The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow

The Automatic Customer: Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 9/10

Taking the lessons from this book and facing harsh realities will pay you back in reward and reduced effort.

Who will gain the most from reading this book?

Any business leader who wants to create a recurring income model in their existing business or in a new business idea.

The book describes the diverse types of subscription models that succeed and what their defining characteristics are. In truth, any business leader that intends to develop a subscription-type model would be simply negligent not to read this book. It contains a wealth of thought-provoking insights based on studying those who have made this work.

The ‘Membership Model’ is one fascinating concept amongst the many described: if you intend to store and make available knowledge behind a paywall, then you need to have knowledge that very few other people do. This model works for a tightly defined niche market and predominantly, business to business. The value must be in multiple formats, audio, print, video, typically, the real money is added on products like conferences, books or further subscriptions.

To briefly call out the other model types:

  • All you can eat: very wide and deep library of content that you cannot access bit by bit, ancestory.com or Netflix. Just enough additional content to keep fresh. All or nothing access.
  • Private club model: select, high price, high end networking, exclusivity, subscribing for status. Limited supply, service or experience. Mark of achievement amongst members.
  • Front of the line model: jump the queue, premier service, complex product, short supply, non-price sensitive customers. Usually, an add-on to another system.
  • Consumables model: e-commerce, things that run out like razors.
  • Surprise box model: Passionate, clearly defined market of consumers, large varied network of suppliers, subscribe for the joy of receiving something new.
  • Simplifier model: service customers need ongoing, affluent busy consumers, window cleaning, garden maintenance, bookkeeping.
  • Network model: a product whose utility improves the more people that use it, for example car sharing.
  • Peace of mind model: security, tracking, find your lost? Relevant to something difficult or impossible to replace.

The author then goes on to consider the psychology of the subscription sell, the concept of being robust in defending your subscription and giving incredible value.

The most important part of the book is probably the extensive section on reducing churn, everything from “joy bombs” to quick wins and communicating like a madman!

Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?

The author really asks you to think hard and be realistic, great advice, he could have been a Yorkshireman.

Businesses throughout the land are eyeing the beauty of recurring income and trying to take the effortless way in, smiling at early victories. Taking the lessons from this book and facing harsh realities will pay back in reward and reduced effort.

Review Takeaway:

Too many to just pick one; a subscription is required to give ‘value’ to the subscriber ‘way beyond’ their actual fee … the content or product provided must not be available free elsewhere … retention of subscribers will dictate eventual success. The book reviewing team, Yorkshire Powerhouse

Click here for a quick link to purchase The Automatic Customer from Amazon

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