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How to grow your business using moments of truth

7 July 2020
Mark Friend
Ambitious Startups, Building a Business
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There are many ways to grow your business. ‘Moments of truth’ is a simple strategy which when adopted can transform any business.

In 1987 Jan Carlzon, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, wrote the book, ‘Moments Of Truth’. It explained how he took the airline from deficit to profit by ‘moving’ the airline to a customer-focused organisation. There have been many books written on customer service, but where this book and Carlzon’s strategies really differ, is his focus on each interaction the customer has with the business.

For Scandinavian Airlines, Jan Carlzon identified that the company’s profitability depended on maximising income from business travellers by focusing on their specific needs.  Making sure the routes Scandinavian Airlines did were convenient to his business customers, that the planes run on time, that luggage in arrivals were available as the business travellers entered the baggage re-claim hall and that any problem, however small, was dealt with efficiency and in a positive manner.

He pushed for the company’s service to be totally customer focused by empowering his workforce on the frontline to be able to make critical decisions.  He reinforced this by having a clear vision for  Scandinavian Airlines and by ensuring middle managers backed the frontline by providing them with the resources to carry out their work.

Moments of truth is about decision making and how this impacts customers in either a positive or negative manner.  Carlzon’s aim was to make every interaction a positive one whatever the circumstances by ensuring the whole company was totally customer focused.

Take a look at the diagram. It shows how each contact with a customer can be either a positive experience (2) or a negative one (1).

moments of truth

To improve customer satisfaction you need to ensure that every contact is a positive experience.

A contact can be a meeting, a letter, an e-mail – or any way in which your business comes into contact with a customer.

So how can you use this to your advantage?

There are just three simple steps.

Step 1  Identify every single interaction you have with your customers.

Next, break each interaction down so you can identify each specific area.

Step 2 is to document this as a system.

For example…

Let’s say you have a meeting with customers at your office.

Each meeting is, of course, a Moment Of Truth. What you need to do is break down each phase of the meeting right from the moment the customer walks through your door to the moment they leave.

What happens as they enter your offices? Who greets them? What do they say? What drinks will be provided? etc..

All these things are very important and will make a significant difference to the ‘experience’ the customer has.

In effect, you’re systematising the whole Moment Of Truth to ensure the best possible outcome.

Step 3 is to Now ADD ‘Special’ Moments Of Truth.

These are NEW Moments Of Truth that heighten the experience for the prospect or customer.

Hotels are a good example.

As you enter your hotel room you might get a complimentary bowl of fruit, bottle of water and a welcome message on the TV screen. A recent hotel room I visited had the Welcome message on the TV screen. Fruit and chocolates. A bottle of wine and a  ‘Welcome Card’ from the Hotel Manager, personally addressed. Could they have offered more to make us even more welcome? Probably. But they had done enough to make it special.

Cruise liners are another great example.

Cabin stewards with a sense of humour often leave towel animals in your cabin for you to come back to each night!

These are ‘Special’ Moments Of Truth which enhance the experience and set the businesses apart!

So the question is – what ‘Special Moments Of Truth’ can you build into the business when serving prospects and customers? Think about how you can make every contact not just a good experience but take it to another level.

If you want to find out more about how we can help you grow your business then why not arrange a meeting and I will be happy to talk to you about other strategies which when linked to moments of truth can provide fantastic growth to your business.

The content in this blog is correct as at 07/07/2020. See terms and conditions.

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