Improving Customer Experience with Your Software Licensing Process

Improving Customer Experience with Your Software Licensing Process

“You are seventh place in line for technical support. Your anticipated wait time is 47 minutes.”

Nobody likes sitting on hold waiting for support. And nothing takes the bloom off the rose of a new software purchase quite like having to wait for help to resolve a licensing issue before you can start using your shiny new purchase.

All customers want is to start using your software right away. When they can’t, they get mad. 

Customers don’t generally make the distinction that a separate licensing function causes the delay; they just blame your product. Worse yet, if your customers have recently purchased software licenses from Adobe, Dropbox, or Google, they will compare their seamless licensing experience to yours… and that could spell trouble for you.

Customer experience goes beyond providing a functional product or service; it encompasses every interaction that a customer has with your brand. A smooth and intuitive journey in software licensing will significantly improve overall user satisfaction.

The licensing process shouldn’t be a hurdle to overcome but rather a seamless part of the user experience. If the process is quick and smooth, it can elicit delight that will cast a warm glow on your overall product. If it’s not, customers will judge your product harshly for it.

Customer Pain Points in Licensing

Customers frequently encounter challenges with traditional software licensing systems. These issues include a complicated activation process, confusing license structures, and a lack of flexibility in managing licenses. 

Product Managers need to understand these pain points deeply as they directly affect feedback, overall customer satisfaction and product usage. Simply put, if your licensing system is a pain, your customers won’t be very eager to use your product or recommend it to others.

Collecting customer feedback will help shape a more user-friendly licensing strategy that aligns with their needs, which in turn will ensure your product gets used. This customer-centric approach is key to the success of a software venture. 

A modern licensing solution should offer technical capabilities and architecture that enable users to get up and running without delay – obscure licensing files and complicated (and insecure) MAC addresses, ‘host IDs’, or server names should be a thing of the past. 

Here are the areas to focus and explore how your software licensing platform can produce a better experience for your customers:

  • Will it build customer-centric licensing focused on a great end-user experience?
  • Is it easy for customers to upgrade, renew, re-host and view their entitlements, resulting in fewer customer support calls and higher satisfaction?
  • Does it support friction-free licensing that allows your customers to be up and running quickly?
  • Will it eliminate excessive details and confusing jargon?
  • Would new models like account-based or consumption-based licensing create happier customers?

Streamlining Licensing Processes with the 10-Second Rule

Simplifying licensing procedures is critical. Streamlining these processes will significantly reduce the time and resources required by product teams, ultimately leading to a more seamless experience for both your team and your customers. This involves rethinking and redesigning the licensing workflow to eliminate unnecessary complexities and make the process more intuitive.

At Zentitle, we like to reduce support calls using what we call the 10-Second Rule: 

If it takes a customer longer than 10 seconds to finish a software licensing task, it usually results in support calls. Here are some questions you should ask to assess whether or not your software licensing customer experience strategy is satisfying the 10-Second Rule:

  1. What licensing tasks take users more than 10 seconds to complete?
  • Do they have to take a license file and stick it in an obscure location in the file system?
  • Do customers have to be exposed to complicated and arcane concepts like MAC addresses, ‘Host IDs’, or server names?
  • Does an end user have to do things all over again when licensing rights change due to subscription renewal, purchase of add-on features, or adding seats?
  1. Does your licensing system facilitate change and growth for your customers?
  • Does your current solution support mass migration of existing entitlements?
  • Is silent activation functionality offered so changes require ‘zero-touch’ for customers?
  1. What benefits could the latest licensing technology give your customers?
  • Does your current solution support friction-free licensing that gets your customers up and running quickly?
  • Does your current solution eliminate excessive details and confusing jargon?
  • Does your current solution make it easy for customers to upgrade, renew, re-host, and view their entitlements?

A modern licensing system will achieve all of these things and more.

Account-Based Licensing = Enhanced User Experience

Account-based licensing is the modern standard, and here’s why: simplicity.

This approach only requires access to an email address and a password, making life easier for your support team and your customers. Here’s how:

  • No more sending license codes back and forth, so support calls drop.
  • End users don’t need to remember a complicated license key.
  • It simplifies the user's interaction with the software, allowing for easy access and management of their licenses. 
  • It enhances customer relationships and increases retention by providing a more personalized and hassle-free experience.

The best news? You reduce those support calls without a loss of control – your team manages entitlements in exactly the way you want for every licensing model, including subscription, usage-based, feature-based, concurrent models, and more. You can easily integrate a modern licensing strategy into an existing identity system and keep your customers happy.

Smooth Licensing = Customer Retention

Due to their complexity and inflexibility, traditional licensing systems often lead to customer frustration instead of a positive customer experience. Old-school licensing systems create more support calls and customer angst. The result is unhappy customers and customer churn.

Even if you have the best support team in the world, the bottom line is no one wants to have to speak with them. If your customers need to call for licensing support, your licensing system has failed.

Customers don’t want to deal with intricate details and talking with your internal teams. They don’t want to dig into your self-service model to get software working or make small changes. They just want your software to work.

The Advantages of Cloud-Based Entitlement Management

Cloud-based entitlement management brings efficiency and flexibility to license management tools. It allows for scalable solutions that adapt to changing customer needs and business models in real time. It ensures licensing processes are more agile and less prone to errors, leading to enhanced product functionality and overall customer satisfaction.

Regardless of the licensing or deployment model – perpetual, subscription-based, concurrent, floating feature, hardware, multi-platform, and others – Zentitle’s cloud-based entitlement management eliminates complicated and arcane concepts and reduces the dreaded support calls from cranky customers.

Modern licensing technology helps reduce support calls in four ways:

  1. Defined rights are communicated using a bi-directional link between the cloud and the end customer device, eliminating physical file delivery and installation.
  2. The cloud automates the flow of licensing information and maintains accuracy without manual intervention.
  3. Licensing rights are up and running fast, even for trials not requiring a license.
  4. Changes or updates are automatically sent directly to clients through the cloud.

Changing The Game in Customer Support

SaaS customers polled say 60% or more of their support tickets are related to licensing frustrations. It’s no wonder they say they want to do away with their existing software licensing.

In the journey towards improving the customer journey you provide, the oft-overlooked license management process holds significant potential to uplift customer experience and satisfaction. 

Embracing progressive strategies such as customer-centric licensing, friction-free processes, account-based licensing, and cloud-based entitlement management will keep your customers off the support lines and using your product instead.

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