Make consistency your focus first and the delight will follow
Very, very few businesses are the same today as they were 119 days ago. As customers, much of what we had missed during this time was the familiarity of our favoured brands and experiences. Nothing exceptional, we didn't need that 'WOW' moment but we just wanted to get back to reality, back to normality and back to having our favoured experiences become a part of our lifestyle again.
So now, with an opportunity for businesses to pause, reset and readjust it is the time to set new goals and Consistency should be top of that list. Operational Consistency, Brand Consistency, People Consistency, Customer Consistency, Communications Consistency. It's consistency that builds trust and its trust that builds loyalty and loyalty builds your brand. Now is the time to build the trust, make sure that your customers know what to expect when they are choosing where to go next. Things may have changed in your customer journey so make sure it's consistent in the way it's delivered and communicated.
There are certain brands that do 'consistent' very well and guess what? Most of those have returned to business quicker than many others - McDonald's, Starbucks, Ryanair and Ikea to name a few, all reopened quickly and with huge success. What these brands have in common is they pride themselves on having a consistent experience time and again across the World. In the case of McDonald's, Starbucks and Ikea, mostly operated by Franchisees but with the exact same level of product, service and brand delivered time and again. They are systemised businesses and the experience you receive as a customer is 'expected' and delivered every time. The branding, the service standards and the communication are consistent and delivered every time and in doing so they have built loyalty and trust to millions around the World. They get it wrong sometimes but they act on it quickly and effectively.
Some of these consistency-focused brands will certainly have their moments of delight where their employee's are attuned to a situation and go to heights exceeding the consistent standards set. But that comes after consistency is delivered not as a priority.
WOW Moments and Moments of Delight 100% need to remain a target and those moments can help to elevate a customer from a first visit to loyalty quicker, but their expectations are now set by that WOW moment and your level of consistency becomes ever more important.
When you are back in business ask your teams for new initiatives and successes on how they can implement consistent delivery instead of the WOW moments for a while and see the results, build the consistency, build the trust and loyalty will be natural, before you know it, you're delivering delight without even knowing it and your brand is stronger than ever.