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Blog/Jess Cervellon Q&A: Building Great Subscription Experiences

Jess Cervellon Q&A: Building Great Subscription Experiences

So much of retention is about the customer experience — and when it comes to all things customer experience, Jess Cervellon is the queen. VP of CX at Feastables and a consultant on all things CX and retention, she’s got a LOT of thoughts on what differentiates the good from the great. Let’s dive in to our interview.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to drop some insight for us! Let’s just dive in with subscription acquisition. What tactics work best for turning one-off purchasers into subscribers?

Jess: What I’ve noticed working best is really emphasizing your subscription’s value props and utilizing user generated content to build that story.

Q: Can you give an example of what that looks like in practice? 

Jess: You have to communicate why consumers need your product on subscription and what they can do if it’s consistently in their home. A protein powder brand I work with leverages every piece of content in front of non-subscribers to tell the story of why they need the product in their pantry and how to use it regularly — whether it’s on Instagram, via email, whatever… not just on the PDP.

Q: Once a customer has subscribed, what’s the most important element of the experience from there?

Jess: You have to push consumers to go use the customer portal and service their subscriptions on their own. The two most important elements there: 1) Teach the consumer how to use the portal, and 2) remind them at regular touchpoints to manage every aspect of their subscriptions. You can have a dope experience, but if you’re not training your consumer to actually utilize that experience, it’s gonna go in the trash.

Q: Amazing. Final question: What’s the best customer experience you’ve had recently?

Jess: It was with Jolie Skin Co., the showerhead brand. I went into it wanting to have this on subscription because I wanted to just constantly change my filters and not have to think about it. But it just didn’t work for me. So I emailed them and asked to cancel the subscription. They were like, ‘Oh yeah, don’t worry about it, we refunded you and canceled — but don’t send it back to us, give it to a friend.’ Because of that experience, even though I churned out, I ended up referring them to several of my friends, who then referred to other people.

Q: Love that. It’s a great example of how powerful a good experience can be, even if it’s relatively simple.

Jess: Yeah, if you’re thinking about the experience with your customer, and what your customer would say to their friend to refer them to you, then you’re going to get customers who want to be with you. From an acquisition point of view, not even just with subscriptions but acquisition more broadly, if you have a dope experience, a customer — even if they don’t want to be your customer anymore — can still be a brand advocate.

Jess Cervellon, consultant and VP of CX at Feastables, helps businesses across a broad range of industries understand and improve the way they interact with their customers. She also co-hosts the Oopsie Podcast. Check out S2EP10, featuring our very own CEO and Co-Founder Gina Perrelli.


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