When we pre-launched Podcasters’ Paradise with an early bird special: a lifetime membership investment of $197, we didn’t even know whether or not we could set up pay plans in Infusionsoft.
Two years later, the lifetime membership investment for Paradise is $1,297, and we offer a pay plan option that is 15 payments of $99 / month.
But in those two years, as we continued to increase the investment for Paradise as the value of the content within increased, we realized there were a lot of things we hadn’t considered with the whole pay plan side of things.
What happens when someone signs up for the pay plan and then their credit card expires?
What if someone signs up on the pay plan and then their credit card is compromised – canceled – stolen?
Honestly, we had to think on our feet pretty quickly when these questions started coming up.
Figure out what the first step is
Because we’ve come up against a lot of these moments in our business – you know, the ones where you find out something is happening that you didn’t want to happen (or something is not happening that you wanted to happen) – we at least knew how to handle it: figure out what the first step is.
It’s easy to panic; in fact, it’s natural to panic. But once that initial feeling passes, you have to be able to take a deep breath and figure out what the first step is towards fixing whatever is broken.
For us, the first step to figuring out how to follow up (and recover) missed payments was to identify what the tools and resources we had available to us could do – for us.
What can your tools and resources do for you?
How do we leverage what we already have access to in order to help us figure this out?
We were on Infusionsoft at the time – thankfully – and we were using Customerhub for our membership platform.
Because of the integration between the two, we quickly found out that our members could easily update their credit card information through the membership site (Customerhub) and it would automatically get transferred into Infusionsoft.
Okay, whew – that’s a good sign.
We now know that there is a way for people to easily update their payment information, but how do we know when someone misses a payment? Or if their credit card is about to expire?
Luckily, we found out through some research and digging that Infusionsoft has “action sets” you can put in place so that when someone misses a payment, you (or whoever you select) is notified via email.
Perfect! If we’re notified when a payment is missed, then we can follow up with those members to help them get their payment info updated!
Taking it a step further
That was prefect, but we didn’t stop there.
Infusionsoft is all about automation, and so we knew we could take this a step further… So we asked ourselves this:
We’re notified… then what? We reach out to every individual to let them know they need to update their information?
The automation goes much further than that with Infusionsoft – to the point where we eventually set up a system that runs on autopilot, removing membership access when payments are missed, notifying the appropriate team members, and creating tasks for follow up.
And taking it another step further
Because this is a VERY important part of retention, we decided we didn’t want to automate the ENTIRE process. Let’s be real: not every missed payment is simply a matter of someone’s credit card expiring (yes, people do miss payment on purpose).
Touch points with your customers are important – especially when it comes to retention – so we decided to make part of the process hands on.
That’s when we decided to create a direct touch point with members who received the automated email regarding their payment being declined, were offered a link to update their information, and who decided to not take action.
We actually have a set of 5 emails that are personally sent to each individual in this group over a 2 week period. Each of those emails requests that they update their payment information and offers them help to do so.
We not only want direct contact with these folks – we want the opportunity to 1) have them stay; 2) if they refuse, find out why they’re leaving.
Check out the email templates we use to follow up on missed payments right here!
The importance of systems and processes
As you can see, the importance of having systems and processes in place in your business is HUGE, and it extends much further than just helping you free up some time.
Systems and processes also help you ensure your business is running smoothly; help you rest assured and have peace of mind that all the hard work you’ve put into creating something is actually working; help you continue to run your business in a sustainable and efficient way.
Don’t forget to grab the email templates we use to follow up on missed payments!