Tip #2 - Cancellation of Offline Subscriptions based on the Expected Payment Date

Tip #2 - Cancellation of Offline Subscriptions based on the Expected Payment Date

Hello everyone,

As you all know, we are coming up with a custom function workflow every week to address specific business scenarios. In continuation of this previous blog, this week we will be seeing about Cancellation of Offline Subscriptions based on the Expected Payment Date.

Business Scenario:


In general, for any business, the customers make payments via online as well as offline. In case of subscription where the automatic collection of charge is enabled (aka online subscription), the customer's card on file will be automatically charged on the renewal date on a regular basis. If for some reason the collection of charge fails on renewal, the Retry Settings (Dunning Settings) will handle the payment collection and sending notification reminders on specified intervals. Upon failure of all the retry attempts, the system will automatically cancel that subscription.

Whereas in the subscription for which the payment is made via cash (or) check, the business (sales) person collects the payment and record it manually into the billing system. There can be situations where even after multiple reminders and personal follow-ups by the salesperson, the customer might not have still paid for the invoice. In such cases, to avoid churn and to keep the cash flow coming, there can be a negotiation between the salesperson and the customer to collect the payment before a final date. This final date can be marked as the Expected Payment Date in that particular invoice.

In most of these scenarios, the customers will usually pay within the expected payment date which was previously agreed upon. However, if the customer fails to do so, the salesperson might have to cancel their subscription manually as there is no business value associated with it. 

Now, let's see how we can automate this process without any manual work. By doing this, you could save a significant amount of time which can be put into developing your business.

Logic Explanation:

As you would have guessed by now, we would be using our Custom Function Workflow to achieve this. Since this scenario involves date based actions, we will be using Date based Workflow. The Date based workflow is something that can be configured to run after a particular date and at a particular time depending on our requirement.

Now, if you were wondering how to configure the custom function to automate our process, please find the answers to your questions below.

What type of Workflow is to be followed?
Date Based Workflow

When is the date of execution?
1 day(s) after the Expected Payment Date.


Are there any additional filters required?

Yes. Execute this workflow only for unpaid invoices.

So to summarize, this custom function should be set to run exactly one day after the expected payment date for the unpaid invoices. After configuring this custom function, you would have to code (the functionality) in such a way that the subscription associated with the invoice is cancelled immediately.

Please be informed that this custom function workflow will work only on the invoices which are created after configuring this custom function.


Code Explanation:

You can refer the code through this GitHub link. The code is written in Deluge script, which is easily understandable to non-programmers. 

1) This snippet of code will be executed only for invoices which are unpaid even after the expected payment date. Kindly replace the "authtoken variable" with your generated authtoken.

2) Initially, we will retrieve the Subscription that is associated with that particular invoice.

3) After retrieving the associated subscription, we will be cancelling it by using the Cancel Subscription API.


Getting started with the Custom Functions: 

1. Go to Settings -> Automation -> Custom Functions.


2. Create a new Custom function. Provide a name for the function. 


3. Choose the module as 'Invoice' and click on 'Create Custom Events'. 


4. Choose Date Based workflow type and Date of Execution as 1 day(s) after Expected Payment DateYou can also set a different Execution Time based on your requirement.

5. In order to run the function for unpaid invoices, Apply Advanced Filter as When Status isn't Paid

6. Copy the code which was given above.

7. Save the Custom function and you are good to go.


Further Enhancements:

1)  While using this custom function, there might be a scenario where you would like to exclude a few of your prime customers' subscription from being cancelled automatically without your consent. In order to do this, you can add a Custom Field of type CheckBox to the Subscription. 

While creating a subscription, you can leave this CheckBox marked (or) unmarked in order to differentiate your prime customers from others. Later, you can add this custom field in the Addition Criteria of your workflow, such that the workflow is executed only for your non-prime customers.

Please refer the below image for your reference, where the CheckBox custom field is named as "Cancel subscription automatically?".

2) When the subscription is cancelled, the last renewed invoice will still be in open status. If you would like to void that invoice before cancelling the subscription, you can modify the workflow to address that need. 

Found this useful? Try it out and let us know how it works! If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask!

Cheers,
Sasidaran K,
Zoho Subscriptions.

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