Discovering subscription complexity
James explains it best when speaking about the frustrations of focussing on things that are not designed to push Screencastify forward to their customers, ensuring they get the best out of the product.
In his own words, “I hate working on things that don't ultimately help our customers get more out of Screencastify. And I think originally, the solution of, "Hey, we can kind of build this pretty simply, and it'll charge people once a year. We can handle that."
But very quickly I was humbled learning about what really goes into this. And that's not even mentioning reporting and tracking growth, and there's so much more. But I'm just talking honestly about even getting started, charging people, and handling a global business that intends to really grow quickly. We simply cannot spend too much time on this. We will fall behind if we do.”
Chargebee was always a part of Screencastify’s growth roadmap — it wasn’t so much a choice between building vs buying, once they had all the information that they needed to automate payment collection. While Chargebee played the role of subscription engine to automate recurring billing, Screencastify saw beyond this general use and leveraged Chargebee’s APIs to build a custom license manager which can be assigned to or revoked from Screencastify users. This was designed to handle as many as 20000 licenses and this custom piece of software interacts with Chargebee on a daily basis, making Chargebee an important part of their business.
Primarily, the team at Screencastify has spent minimal time on billing-related tasks since they started using Chargebee in 2016, while getting paid by their customers on auto-pilot, without having to worry about their pending payments. As the product team built new features at Screencastify, they found that Chargebee supported the product growth equally with every use case they could conjure.
Empowered Support Team Screencastify’s customer support team continues to offer exceptional support to their customers by helping them manage their subscriptions, handling refunds and credits, or changing the information on an account or an invoice.
Payment Flexibility with Offline Payments Offline payments was an added layer of complexity for Screencastify and with Chargebee, they were able to automate a ton of offline payments from schools and districts.
Singular Subscriptions Audit Trail For Screencastify, Chargebee worked as a singular dashboard to see their business growth on a daily basis — right from the time they sell licenses to schools, to receiving a purchase order, activating subscriptions, followed by tracking payments. This audit trail gives paints a bigger picture for their sales teams, in terms of setting strategies and tracking product sales to specific segments of customers
RevenueStory for MRR Growth by Segment Like many businesses, Screencastify’s key growth metric is MRR, particularly MRR by segment. They use RevenueStory to track revenue growth and MRR trends by segment which includes Individuals who are corporate users as well as district schools who do bulk purchases — each treated as individual product lines.
The Ah-ha moment for Chargebee, if you will, is when your non-technical leader realizes how incredibly delicate and complex subscription management is, even for something as simple as our model. And as a company with extremely limited technical resources even now, it's 100% critical to get it totally right — handling every single edge case, every bit of complication with taxes and currency, and customer support management. But despite how important it is, it's also the thing you want your product team to spend the least amount of time on.
James Francis, CEO, Screencastify
Paypal Express Checkout, Stripe, QuickBooks, Chargebee
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