A two-headed monster of rising churn and rampant fraud is menacing the growing subscription space, and many companies are spending big bucks to roll out innovative fraud-busting technologies to combat it. Businesses that combine advanced technologies with low-tech weapons like strong customer relationships will better position themselves to not just survive, but thrive in this increasingly competitive market.
Firms looking to forge strong security measures with seamless customer experiences must produce products that users trust, and must have deep knowledge of their customers. Knowing what customers value is the most effective weapon a subscription company can have against cancellation, according to Kate Thunnissen, chief marketing officer for London-based automated speech-to-text platform provider Trint.
“Every single interaction a customer has with Trint needs to be as smooth as possible,” she explained.
This means businesses must prioritize security, even if it means sacrificing transaction speed.
“Every step of our user journey is safeguarded, from getting onboarded to using the platform to submitting a payment,” she said. “If a page takes an extra second to load because of security checks going on in the background, that’s okay, because it means our customer data is safe.”
That confidence is well-founded. Trint is operating in a fast-growing, highly competitive field that has drawn in technology giants such as Microsoft and Google. The speech-to-text application programming interface (API) market is predicted to grow from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $4.1 billion by 2024 — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6 percent.
Preventing Hiccups in the User Experience
Trint’s cloud-based subscription voice-transcription technology, which is geared toward media organizations, allows users to upload audio and video files and manually correct transcription errors. The company also offers a mobile app that can transcribe phone calls and recordings directly from the mobile devices on which it is installed.
Trint works with big-name clients such as The Washington Post, the Associated Press and Vice News, making speed and accuracy extremely important. Any hiccups in the transcription or editing process can cause frustration that results in cancellations. Customers expect fast, seamless experiences, whether they are uploading videos and sharing edits or managing their recurring payments, Thunnissen said. Interruptions in payments, from monthly invoicing in finance departments to fraud alerts that stop firms from using their business accounts, can cause ripple effects.
“Maintaining a secure, stress-free payment system shows our customers we can handle both front and center business functions,” she noted.
Placing Big Bets on Customer Knowledge
Trint conducts user interviews and surveys to determine which features customers like best and what they might want.
“If they decide to leave, we need to know why. ... That’s why research is a major tool against churn,” she said. “There is no better product development team than customers.”
Companies that are truly customer-centric will “reduce churn without even trying,” she added.
She considers recurring revenue to be the holy grail for subscription businesses, as it allows firms to better manage their businesses, hire smartly and build better road maps for growth. Subscriptions offer obvious benefits to customers as well, but the hard part is getting them to subscribe in the first place. Thunnissen noted that the “trick” is to create a subscription package that provides value and is tailored to the right users — a process that requires strong customer research.
“It took Trint a full year to create its current series of packages,” she said, adding that they are based on internal and external data.
Getting subscribers to join a platform is half the battle for businesses. Secure systems that are convenient, reliable and do not breach customer trust is what keeps them loyal for the long term.