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The CX Impact of A Subscription Model: Switching From Ownership to Usership

The Benefits of the As-A-Service Model

Shep Hyken interviews Yann Toutant, founder of Black Winch and author of AS A SERVICE: Turn Your Product Based Business Into a Subscription Model. He talks about what an As-A-Service model is and how it impacts the customers, the business, and the environment.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Usership means using – not buying – what you need for the experience you want at a specific moment and location. For example, customers who enjoy windsurfing do not need to purchase, store, and maintain a windsurfing board. They can go to a good windsurfing shop and rent, lease, or subscribe to the “use” of the equipment for as long as they want.
  • Customers often have many possessions that require their time and money to manage. In an As-A-Service model, customers become users instead of owners. Through usership, products will fulfill a need without the burden of maintenance, storage, and the added cost of owning.
  • The benefit of usership in the As-A-Service model is that when the product or solution a customer subscribes to is no longer needed, they can easily opt out of it without being left with something they can’t use.
  • The As-A-Service model creates a circular relationship with customers. The interaction does not end when the sale is closed. Instead, companies provide an experience where customers have a much stronger connection to the brand through regular (daily, weekly, monthly) contact.
  • There is a positive environmental impact with the As-A-Service model for physical products. When a user no longer needs a product, another user can use it, or the manufacturer can refurbish or remanufacture it into new equipment.
  • Plus, Shep challenges Yann to think of a product that cannot be transformed into an As-A-Service or subscription model. Tune in!


“Do you own your belongings, or do your belongings own you? I decided to rid myself of many belongings anchoring me down and go for usage instead of ownership. You don’t need to own something to get the best experience.”

“Usership can be a great value for customers because the level of service is maintained as good as if it was “day one” every day.”

” The advantage of usership is that when a product is no longer needed, it can be used by another customer. And at the end of its life cycle, the manufacturer can collect raw materials and reintegrate that into the production process. It reduces unused products from taking up space or filling up landfills.”


Yann Toutant is the founder of Black Winch, where he helps organizations focus on the customer experience by implementing a successful and scalable As-A-Service Model. His book, AS A SERVICE: Turn Your Product Based Business Into a Subscription Model, is now available on Amazon.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What is an As-A-Service Model?
  2. How does an As-A-Service Model work?
  3. What is the difference between Ownership and Usership?
  4. How does the As-A-Service Model impact customer experience?
  5. Is customer support for the As-A-Service model different from traditional ownership?


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