Moments of truth can vary from business to business - however they can be mapped and the planned customer experience choreographed such that a consistent and exceptional interaction with customers occurs each and every time.
However, in around 80% of cases, the customer experience is left to chance so that even if you get things right the first time (or even the second), at some point of time failure will occur. For someone that has had a great experience the first time round, a failure on the 2nd or later time can in many cases be worse than failure at the outset.
I can remember some years ago that there was a pizza restaurant that consistantly served up great food. On my final visit (it wasn't planned to be that way), the food was terrible and the service even worse. The let down was so great that I never returned.
It wasn't long before the business closed!
I later learn't that the business had changed hands and the new owners did not understand what made the business so good. The purchaser should have identified the key factors that made the business successful and ensured all moments of truth were properly managed and the team trained in these key areas
In a recent experience, I failed to receive my normal morning paper delivery. Now, thats annoying for someone who loves to read their paper first thing.
So, I jumped in the car and drive to the paper shop. Whilst at the shop I pick up another paper as well as the missed one and hand over the money. The assistant is apologetic and explains that there is a new delivery person, so despite being a little annoyed, I'm feeling ok about things.
But as the shop assistant hands me my change, he turns away, starts speaking to the other shop assistant and walks away. So, my final "moment of truth" in this experience is that he isn't looking at me and doesn't even thank me. Now I feel even more cheated and annoyed! And I think that the shop assistant was actually an owner of the business!
What sort of example was that to give to the other team members of the business?
This is a major system (or lack of system) failure and a very poor customer experience!
Have you mapped your moments of truth? And choreographing your customer experience?
Maybe you should! In these tough economic times, it may just give you the competitive edge you need to succeed!