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How to Grow Your Business Using Moments of Truth

Would You Like Customers Who Are Raving Fans of Your Business?

In any business, there are levels of clients. There are the clients that buy once and never return. There are the clients that are always haggling over price. The clients who you love working with. And the clients who are raving fans of you and your business. If you launch a product, they want it, and they share it with the world. They have become an advocate for you and your business.

Moments of Truth

The principle of Moments of Truth is a business growth strategy that can help cement relationships with clients, helping them to become loyal customers and even raving fans and advocates. How does that sound?

A Moment of Truth is any interaction with a client or customer, however small, that allows them to form an impression of your business. The principle involves elevating each of those interactions to ensure that the client has a positive or ‘wow’ experience of your business at each interaction.

The crazy thing is that this principle remains relatively unknown, so implementing it into your business can set you miles ahead of the competition.

How Moments of Truth Originated

Moments of Truth originates from the book also called Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon who is the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines. It is an amazing strategy that helps to turn your business into a customer or client-focused business.

Mr Carlzon was brought into Scandinavian Airlines when it was really struggling to stay afloat, and he used this principle to turn the business around. In his own words:

“Any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”

Essentially, Carlzon says, if you manage every interaction to ensure a positive outcome, the business will be successful. This theory took Scandinavian Airlines from the brink of bankruptcy to becoming one of the most admired airlines in the industry.

The Theory

Jan Carlzon may have invented one of the best-ever customer service systems!

The idea is that each interaction between the customer and the business is a moment of truth. Each of these interactions can either be a positive or negative experience for the customer. If the customer has one or more negative experiences, they are unlikely to stay with the business long. If their experience is just good enough, they may be a customer for a while. However, if you can elevate each interaction into a “wow” experience, you can take the customer from being a semi-loyal customer, right through the spectrum to becoming a raving fan and an advocate of your brand. Even better, when this process is systemised so it happens as standard, you build an army of raving fans and advocates, and an extremely successful business.

How to Implement Moments of Truth

The first step is to consider and list each and every interaction that a client or customer has with your business: phone calls, meetings, emails, etc. For bigger events like meetings, it may be useful to break the event down further into stages like the client arriving, being greeted at the office, waiting for the appointment, etc.

Next, simply consider how you can elevate that experience to make it great for the client. Perhaps it’s a designated parking space with their name on it. Maybe it’s going above and beyond with helpful directions to the office. Perhaps it’s a laminated drinks menu and a choice of newspaper while they wait. Consider your clients, and consider what their idea of great would be. It’s the small things that make a big difference.

Moments of Truth should be an ongoing process for you and your team as you continue your mission to elevate your client’s experience.

Implementing Moments of Truth in a Simple Business

The book ‘How To Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive’ by Harvey MacKay gives a great example of what Moments of Truth looks like in a simple business and shows how easy it is to implement, and its effectiveness. For anyone thinking that it’s too complicated and not worth trying, this example proves otherwise!

The example is of a man named Harvey, waiting for a taxi at the airport. The driver, Wally, pulls in. The first thing Harvey notices is how polished the car is and how smartly Wally is dressed in a white shirt and black tie.

Wally helps Harvey with his bags and hands him a laminated card, saying “I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.” On the card, Harvey read: ‘Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.’

The car inside was spotlessly clean and Wally offered Harvey a coffee out of a thermos - regular or decaf, or a chilled drink out of a cooler. A laminated card offered Harvey a choice of radio stations and Wally asked if he would like to chat or be left to his own thoughts, as well as checking that the temperature was comfortable for him, and offering him a choice of newspapers and magazines.

Harvey was blown away. On further questioning, Wally revealed that he used to be just like all the other cab drivers, unfriendly, complaining, and with a dirty cab. He decided to do things differently and over the last 2 years he has been making simple changes, a couple at a time. In the first year, he doubled his income and was on track to quadruple it in the second. He no longer waits at cab stands but has clients booking in advance, and often outsources overflow to his reliable friends, for a commission.

Wally didn’t realise it, but he was implementing Moments of Truth, and it has taken his business to a whole new level. He now works with raving fans and advocates who are loyal lifelong clients, and he has taken his business to a whole new level, putting himself above the competition and creating his own market.


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