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The moment of truth matters because in an increasingly crowded market place, brands and products can only differentiate themselves on service. Wherever a gap in the market exists there will be many competitors in most non-monopoly circumstances that rush to fill that gap. While, initially, there may be the ability to differentiate on the capability to meet a need — over time, that differential will eventually wane and the majority of providers in a market space will operate in similar if not identical manners.

Thus this leaves service as the only means of tangible differentiation. If a customer is delighted at every interaction with a brand or product they are unlikely to churn quit the brand or product in favor of a competitor.

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There are two real potential outcomes at a moment of truth — a magical moment or a miserable moment. While neutral outcomes are possible, they are in reality unlikely; you will either impress or fail to impress a customer during most interactions. These moments were first conceptualized by Shep Hyken a Customer Experience designer.

Copyright terms and licence: Unknown. Moments of truth can lay anywhere within the customer lifecycle. Many designers will think big picture on this for example; a guest in a hotel checks in on their birthday and is rewarded with an upgrade to a suite but in truth magical moments can be delivered by just handling an interaction well for example; a fast food restaurant rapidly delivering a warm and tasty burger when the customer is in a rush.

Miserable moments not only suck but increase the likelihood of customer churn and the customer telling others about poor service. They are the moments where a shop assistant ignores a client looking for help or where a call center operative speaks rudely to the client. It is worth noting that miserable moments can be created into magical moments if the customer is concerned enough to complain to the service provider about the issue. How issues are resolved can often help create lasting positive impressions on the customer; which is good because it is unlikely if not impossible to prevent all possible lapses in service before they occur.

There are four moments of truth in service and customer experiences that have been recently conceptualized and defined in service design. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2. There are no real surprises here. As with all areas of design — talking to customers and users will enable you to create magical moments that matter to those customers and users. Moments of truth are based on interactions with your product or brand that either make or break the user or customer experience. These moments of truth can be designed by UX or CX or Service Design professionals as long as they are aware of them and are able to talk to their users and customers to find out what will work for them.

Copyright terms and licence: Public Domain. Moments of truth contribute a lot to superior service delivery and customer satisfaction — which in turn drive the cycle of profitable business evolution. Apple is a notoriously secretive business. In Steve So why would a graphic designer like you wa Interaction design is an important component within the giant umbrella of user experience UX design.

The ‘moment of truth’ in customer service

A simple and useful understanding of interaction designInteraction de It can be used to improve an existing service or to create a new service from scratch. In order to adapt to service design, a UX designer will need to understand the basic principles of service design thinking and be able to focus on Lean UX is an incredibly useful technique when working on projects where the Agile development method is used. In any industry that offers a service or sells a product with an "embedded" service element , there are moments when the long-term relationship between a business and its customers can change significantly—for better or for worse.

By supporting and developing the frontline emotional intelligence of its employees, it can ensure that more of those moments have a positive outcome. What is the link between emotionally charged moments of truth and the purchase decisions of customers? The experience of the retail-banking industry is instructive. McKinsey research in Belgium, Germany, and Italy recently identified the critical moments for customers as well as the prize awaiting banks that respond appropriately to them. McKinsey research on the customer experience in the United States arrived at the same conclusions.

These moments often occur when the customer has a problem such as a hold on a check or a need for a quick answer on a loan or receives financial advice, either good or bad Exhibit 1.

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By contrast, humdrum transactions such as buying traveler's checks generally don't offer the same opportunity to create an emotional bond with the customer. Many companies make the mistake of overinvesting in humdrum transactions but fail to differentiate themselves in the customer experiences that really matter. The impact of frontline emotional intelligence on the bottom line is clear Exhibit 2.

After a positive experience, more than 85 percent of customers increased their value to the bank by purchasing more products or investing more of their assets; just as tellingly, more than 70 percent reduced their commitment when things turned sour. That vote of no confidence won't necessarily be immediate or visible, and it can take the form of shifting only a part of a customer's business to another institution. A North American bank found equally powerful evidence of the link between customer loyalty and value creation when it set out to explain striking differences in the performance of its branches—a more than 50 percent gap between the best and the worst as measured by share of wallet and customer retention.

Surveys conducted by the bank pointed to a distinguishing feature of its better-performing branches: the ability to turn moments of truth to advantage by solving problems effectively and a willingness to emphasize the financial needs of customers over the branch's own sales priorities. Growing loyalty toward the bank translated directly into a bigger share of the customer's wallet.

Similar research on and analyses of European banks typically expose a 20 percent gap in share of wallet between customers who have positive experiences and those who have negative or mixed ones. Exhibit 3 tells the same story from a different perspective by showing how the aggressive behavior of some sales teams at leading North American banks generated negative moments of truth and has conspicuously weakened the reputation of these institutions.

Retailers recognized this reality in the s, when many of them changed their commission structure, pay formulas, and sales force training to encourage a less pressured buying environment because new market entries had provided consumers with a wider choice. Given the clear link between moments of truth and share of wallet, every customer-facing business should identify the points of interaction relevant to its industry. In airlines, for example, there are about 30 of these potential service interactions, from reservations and upgrade requests to check-in, boarding procedures, and baggage handling.

All offer the potential for moments when something goes so badly wrong that a customer defects. Only a few can provide positive moments—opportunities to intensify the customer's loyalty to a carrier. For airlines that serve the mass-market segment exemplified by Southwest Airlines , these positive moments are created by personal care in handling a customer's call, by resolving a problem, or by providing in-flight service. In fact, consumers rank Southwest as the number-one US airline, though it provides no onboard meals or preassigned seats and sometimes requires a lengthy wait to check in.

Airlines that serve the business segment for example, Singapore Airlines must deliver during additional moments of truth—through speedy reservations and check-in procedures, for example, as well as individual attention during the flight. Standard responses to eliminate human error IT systems, mechanistic CRM approaches, and complex protocols, for example may smooth simple customer interactions, such as those in fast-food restaurants or remote-banking transactions.

But pure technological solutions can never stoke the emotional connection between employee and customer—the kind of connection that characterizes positive moments in complex frontline situations. Some German banks, for example, find that customers who rely on remote-banking services are conspicuously disloyal despite the high quality of the offering.

Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

These banks attribute this disloyalty to the absence of any opportunity to form an emotional bond. But when technology falls short, frontline employees can succeed with the right skills and competencies, as well as an appropriate range of deep-seated emotional and psychological assumptions. While most companies fully understand the importance of building capabilities through training, for example , most ignore the mind-sets of their front-line employees.

Mind-sets, as we define them, have three elements that largely govern human behavior: thoughts and feelings, values and beliefs, and personal emotional needs both met and unmet. Consider, for example, the opportunity, missed by many top financial institutions, to meet the needs of people approaching retirement. These customers' financial advisers may have a mind-set that makes them reluctant to help—a hesitancy that could stem from several sources: worry that they would be intruding on the customer's privacy thoughts and feelings , their lack of belief in the products and services they offer values and beliefs , or a fear of rejection, stemming from a deeply rooted wish to be liked met or unmet needs.

By contrast, exemplary advisers consider themselves guardians of the customer's well-being and therefore have full confidence in what they sell and in their ability to communicate.

The Moment of Truth - Episode 10

This mind-set makes it easy to have successful conversations with clients, to understand their emotional and financial needs, and to perform well during moments of truth. Such advisers have the positive feelings, values, and individual needs—in short, the emotional intelligence—required to connect with and help customers at key moments.

Moment of truth (marketing)

Based on Goleman's work and our own observations of working with companies, emotional intelligence in business settings typically manifests itself through four intertwined characteristics:. A strong sense of self-empowerment and self-regulation, which together helps employees to make decisions right on the spot if that should be necessary.

An awareness of your own and other people's feelings, creating empathy and facilitating better conversations with customers. A mastery of fear and anxiety and the ability to tap into selfless motives, which make it possible for employees to express feelings of empathy and caring. To no small degree, these can be intrinsic features of a human being's personality.

What is moment of truth? definition and meaning -

Even so, companies—particularly those with far-flung networks of thousands or even tens of thousands of employees—can take practical steps to encourage and enhance them. Companies can begin by hiring emotionally intelligent frontline workers in the first place: a business starts with an obvious advantage if it can attract people born or brought up with the right emotional instincts for frontline employment.

Many companies can ride on the coattails of others with first-rate customer-facing skills, since the latter have already identified the most suitable type of employee for the work. More than half of the branch managers hired by Bank of America in , for instance, came from retailers such as Best Buy, The Gap, and Safeway outside of financial services.

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According to the bank, "They get the retail mind-set and we get them to understand banking. They like being up on their feet and don't want to sit behind a desk. Recruitment, however, is only part of the story. We have increasingly observed that if companies understand and act on four key "environmental" levers, they can significantly influence the front line's emotional intelligence.

Activities inspired by these levers must be mutually reinforcing. When they are—and when a company's senior managers understand the links between them—they help to create a workplace where excellent customer service can blossom and key moments of truth are handled deftly and successfully. The levers involve both carrots and sticks:.

Creating meaning and clarity of purpose for people in frontline work, thereby addressing their thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, and emotional needs.

Magical Moments

Improving the capabilities of employees—and influencing their mind-sets—so that they acquire the right emotional skills. Enlisting frontline leaders to serve as role models and to teach emotionally intelligent behavior. Employees deliver exceptional customer service—and perform well at moments of truth—only if they know clearly what they are supposed to do and why.

The "what" part addresses their intellectual selves, the "why" the subconscious feelings that motivate them to work. Like any other good story, the answers to these questions ought to be clear, compelling, and resonant.