Understanding Moments Of Truth And How They Connect To Customer Journeys

Understanding Moments Of Truth And How They Connect To Customer Journeys

Many organisations are beginning to understand and embrace the concept of the customer journey, or have already done so. If your organisation hasn’t taken steps to implement customer journeys, you might be wondering what they are.

The customer journey is a map of the customer’s engagement with your organisation from initial contact, through to conversion and beyond. The customer journey map ensures that any kind of customer engagement, or touch points, are plotted out so that your company has a better understanding of how your customer interacts with them. A specific type of touchpoint that is critical to your customer journey is the Moment of Truth (MoT).

Defining the Moment of Truth is a bit tricky, as many different experts define it slightly differently. Let’s explore the various ways this concept has been defined and expanded on.

The Original Moment Of Truth

The first person to define the Moment of Truth was Jan Carlzon in 1989. In his book Moments of Truth, he discussed how as CEO of Scandinavian Airline Systems, he focused on key moments of interaction between customers and the company in order to improve the company’s financial health. This change in philosophy saw the company return to profitability.

First MoT, Second MoT, Third MoT

This concept was expanded upon and applied to sales by A.G. Lafley, Chairman, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, who went on to describe the, second MoT a first MoTnd third MoT. The first MoT is when a customer is viewing a product, the second MoT is when the customer purchases and uses it and the third MoT is when customers share their feedback with the company and the people they know.

The ZMoT

Google noticed an additional MoT that occurred before these three stages. This MoT was defined as the Zero Moment of Truth by Google and was the phase during which a customer would do research on a product.

The Less than ZMoT

The organisation Eventricity identified a MoT that took place before Google’s ZMoT and defined it as the Less than ZMoT. This MoT is a “window of opportunity” where a trigger would cause a customer to begin researching a product.

The Ultimate Moment of Truth

Brian Solis identified the Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMoT). The UMoT is similar to the third MoT in that it recognises that people will share their thoughts on a product, but expands upon this idea by specifically highlighting how these thoughts will be shared on social media. This sharing of information about a product in itself becomes a ZMoT for another customer.

The Actual Moment of Truth

Amit Sharma, the CEO and founder of Narvar, also identified a MoT that he viewed as critical in the buyer’s journey. This MoT, which he defined as The Actual Moment of Truth, looks at the experience of the customer after they purchase an item but before they receive it. He recognised that it was during this time that communication between the company and the customer was vital.

Merchant’s approach to Moments of Truth

We know that while many organisations understand the importance of mapping their customer journeys, only 8% have connected all their channels in a seamless journey. We understand that the prospect of customer journey mapping can be daunting for many organisations, which is why we at Merchants prefer a practical approach.

Our view of Moments of Truth in a customer’s journey is that these moments need to be identifiable, real-world practical moments of experience for your customer.

We believe this simpler approach to Moments of Truth can be just as impactful.

At Merchants, we believe that any moment where an experience can go well or go badly for a customer is a Moment of Truth. It is during these “do or die” moments that your relationship with a customer is weakened or made stronger, which is why it is vital that you have strategies to deal with the different problems that may arise for your customer.

If you are unsure of how important Moments of Truth are, here is one example of a Moment of Truth that was deftly handled by a customer service representative from Lego, resulting in a massive amount of goodwill for the company after the story went viral. On the other hand, here is an example of how Comcast failed to provide a customer with reasonable service after he began experiencing problems with his internet connection, and how it also went viral, accumulating over 900 000 views on Youtube.

Merchants is a customer experience service provider that can assist you in mapping your customer journeys and identifying Moments of Truth, improving your overall customer experience. If you are looking for additional information on digital transformation and customer experience, be sure to contact Merchants here.

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