How the mundane can become delightful

As my husband waxed lyrical to yet another friend about how he loves his new Dyson vacuum cleaner, it struck me that even the mundane task of cleaning the house can result in raving fans.  He talks about the speed and convenience, the compactness, the power of the vacuum cleaner as if it is a joyful and fun item, not a chore.  I’m sure a number of our friends have even made the purchase as a result of my husband’s rave reviews.  How can it be that a chore can be turned into something so positive?

I then considered what boring chores I rave about, and for anyone who knows me, I immediately thought of Morrisons supermarket home delivery service.  Whilst most other British supermarkets entered the home delivery market some years ago, Morrisons came very late to the game.  With no existing infrastructure, they wisely piggy-backed off the most competent existing player, Ocado. Ocado have been providing a premium delivery service for some years, using a refined model that delivers from a warehouse, rather than the local supermarket, reducing the constant frustration of late deliveries, missing items and uncertainty on what replacement items you might receive when items are out of stock – believe me, the other major players in the UK online supermarket delivery space have spectacularly failed to fix these three pain points in the last decade of operation!

So why do I rave about Morrisons to anyone who will listen to me?  I guess it starts with the fact that I hate going to supermarkets, traipsing round, avoiding kids, overly stressed parents and other lost souls, searching in vain for my preferred items that have been moved by the supermarkets (to make me discover more products, but merely driving me crazy), queueing for what feels like hours only to see the “till closed” sign appear as I reach the checkout.  Then, as you arrive home, tired and stressed, you realise you forget to get the milk and eggs that you went shopping for in the first place.

Contrast this with an online shop, done at your convenience (online or offline), customisable to your needs (I love searching all the items on special offer first), an online shopping cart that you can edit as often as you like before the delivery is made in case I forgot any items, and all linked to my Paypal account for extra convenience.  Where Morrisons gets it spot on is addressing the pain points of driver reliability and friendliness, delivering from a warehouse, so always having every single item in stock, giving me the ability to shop any time, anywhere and rewarding me with great offers.  It’s not a big thing, but they fixed the things that matter to me, and they give me confidence that because they have got it right every time so far, they will continue to get it right in future.  And even if they do make a mistake, I’ll be happy to forgive because of their excellent track record.

A funny extra aspect of this – having discovered a reliable service that I trust, I use it weekly rather than monthly.  That means that I eat out less and eat at home more.  Eating at home means more healthy food, so since I started shopping with Morrisons, I’ve dropped a fair few kilos – there’s an unexpected bonus!  If the supermarket was to tell you that using their online service would save you pounds (both money and weight), you’d never believe them!

So as I watch my husband whizzing around the dining room with his favourite Dyson vacuum cleaner, I realise that mundane things can still have fans if you just get the basics right and keep doing the basic right.  Reliability, predictability, consistency and easy to form habits are what really matters in transactional customer experiences and tasks.  Building an experience around these 4 factors will vary – for Dyson, it’s having a super suction vacuum cleaner that’s cordless, elegant in design and super effective.  For Morrisons, it letting me shop when I want, keeping the online the same across my devices and always delivering what I ordered on time.  Speaking of which, I need to wrap up so I can go and do this weekend’s online shop!  Hope you enjoyed this more pensive episode.  Happy weekend, everyone!

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