When a subscription upon renewal is past due for payment, Advanced Billing helps you recover the payment and retain your customer with automated dunning capabilities. This may occur due to a failed credit card transaction or payment not being received per the net terms of a manual invoice subscription. Dunning processes involve a series of steps for communicating and attempting to recover amounts owed for your services. When employed, a dunning strategy can help you retain more of your customers and revenue.
In general, dunning processes consist of a series of emails sent at intervals you define to inform the customer of the lack of payment and ask for corrective action to be taken. For automated collection methods, payment retries can also be executed. Since the dynamic of each payment method is different, Advanced Billing enables you to set up a dunning strategy for each payment method you employ. This makes it possible for you to best tailor your dunning process to your business.
You are also able to define the final action you want to be taken on your subscriptions which complete the dunning process but are still past due. Subscriptions can be set to move to an ‘unpaid’ status, in which they will remain active and continue to accrue charges. This method is typically used when you want to continue to collect payment after the dunning process but want the subscriber to continue to be able to use your services. Alternatively, you can choose to have subscriptions move to a ‘canceled’ status at the end of the dunning process. In this state, the subscription is no longer active and no longer accumulating charges. This is often done to prevent the use of the service until payment is received.
In general, the elements of your dunning strategy which are customizable include the frequency and number of communications you send to past due subscribers, the content of those communications, and the cadence at which you retry automatic payment methods. The Advanced Billing platform provides template emails for your use. It is also possible to use our Twilio integration to communicate via SMS in the dunning process. Each can be modified to best fit your needs. The following sections detail the specifics for each dunning method.
It may be the case that you will continue to collect on invoices after a given subscription has been canceled from dunning. The “cancellation of invoices in collections” setting allows invoices to enter a ‘collections’ status after dunning for a set number of days. Once that time has passed, only then will the invoice be marked as ‘canceled’.
This setting can be controlled from Config > Settings > Invoices.
Dunning by Product
Advanced Billing enables the setting of product-specific dunning strategies in addition to the site-level dunning strategy you are able to define for each payment method. Any product dunning strategy will override the site level setting and execute the specific steps defined for that product. Any products which do not have a product-specific dunning strategy defined will follow the site-level dunning strategy.
To set up a product-level dunning strategy, access the payment method for which you want to customize dunning by product.
Select ‘Create Dunning Schedule’ to create a new schedule for a product.
As with all of our dunning capabilities, you are able to create a custom dunning schedule or choose from one of the prebuilt templates.
To create a new schedule, name the dunning schedule and select to which product the schedule will apply. Define the final step of the dunning schedule first by selecting if subscriptions should be marked ‘Unpaid’ or should be canceled at the completion of the dunning process. You are also able to select if the customer should receive an email for that step and customize the email content.
Once all steps are completed, the product-specific dunning strategy will be listed in the view for that payment method (credit cards in this screenshot). The product level dunning schedule will then be in effect. If a customer is using a product for which a product dunning schedule has been set, that dunning schedule will be executed in place of the generic dunning schedule for that payment method.
Dunning Exemptions and Notification Timing
Dunning emails be prevented from going at late hours or at all based on a per subscription setting. To avoid receiving dunning emails during inconvenient hours, you can utilize the dunning exemption or notification timing settings for each subscription.
To access these settings, follow these steps:
- Ensure that you have created a dunning schedule.
- Navigate to the desired subscription under "Billing > Subscription" in the side menu.
- In the Summary tab of the subscription, locate the "Dunning Exemption" row and click the "Change" button.
This setting will prevent the subscription from receiving any dunning emails, however, the subscription will still be in "Past Due" status and open invoices will remain unpaid until payment is posted or the subscription is canceled.
This setting allows you to specify a time zone and will prevent dunning emails from being sent between 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM in that time zone.