Hyperservification, the extra mile to increase loyalty and diminish churn

Pablo Foncillas

If you are one of those who likes sleeping in every day and ends up leaving the house in a hurry to get to work, then this is for you.

It's a cold morning and you are sleeping peacefully in your bed when the alarm goes off. You get up and think: “Mmmm, I’d really like a double caramel macchiato with an extra shot of vanilla.”

You trust that the wonderful concoction will help you start the day full of energy. Upon going outside, on your way to work, you continue playing images of that steamy and delicious cup of coffee in your mind. You get on the subway and you're happy because you know that, before getting to the office, you have a coffee shop around the corner, where that mythical macchiato is waiting for you. Well, “waiting for you” is a figure of speech, because you know you'll have to be patient in the two looong lines: One to order the coffee and pay and the other while they prepare it.

The first line is sometimes so slow that in theory you have time to study the menu in depth, but I heard a story about a person who was there for so long that when his turn was up he no longer wanted coffee but dinner. In short, back to my point, when the infinite wait is over you're just a little fed up. Maybe they've even made you late for work.

Well relax because the process is changing. There is an international coffee chain – whose name I cannot reveal due to confidentiality, but which I can say was founded in Seattle and has a green logo – that has invented a service so you don't have to give up your double caramel macchiato with an extra shot of vanilla or your job for being late all the time. They've thought about how to connect with you, their customer, in a different way. You're asking yourself: How? By developing an app that you can use to order that marvelous double caramel macchiato with an extra shot of vanilla, wherever and whenever you want, and above all, not waste time. No waiting in line to order, or while they prepare it for you, nor do you have to think about what you want because it's already saved in your favorites. You don't even have to wait to pay, because you've already done it from the app.

In fact, according to the same chain, based on prepandemic data, 13% of total coffees sold in the US are ordered on the app and 25% of total coffees are paid for by cell phone, which has even forced the redesign of store operations due to the fact that they must now attend customers who haven't arrived yet and who only want to drop by, pick up their coffee, and leave.

Well, what the coffee giant has implemented has a name, and it's called hyperservice. It's a concept that consists of augmenting things that were already being done, services that were already being offered. It's rethinking them and looking for other ways of doing the same things, but managing to make them more relevant and attractive for your customers. The drawback is that, in general, you won't be charging customers anything extra for them. Essentially, you're maximizing the potential of what you were already giving them. It's not new, but you offer it in a different way.

Let me clarify with another example: For years the airline company Lufthansa offered their business class passengers in the Frankfurt and Munich airports the possibility of – if they got bored during the connection between flights – using a Porsche to go for a spin on the Autobahn. Imagine, instead of waiting for your airplane locked up in the airport, you’re enjoying a 911 between flights. And all this without paying one euro more!

So now you know, if you want to win your customers' loyalty and improve their relationship with your brand, the key word is hyperservice. Because, remember, this is about building relationships and later, after the relationships, the transactions will come, because selling is a consequence.


Read the article in Spanish, originally published in La Vanguardia, available at this link.