Pillar 2 - Customer Schedule
The Customer Schedule is the single list of plans that a Customer has subscribed to, with start and (optionally) end dates for each. Each item in this list is a phase, which can be appended to the Customer schedule.
Each plan named in the schedule is a reference to one of the plans listed in the Pricing Model.
The plans in effect at the time of feature consumption determines the amount that a customer is billed.
PriceOps tooling is used to append a new phase to a customer schedule any time it is appropriate:
- On initial sign-up.
- When the user selects a new plan during upgrade or downgrade.
- When Sales finalizes a contract with a VIP customer.
New phases can be added to the customer schedule that take effect at any time in the past or future. For example, a special trial plan granting access to all application features may be scheduled to begin immediately and terminate after some fixed period, or a deprecated plan may be scheduled to be removed at some point in the future, after the customer has been given adequate forewarning.
In addition to determining billing, a clear format for the customer schedule enables support teams to answer questions regarding a customer's bill, feature access, and expected future charges.
Values Provided By This Pillar
- A record of customer plan changes is extremely useful for analyzing the effectiveness of product and packaging changes.
- A historical or prospective bill can be calculated at any point, based on the plans in effect at a given time.
- PriceOps tooling prevents out-of-band changes to customer access or pricing, so everything is deterministic and aligned with the single source of truth.
Using This Pillar in Isolation
Modeling customer plans and plan transitions as a schedule of changes is far superior to simply assigning customers to a single mutable plan identifier.
However, without the constraint that all plans referenced in the customer schedule are fully identified in the model, it is impossible to ensure that all customer plans are catalogued and accounted for, and that no untracked pricing adjustments have been made.