Are you satisfied with the number of clients you have? How often do they return? Do you make it easy and enjoyable for them to do business with you? Are you creating positive, lasting impressions of you and your business that turn the most skeptical client into your company's biggest advocate? If not, perhaps it's time to analyze the "moments of truth" in your business.
What are Moments of Truth?
A moment of truth is a sliver of time when clients or prospects interact with you and your business. It's those seemingly insignificant flashes when prospects decide whether or not to do business with you, share you with their network, or use your services again.
Jan Carlzon, in his book Moments of Truth, defines them as "anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, [as] an opportunity to form an impression."
Some of the more common moments of truth in any business include:
- When someone views your Web site
- When someone receives your business card or brochure
- When you answer the phone
- How you interact with a prospect during a sales appointment
- What you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites
- How you handle a customer complaint
- How and when you respond to requests for information
- When a client receives your billing statement
Moments of truth may seem insignificant to a business owner. Clients, however, have an entirely different reaction. For instance, if a potential client calls you and you don't give them your full attention because of an office distraction (whether you think your attention is diverted or not), his or her impression may be that you are unfocused, unprofessional, and perhaps unworthy of his or her business. Yikes!
Discovering Your Moments of Truth
As an entrepreneur, your role is to ensure your business makes the right impression at the right time when interacting with clients and prospects. Revealing and reinforcing the moments of truth in your business accelerate your growth by ensuring your clients remain on the continuum of the "Nine Steps for Building Trust Online & Offline for Your Small Business." The bottom line? An increase in client acquisition, retention, and sales.
Common questions to define and improve your moments of truth include:
- What are the various touch points (such as your Web site, meeting at a networking event, sending an email, leaving a voicemail message, etc.) during which a potential client has an opportunity to "experience" your business and develop an impression?
- What is the current impression your clients and prospects experience?
- What is your intended impression?
- What changes need to be made to ensure each impression is the one you want your client to experience?
- Who will make those changes?
- By when will those changes be made?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of your changes?
Regardless of the moment of truth that's impacting your business, exposing and solidifying them guarantees the right impression every time. As clients benefit from a consistently positive experience, you can count on them for repeat business.