March 2016, article published originally in El Periódico de Catalunya
A new type of service is here: the Hyperservice
In Sweden, in the city of Gothenburg, there is a theme park called Liseberg, with around three million visitors per year. One of the star attractions is the Helix roller coaster (like the Dragon Khan and Port Aventura). Inaugurated in 2014, after an investment of some 30 million dollars, it delights folks big and small. It turns, twists, and rises, reaching 100 kilometers per hour. Adrenaline, emotion, novelty, and a round success with users. And of course lines, long lines. The managers of theme parks, the good managers, don’t like long lines because they mean unsatisfied customers. Unsatisfied customers don’t come back often and when they talk about your theme park, they will say unfavorable things to their friends. Both of these things lead to fewer visits.
The managers of these companies like happy customers and if those customers have to wait in long lines, they can at least enjoy themselves. Have fun doing something monotonous and boring in the cold? (That last point because we’re in Sweden, let’s not forget). Come on! How? Given that we’re in the 21st century and the mobile penetration is high in these parts, they’ve invented an app for those that are waiting to ride the Helix, to play and “kill time” while having fun. This improves perception of wait times. The objective of the game is to obtain the maximum number of points. But there’s more…and better. Every 15 minutes, among those who wait the one with the highest score can cut to the front of the line of those waiting to ride. Fantastic, right? Everyone wins (company and client). Plus, you see, the company gets customers to download an app through which to maintain direct contact (it’s another communication channel) with this client, who by the way can keep playing even outside the theme park, which will remind them that they should return. Bravo!
A couple of fast food chains in the US have created another app that allows requesting and paying for the product they sell before arriving at the establishment, in order to avoid waiting in line.
There are other examples of companies developing similar initiatives. What is the common characteristic they share? Hyperservice. A word that we will hear much more in the future. It consists of doing what you already did but in an extended and improved format. I might even say exaggerated. Normally companies that carry it out don’t charge extra for offering it to their clients. These are other ways of increasing your service to the consumer where everyone wins something. This is a type of service that has come to stay. Push your company’s hyperservice button and get that ball rolling as soon as you can. Your competition is.