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The Power of Transparent Pricing: Building Customer Trust and Loyalty

Published: June 20, 2024

By Steve Wilson, Chief Product Officer at Docubee

In today’s business environment, pricing and expected renewal increases should be transparent to customers at the time they subscribe, especially in light of recent concerns over Adobe’s practice of trapping customers in annual subscriptions with high cancellation fees. Customers should be able to foresee the costs of their solutions and understand how these costs will scale with their business growth. 

Our customers trust us to solve their business problems. They will happily pay more for increased usage or additional features if we consistently demonstrate added value. However, violating that trust by surprising them with unexpected charges can jeopardize our relationship. When a customer requests a cancellation, it is often because we, as the service provider, have failed to meet their expectations.

As business leaders, we aim for our products to be “sticky” and indispensable within an organization. We can achieve this through transparency and consistently delivering value that naturally leads to increased usage and upgrades.

We’re finding more and more forms are going into Docubee over our other systems.” – Dr. Karen Acree, San Juan College

While maintaining transparent pricing, we must also protect our business from unreasonable use. The idea of an “unlimited” package doesn’t truly exist for e-signatures, much like it doesn’t exist for cell phone providers. We protect ourselves as a business from runaway costs by setting reasonable use limits well above what we typically see in our customer base and most importantly, explaining our reasonable use clause in our terms at the time of sign-up.

We have gained customers from other e-signature and contract automation providers, like Docusign and Adobe, due to unexpected second-year renewal invoices. Customers are often unaware of their account’s reasonable use limits until they find out they have exceeded that limit when they are approached by a sales representative for a renewal increase. 

For a business under pressure to maintain revenue growth, this practice can be tempting. However, while there is an anticipated level of customer turnover, companies view it as an opportunity to offset any lost revenue by increasing annual recurring revenue from other accounts. Clear communication about these increased renewal costs stemming from high usage gives your customer time to prepare and evaluate usage, with fewer negative impacts.

Tedious cancellations that require customers to jump through hoops are also a common, yet problematic practice in our industry. Instead, we should view cancellation requests as an opportunity to learn about shortcomings and improve future experiences.

At Docubee we prioritize clear communication and policies. We’ve shaped our subscription models to include transparent terms, no hidden fees, and straightforward cancellation policies to avoid surprises and frustration. In an industry where adding hidden fees to contracts and complicated cancellations are the norm, business leaders have the opportunity to create a competitive advantage with transparent practices.

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