How Many Subscribers Are You Losing to the “Credit Card Statement Moment of Truth”?

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Have you ever looked at your credit card statement and said, “Holy crap, how did THAT happen?!?” when the balance is a lot higher than you expected? I put on several events a year and frequently travel for client engagements, so my typical balance due from new charges is between $25,000  and $50,000 . This is great for accumulating rewards points, but is bad for the checkbook balance.

Your monthly credit card balances may be more or less, but it’s easy to lose sight of what a charge means to your customer. Just like you and me, your subscriber often spends more than he expected to spend in a month. When he bought your program and subscribed, he was excited and eagerly anticipated this new relationship.

Then, 30–45 days later, he’s largely forgotten about the relationship — except for the sticker shock of the charge on his credit card statement. Suddenly, reality has struck. There’s a month’s worth of new purchases, and he’s reviewing them, hoping that some aren’t really his. Alas, they are his. The next scan is for charges that he can refund.

At this moment, it’s 45 days after you excited him with your sale, got him to pull out his card and with optimism for what this new relationship means to him, and he made the purchase. Now reality has struck.

He’s got a whole long list of reasons why your subscription isn’t right for him. (See page 2 for more on this.) And, he’s got a new balance on his credit card statement that he wants to trim down. Are you going to let your subscription be on the chopping block?

I’ve been blessed to be busy so far in 2017. In January, I traveled to Orlando twice and Miami once in a whirlwind of client engagements. Back at the office, in addition to a near-capacity list of monthly consulting clients, I’ve had seven consulting days so far this year, had a weekly client return, and accepted a three-month, high-intensity project with Money Map Press).

So far this year, my recurring theme with my clients has been addressing the “credit card statement moment of truth.” It’s one thing to make the sale well enough that your customer is willing to pull out her card and buy your subscription. It’s another thing entirely to make the sale so well that she’s willing and eager to pay the balance when her credit card statement arrives in the mail.

Or you at least need her to look past your charge and make the minimum monthly payment so your charge folds into the “Previous Balance” amount on subsequent credit card statements. The larger your initial sale, the more difficult it is for her to get beyond the credit card statement moment of truth.

The first step in keeping your subscriber is to recognize that he will experience this struggle. Next, understand that your subscriber likely has someone in his or her life that he has to answer to for this purchase. A spouse, business partner, or even his secretary may exert pressure, real or perceived, on charges.

Next, continue to sell beyond the initial purchase through to the “retention point.” Getting the sale isn’t enough. You must continue to sell the dream that made them buy in the first place, building rapport and engaging your new subscriber, so when she sees your company name on her credit card statement, she’s proud of her decision to choose you.

Over the next 10 years the social trends are in your favor to grow your subscription revenue. Create a system to move your new subscribers beyond the credit card moment-of-truth to slash your churn rates so your subscription program will grow.

About Robert Skrob

The problem with subscription membership programs is that members quit, I fix that problem. For more than 20-years I have specialized in direct response marketing for member recruitment, retention and ascension in diverse subscription members environments including non-profit associations, for-profit publishers/coaching, subscriptions and SAAS companies. For an evaluation of your current churn rate and how I can improve it, contact me here. I discover there are often two or three quick wins you can implement within a week to lower churn immediately, let’s talk about your quick wins.
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