Switching billing systems is a common business practice. Many of our customers have done it, and we've even done it ourselves. In this article, we outline what happens during a billing system switch, how it impacts your data, and the steps to correct your metrics.
Here's what we cover in this article:
- What happens in ChartMogul during a billing system switch
- Understanding the data
- Correcting your metrics
What happens in ChartMogul during a billing system switch
- Duplicate customer records — Your customers will exist in two billing systems and two sources. ChartMogul creates duplicate customer records, even when customers have the same email address or external ID.
- Multiple sources — It's recommend to keep your old billing system as a source to retain customer invoice history. ChartMogul uses invoice data to generate subscriptions, so retaining a customer's invoice history retains their subscription history. For example, let's say you have a customer who started a subscription in September 2019 in Stripe and your business migrates to Chargebee in June 2022. The customer will be reported as New Business from Chargebee in June 2022 and if the Stripe source is deleted, their subscription history will be lost.
- Inflated MRR and subscriber metrics — Adding a new source initially creates a large number of New Business and Churn movements.
Understanding the data
To visualize how a billing system switch impacts your metrics in ChartMogul, let's look at the MRR chart and customer list.
- Navigate to Monthly Recurring Revenue.
- Click ADD FILTER.
- Select Source > is one of > select your old billing system > click ADD.
- Click NEW SEGMENT and repeat step 3, selecting your new billing system.
Your chart will show a decrease in MRR from your old billing system, and an increase in MRR from your new billing system.
- Navigate to Customers.
- Click the Customer column header to sort the list by name to easily view duplicate customer records.
- Click EDIT COLUMNS and select Source Name:
- Now, you can clearly see which source each customer is from and their current subscription status.
Correcting your metrics
To have your customer and subscription metrics reported accurately in ChartMogul, merge duplicate customers and connect their subscriptions.
Merge duplicate customers
First, merge duplicate customers so all of their subscriptions, attributes, and transactions are in the same record.
Let’s look at Cindy as an example. Cindy now has a record from the original source and the new source. She also contributes to churn events and new business events on the charts.
The following happens when merging customer records:
- The merged customer will have the UUID, email address, and location of the customer that they are being merged into.
- Both customers’ external IDs, tags, opportunities, tasks, emails, call logs, and notes will be preserved.
- Subscriptions, MRR movements, and transactions will be collated and ordered by date.
- If the same custom field exists on the customer record that you are merging into, the field value of the target customer will be preserved, and the one from the source customer will be lost.
This is Cindy’s original record:
This is Cindy's new record:
Cindy has more data in the second record, so we’ll merge the first record into the second record.
- Navigate to the record with less data or older data that should be updated.
- Click Merge.
- Choose the customer you want to merge into. ChartMogul provides suggestions based on email or external ID. If you don't find a match, you can also search.
- Select the customer and click Next.
- Check the details and then click Confirm and Merge.
We now have one record for Cindy, will all of her details including:
- The external IDs from the old and new sources.
- A merged-customer tag.
- The Subscriber since date from her first subscription.
- A record of her net payments.
The record contains her entire subscription and transaction history from both records:
Merging customers can be done manually through the ChartMogul interface or programmatically with the API. Learn more about merging customers programmatically.
When the old and new customer records have been merged, the customer will still have two subscriptions, one churn movement, and one reactivation movement.
With everything in one record, use the data editing tools to connect the two subscriptions and remove the false churn and reactivation movements.
You can only connect a canceled subscription to an active subscription and subscriptions paid for in the same currency. Make sure that all of the subscriptions are canceled in the old source to proceed.
- In the customer record, scroll down to Monthly Recurring Revenue and click CONNECT SUBSCRIPTIONS.
- Click both subscription lines.
- Click CONNECT.
With the subscriptions connected, the false churn and reactivation events have been removed.
Before connecting subscriptions, Cindy has two subscriptions: one Active and one Cancelled. Her MRR movements are reported as a New Business movement from the original billing system, an Expansion movement from the new billing system, and a Churn movement from the original billing system.
After connecting subscriptions, Cindy has one subscription and one MRR movement.
Connecting subscriptions can be done in app or programmatically with the API. Learn more about connecting subscriptions programmatically.
Please contact support if you need further assistance.