How are subscription services acing customer experience?

From razors and recipe kits to stationary and self-care boxes, subscription box services come in all shapes and sizes, and they are thriving. By 2022, it’s estimated the subscription box industry will be worth a whopping £1 billion! With 27% of UK consumers currently signed up to receive at least one subscription box, it’s easy to see why it’s grown so fast.

What’s the reason for this growth? What are these companies doing to create such a captive audience and deliver an amazing customer experience (CX) that keeps them signed up? Here are six ways subscription services are acing CX.

1. Create excitement


Subscription boxes usually arrive every month or every few months, so there’s always something to look forward to and get excited about. Discover what your customers are passionate about and deliver on those expectations. For example, the packaging your product arrives in could be that little extra touch that makes your order feel special, or you could create excitement by keeping your customers up-to-date on when their order is going to arrive by including tracking on all purchases.

2. Meet expectations

Even if you’re signed up to a subscription box that delivers a complete surprise every month, you still have expectations that need to be met. You expect it to arrive at a certain time, and for the products and packaging to be high quality. No matter what kind of business you run, meeting the customers’ expectations is key to success. If you match or exceed them every time, they’ll order from you again and again.

3. Be flexible

Most subscription services let you pause, skip a month or cancel at any time, and the easier it is for customers to do that, the happier they are. Offering a flexible service can be a great way to attract and retain customers. You may not be able to ‘pause’ a customer’s booking or order, but you can make it possible for them to contact you about their purchase quickly and easily, so they can amend any mistakes or rearrange the delivery date.

4. Identify gaps and deliver what your customers need

Is there something missing from your service that customers are asking for? Many of the most successful subscription boxes became so popular because they identified a gap in the market and delivered on it. The creator of meal subscription box Gousto came up with the idea for his business when he moved to London and struggled to buy fresh produce from the local market, because it was only open whilst he was at work. He identified that busy professionals wanted to cook fresh, balanced meals, but didn’t have the time (or inspiration) to do so.

Even today, Gousto is using customer feedback to tweak recipes, packaging and more. If you want to know what else you could be doing to make your customers happy, collecting honest feedback is a must.

5. Personalise and learn from your customers


No customer ever wants to feel like just a number, but you’re going to have to do more than just use their first name in an email to make them feel special. When customers say they want personalisation, they mean you should know what they want. 28% of consumers say a personalised experience was the most important reason for them to continue to subscribe to a box and customers who don’t receive a superior end-to-end experience are quick to unsubscribe.

50% of consumers say they are more likely to engage with a brand when they receive an interesting offer, so understanding who your customers are, what they’re excited by and what they expect from your brand, is vital to a great CX.

Read more: How to personalise your customer experience

Collecting feedback to understand what your customers want is one thing, but how can you quickly understand exactly how they’re feeling about a certain aspect of your service without having to manually sift through hundreds of reviews?

Automated solutions, such as Feefo’s Performance Profiling, show you the emotion behind every review, as well as the strongest and weakest areas of your business, allowing you to make meaningful changes, quickly.

6. Reward loyalty and create brand ambassadors

Subscription services want as many people signed up as possible, which means convincing both new and existing customers to subscribe. They hold on to existing subscribers by offering them extra items or discounts based on both loyalty and referrals. For example, customers can save money by subscribing for a longer period (such as 12 months instead of paying month by month) or they may receive exclusive items and when they refer a friend, they get money off their next box.

Think of ways to incentivise your customers to become brand ambassadors – you could offer them a discount on their next order, free shipping for a month or enter them into an exclusive competition every time they refer someone who goes on to make a purchase with you. Many banks, energy companies and retailers already have their own similar referral schemes!


Subscription boxes really are nailing it in terms of delivering a memorable customer experience, but that doesn’t mean they can rest easy. They’ll need to constantly innovate and learn from their customers to retain them, just like any other industry. To learn more about how to improve your CX and grow your business, read some of our other blogs below.


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