Whether a customer walks through your front doors, phones in or checks your companies website enquiring about your products or services, their experience regardless of the platform will form a lasting impression of your organization.
This impression can create ripple effects as they form opinions on whether or not to conduct future business with you and tell their service stories to others.
Former president and CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, Jan Carlzon coined this critical moment of the customer service experience as a “moment of truth”. According to Carlzon, a moment of truth is created anytime a customer comes in contact with your organization and thereby forms an impression of it. Take a moment to think about that and all the times a customer comes into contact with your organization.
An example to stimulate ideas is to think about this concept in reference to airlines. Most of us have experienced flying with either Westjet or Air Canada. What are all of the opportunities or points of contact for us as airline customers to form impressions of these two different organizations? Perhaps you have formed an impression through conversations with gate or reservation agents. Were they friendly and accommodating or rude and possibly inconsiderate?
Impressions can be formed through advertisements, website bookings, seeing a picture of a plane on a billboard, or through word of mouth where we create impressions through other peoples experiences. The list doesn’t stop there. Apply this example to your business and think about all of the different customer points of contact that occur with your organization. Think beyond just your sales and customer service departments.
Start by listing all of the opportunities for a customer to form an impression of your organization, department, area or team. Are you offering remarkable customer service in these situations? Focusing on what you can control vs. what you cannot control is a good way to monitor and set standards for those areas you can immediately improve. Your 2015 success may come down to these critical moments of truth and the value your business creates for its customers.