Drink as much coffee as you like – rethinking subscription-based services


Jarmo Suoranta

Jarmo Suoranta

Several coffee shops in Helsinki are testing a new kind of subscription service, where the customer can drink as much filter coffee as they like with a monthly subscription fee. According to the shop owners, the new service has been well received with a lot of positive feedback. No wonder, after all, Finland is one of the top countries in coffee-consumption in the world. Lately, this topic was in HS.

But what is this kind of service actually about? Certainly not what we’re used to when we think about subscription services of the past. We all remember reading unlucky stories about how someone has signed up to a subscription service that sends them products every month, paper invoices and refunds go back and forth, and it’s impossible to get rid of the subscription.

Yet today, many of the most successful services are subscription-based. What has changed?

Firstly, customer behaviour. Customers want to save time, thoughts and effort. Subscription-based pricing offers benefits for both consumers and businesses, who can tailor and test services based on customer preferences and behaviour, as written by Yle.

Another significant factor is technology. Originally, Netflix’s business model was sending videos to the consumer via mail, until Cloud services came. Having these technologies available meant it became possible for businesses to focus on creating new kinds of business models instead of worrying about how to build a technology that’s scalable. Now we’re offered continuous service instead of one-time buys. Thanks to IoT, mobile devices and apps many services are within our reach all the time. Compared with a physical product, service often wins in sustainability. In the subscription economy, consumers no longer wish to own products.

“Let’s make the service so good that users can easily get rid of it, but they don’t want to!”

Yet it’s surprising how many companies still struggle to see past the outdated perceptions about subscription services and the sock deliveries that we couldn’t get rid of. Maybe the biggest change has to be in the way we think. How do you serve the customer and nurture the customer relationship 24/7? What is there in your services and products that could enable the creation of new services that interest and engage? Sometimes even a small, considerate gesture is enough to create value for the customer. Well-designed self service patterns are the key. Let’s make the service so good that users can easily get rid of it, but they don’t want to!

I believe that every product and service category will be thinking about how to leverage and create competitive advantage with subscription-based services.

First though, we have to let go of outdated perceptions. What better place to start the conversation. TX is specialised in the subscription economy and we’ve been creating that for example for virtual operator Moi.

Jarmo is a digi-savvy CEO with a passion to shape business with better use of technology. He has 20 years’ experience from different domains and business sizes, private and public, and working with systems like ERP, Asset Management and Tracking, Reporting and Location Analytics.

If you’d like to have a chat about digitalising your business processes, please book an appointment in Jarmo’s calendar through this link:

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