Simplify WHMCS Renewals and Management for Web Agencies
It's a little hilarious that the main change of WHMCS v8 is the possibility to provide some kind of support to web agencies. This is something we have addressed years ago in Billing Extension starting from WHMCS v5. But first let us say a few words on WHMCS v8.
There have been a lot of bugs and inexplicable decisions. For example, did you know that v8 no longer complies to GDPR regulations? That's how WHMCS is working since the last few years. They keep pushing out incomplete features that look barely tested. Bugs are everywhere and rarely get fixed.
Sadly WHMCS is becoming worse as we continue into the future but that's a the general trend of today's technology. Form and style over substance seem to be developers' new mantra. That being said, this software is still the best option for hosting providers since WHMCS alternatives aren't any better.
Years ago we tried to find a way to ease the life of web agencies and more in general of people who renew services on behalf of their customers. It's quite surprising that we managed to achieve this goal years before WHMCS. In doing so, we didn't even had to break GDPR regulations or bring in new bugs.
We call this feature Enhanced Renewals. You can enable and configure it from Addons > Billing Extension > Settings > Enhanced Renewals. Used in combination with monthly invoicing is just pure joy. You could save up to 18% in transaction fees!
WHMCS is incredibly intricate when it comes to renewals. Customers need to continuously navigate back and forth in client area. In the same time WHMCS floods them with hundreds of email notifications.
Products, services, domains, addons and configurable options have been put together without much care. They're split on multiple pages. That's how we came up with the idea of grouping them by domain names.
We created a page from which customers can quickly review their services starting from domain names. This offers a better overview of products without the need to open who knows ho many pages.
As for product/services not associated to domain names, we group them by product (eg. all VPS Silver together) or by product groups (eg. all VPS together). In the example below you can see the latter grouping in action.
Each domain and service can be managed individually. Customers can turn on/off auto-renew and request cancellation in one click. For products/services the cancellation will always be set at the end of billing cycle.
You can freely decide to hide cancelled services and expired domains. This improves even further user experience. For example, what's the point of showing domains that have been transfered away? As icing on the cake, there's an option that allows to show such "dead" services for a given number of days before removal.
The page offers an overview at a glance with services that expire earlier always on top. There's also a type to search that allows to search/filter records on the fly. Each column is sortable. But the most intresting feature is the owner colum.
Customers can use owner column to assign a specific set services to a sub-account. Billing Extension uses this to offer them a complete white-label experience.
Before we continue, let us underline that Enhanced Renewals doesn't replace the defaut pages of WHMCS (eg. My Domains, My Services). They can be used in the same time. In case you find our implementation to be better for your business, you can enable an option that set Enhanced Renewals as default.
Yes, you guessed right. The module integrates the option to add a reference to Enhanced Renewals in both sidebar and navigation bar of WHMCS. What's intresting is that the sidebar doesn't limit to a simple link but offers a great overview of services that are going to expire next month.
This way customers always know how much they owe you month by month. This allows them to upload funds in their account well in advance. In case monthly invoicing is in use, they can even see how many days are left before you issue the final invoice for renewals.
Then we have the link in the navigation bar. Keep in mind it shows up only if your templates supports navigation bars. If it doesn't work for you, please contact who designed your template.
With white labeling, WHMCS sends expiration notices for due services and domains to end-users (sub-accounts) using the email of your customer (the web agency). Let us explain it better with an example.
A web agency handles hosting packages and domains on behalf of their customers. With this feature the web agency can provide you its SMTP credentails. This way WHMCS sends expiration notices to end-users keeping you identity secret. End-users will never find out who hosts their services. Here's an example.
The email is fully customizable from a simple interface that gives web agencies advanced features like BCC (blind carbon copy), custom logo, header, footer, CSS and signature (click to enlarge).