A firm that more than doubles its account base year over year is doing a lot of things right. Security Alarm Now, the 2nd largest authorized dealer of ADT security products and services in the world, is such a company, and ChargeOver is proud to be one of its secret weapons.
Here’s how ChargeOver helped transform a small problem into a big opportunity.
Preparing for (More) Growth
Security Alarm Now's senior accountant, Troy Nield, joined the company in 2013. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to assess alternatives to the company’s legacy recurring billing software, a security alarm industry-specific tool called ProBill. The reason for the change? Growth, and lots of it.
Troy Nield, Sr. Accountant, Security Alarm Now
At that time, Troy's team charged each account manually, doing look-ups to check for past-due amounts. Soon, the team could not finish all of the invoicing on a single day. So invoicing was split into two billing days. This stopgap caused problems with prorating, which then had to be done manually with Excel. [blockquote author ="Troy Nield"]As [we] started to grow... it just became ineffective. You can’t just manually manage a process like that when it becomes more than... a couple hundred customers. Even then, it was probably not effective enough.[/blockquote] The potential for error – and exhaustion – in this scenario were high.
Seeking a Solution
The time had come for Security Alarm Now to seek a billing solution that could help, not hinder, its growth. Troy compared the features of many different automated recurring billing and invoicing companies with his needs. He describes the process: [blockquote author ="Troy Nield"]… as far as cost efficiency and benefit to the end user... we looked at everything we could find, and we settled on ChargeOver. We looked at, I don’t know, probably twenty different companies that were doing the same type of thing, but just didn’t have what we wanted.[/blockquote] Troy’s research paid off. He noticed positive changes in his team’s workflow and time expenditures immediately after implementing ChargeOver.
Customer Service Time & Expense
Prior to ChargeOver, team members spent up to 4 minutes per customer per week on billing/follow-up/collections activities at a cost of $4.73 per customer, per week.
After ChargeOver, team members spent an average of 1.25 minutes at a cost of only $.34. Overall, Security Alarm Now saw a 69% decrease in time and a 93% decrease in cost on these activities. With the right recurring billing software, most SaaS and service-companies can see substantial improvements in their billing-related costs and service times. This means they can grow substantially without additional customer service expense.
Time to Collect
Customer handling time and expense weren't the only measurable improvements that this security alarm company saw after implementing ChargeOver. Time to collect also saw remarkable improvement. Prior to ChargeOver, it took about 65 days to collection to get a 65% success rate.
Now it takes just 45 days to achieve an 85% success rate. These efficiencies were accomplished while serving nearly five times as many customers. SaaS companies, service companies, small businesses, and ecommerce companies can all send fewer customers to collections firms and get paid faster with automated dunning, customer portals, and advanced reporting.
Advice for Others Choosing Recurring Billing Providers
Asked to give advice to other executives choosing a recurring billing and recurring invoice provider, Troy provided the following comment: [blockquote author ="Troy Nield"] ... the responsiveness here has been fantastic. I would say that’s a number one advantage to ChargeOver versus other packages we looked at or other things we’ve used in the past.[/blockquote]
Another significant decision factor for Troy was affordability. He found ChargeOver to be “relatively inexpensive.” Finally, remember that scalability is critical. Will your vendor be able to handle your business as it grows exponentially? Is the vendor's API flexible? Is their platform customizable enough to scale with you through future growth challenges?
Always Choose Growth
Security Alarm Now is on a path towards exponential growth: when Security Alarm Now first started using ChargeOver in December 2013, they invoiced 186 customers monthly through ChargeOver. By the end of 2014, they were invoicing 2245 customers. ChargeOver is proud to have been a small part of making that growth possible.
Is your recurring billing or subscription based business ready to grow? Troy Nield's smart choices are worth some study. Don't neglect the critical aspects of the "back office," especially recurring billing.