintenance. With cloud-based billing software, buying user licenses, software upgrades, purchasing hardware to handle peak seasons, etc., takes just a few clicks. Another benefit of cloud migration is that you no longer need to maintain hardware, staff technical experts, or risk the system becoming obsolete. Essentially, cloud-based billing software enables you to remove high IT operating costs.
Take the Next Step into the Future of Billing
Without the support of a powerful cloud-based billing platform, billing operations and maintenance can drain internal resources. This is especially true given the degree to which today’s customers flock to organizations that provide pricing model customizations. By migrating in-house billing to the cloud you gain more efficient workflows that increase overall profitability, reduce billing-related costs, and have the ability to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Given the increasing complexity of billing, there’s no shortage of cloud-based billing software options. However, some only offer a subset of the capabilities you need to be successful over the long term. BillingPlatform provides a comprehensive platform that adapts to meet the full scope of your needs today and into the future.
Today the transition from on-site billing software to cloud-based billing software is becoming the next logical step for forward-thinking organizations. We pride ourselves on equipping companies, like yours, to capture innovative revenue opportunities, reduce operational costs, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Take a free 14-day test drive of BililngPlatform to see for yourself.