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Service industry in a subscription form without getting overrun?

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Ludo

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Hi all,

After a lot of reading I've been thinking about releasing a certain type subscription form for a service, of course with correct CENTS. Just as an example I mean provide a certain service online (the service) for a certain monthly fee (subscription). For each subscriber you have to put in a certain type of work (time).

Now my main question/problem with this is: How can you prevent from still getting overrun by the amount of work (time)? Is it possible to limit, the things a customer might ask regarding time? If, so how? What are general solutions for this situation? Really interested in this.
 

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Late Bloomer

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Now my main question/problem with this is: How can you prevent from still getting overrun by the amount of work (time)? Is it possible to limit, the things a customer might ask regarding time? If, so how? What are general solutions for this situation? Really interested in this.
Absolutely, there are standard ways to handle this in a contract. Examples include Terms of Service, Service Level Agreement, and Scope Of Work.

Here's a simple example, from a company I don't have any connection with.
Best Value DNS Pricing | DNS Made Easy
"Hi, I'm a customer in your entry-level bottom tier and you haven't called me back in ten minutes so I'm gonna sue you..." see how this up front expectation is clearly defined?
 
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Ludo

Ludo

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 30, 2018
26
22
20
The Hague, The Netherlands
Absolutely, there are standard ways to handle this in a contract. Examples include Terms of Service, Service Level Agreement, and Scope Of Work.

Here's a simple example, from a company I don't have any connection with.
Best Value DNS Pricing | DNS Made Easy
"Hi, I'm a customer in your entry-level bottom tier and you haven't called me back in ten minutes so I'm gonna sue you..." see how this up front expectation is clearly defined?
Thanks a lot for your reply. So basically it's just setting up a Contract/TOS/SLA in advance with a legal description of limitations? For example on the advertising or website I would say:
- Get unlimited (service) for a fee of $(X) a month
and the documents would cover it, without causing agitation with customers because of poor communication?

Thanks again
 

Late Bloomer

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- Get unlimited (service) for a fee of $(X) a month
and the documents would cover it, without causing agitation with customers because of poor communication?
Yes, that's exactly right. You might get in trouble with the word "unlimited" in ads, if there actually is a limit*

*unless you have a footnote like this in the ads. Might be worth while to check with a local attorney to be on the safe side.

Otherwise, maybe there's another term that would help? Extensive, always there for you, comprehensive service, done-for-you service, complete turnkey solution, etc.?
 
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Ludo

Ludo

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 30, 2018
26
22
20
The Hague, The Netherlands
Yes, that's exactly right. You might get in trouble with the word "unlimited" in ads, if there actually is a limit*

*unless you have a footnote like this in the ads. Might be worth while to check with a local attorney to be on the safe side.

Otherwise, maybe there's another term that would help? Extensive, always there for you, comprehensive service, done-for-you service, complete turnkey solution, etc.?
I understand. Maybe you are right on a different choice of words, extensive sounds good too and certain limitations will be seen as more reasonable with that wording. Thanks!
 

Late Bloomer

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I understand. Maybe you are right on a different choice of words, extensive sounds good too and certain limitations will be seen as more reasonable with that wording. Thanks!
One last thought that came to mind. You might want to make sure to go over the terms one last time as part of your sales/ordering process. "I just want to make sure that we have the right option for you here, you're choosing the 50 updates per month, 100 hours per month plan at $x per month, with the 5% discount for prepayment, is that right?"
 
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Ludo

Ludo

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 30, 2018
26
22
20
The Hague, The Netherlands
One last thought that came to mind. You might want to make sure to go over the terms one last time as part of your sales/ordering process. "I just want to make sure that we have the right option for you here, you're choosing the 50 updates per month, 100 hours per month plan at $x per month, with the 5% discount for prepayment, is that right?"
Good one, so you clearly repeat the exact most important service tier facts? And if I understand it correctly at the same time it's also an opportunity to upsell? (on the condition that I would offer a certain higher tier/category)
 

Late Bloomer

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Good one, so you clearly repeat the exact most important service tier facts? And if I understand it correctly at the same time it's also an opportunity to upsell? (on the condition that I would offer a certain higher tier/category)
Well, I was thinking of this at the very end of the sales conversation. I personally am not a fan of surprise upsells, although I know some businesses succeed with them.

Earlier in the conversation or checkout process, you would have the chart that shows the different plans, and the available upgrades. Basic-Extended-Deluxe for the columns (or Bronze-Silver-Gold, whatever names you want to give your standard packages). Number of updates, amount of service time available, monthly price, minimum number of months, response time etc. for the rows. Then, for $x you can add an additional 10 updates per month, which roll over to the next month if you don't use them, and for $y you can get an additional 20 minutes per month, which don't roll over if you don't use all your available time each month. (Or whatever specific numbers apply to your offer.)

You then go over the option the customer chose one last time, just before you take their money, to be sure that you and they both understand exactly what order they want to place with you.
 
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Ludo

Ludo

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 30, 2018
26
22
20
The Hague, The Netherlands
Well, I was thinking of this at the very end of the sales conversation. I personally am not a fan of surprise upsells, although I know some businesses succeed with them.

Earlier in the conversation or checkout process, you would have the chart that shows the different plans, and the available upgrades. Basic-Extended-Deluxe for the columns (or Bronze-Silver-Gold, whatever names you want to give your standard packages). Number of updates, number of updates, monthly price, minimum number of months, response time etc. for the rows. Then, for $x you can add an additional 10 updates per month, which roll over to the next month if you don't use them, and for $y you can get an additional 20 minutes per month, which don't roll over if you don't use all your available time each month. (Or whatever specific numbers apply to your offer.)

You then go over the option the customer chose one last time, just before you take their money, to be sure that you and they both understand exactly what order they want to place with you.
Thanks, I understand. I'll try to make a model in which I can make a clear overview of in which plans together with upgrades and carryover-mechanism would be ideal. And like you said at the end of the ordering process or conversation repeat the unique terms of to the customers to assure clarity and awareness of the terms. I will try to to make the idea more detailed and see where that goes. Once again thanks a lot.
 

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