Solutions create new problems

We’ve recently rolled out a new billing system at as we prepare to scale with new products.  The previous problem was our licenses were sold by the year…every year.  Each month, in addition to selling new business, I would have to call up each customer that purchased last year and recollect their credit card information.  This slowly became an issue as we grew, semi-forcing us to plateau in sales.

We’ve recently launched a subscription billing system that allows us to auto bill a card every month, quarter or year.  This was a huge boon to sales as smaller customers were able to more easily consume a $75 a month fee vs a $900 a year fee.  The granularity also allowed us to track so many more things that give us better visibility into the business.

As I’ve learned, every step forward inadvertently creates a half a step back.  Now that we are taking cards monthly, we are seeing various credit card issues several times a week.  Someone changes cards, or their card expires, or is generally declined, or changes their address, or any number of 33 things on this list.  Sometimes it’s an issue on our end and we simply have to run the card again.  Creating some extra automation to notify customers of these issues as they happen will take care of most of these before we need to be aware of them.  

It’s important to be aware that any solution may come with a few unknown packaged problems.  When a solution is rolled out the work isn’t over, be flexible enough to tackle the new issues as they arise or the solution may be worse than the original problem.


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