What is a Moment of Truth in Services Marketing?

By on December 16, 2011

In today’s age of too much clutter, it is not enough to have a good product, everyone has one. It is also not practically possible to differentiate your product too much. Consequently it left to high end service to generate extra sales for businesses.

In this context, the moment of truth or service encounter is of paramount importance. It can make or break a company.

A moment of truth is basically an instance wherein a customer and a company/service provider come into contact in such a way that the customers either forms and opinion or changes his existing opinion about the company/service provider.

No matter how much you may have heard of Habib’s Salon and no matter what their reputation be in the market, the real moment of truth for Habib’s is when you, the customer enter their salon for a haircut. From that moment on, whatever you experience there first hand will shape you impression about the Habib’s brand and will either delight you or disappoint you. All earlier brand perceptions will be forgotten in an instant.

A service provider sells an experience and experiences comprise of first hand interactions. If you don’t play your cards well in those moments of real interaction, nothing else will help your case.

From a customer’s point of view, you can have either a moment of delight/magic or a moment of misery.

Moments of Magic: Positive moments of truth can be called moments of magic. These are the moments when the customer gets delighted, his expectations are exceeded. For example, an airline passenger being wished for his birthday in-flight by the flight attendants may cause a moment of magic for the customer.

Moments of Misery: Negative experiences form moments of misery. Delayed flight, rude airhostess, incompetent salesman in a showroom, all can be cause of a moment of misery.

Moment of Magic and Moment of Misery and both terms coined by Shep Hyken, a renowned customer service expert and the bestselling author of The Amazement Revolution and The Cult of the Customer.

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