Moment of Truth or Moment of Impact

In business interactions there are some exchanges that just stand out and have a strong impact that lasts. If you want to improve customer loyalty, moments of truth are important, but it’s those moments of impact that will keep clients talking about you for years to come.

Moments of truth are all those times when customers experience and evaluate your service. Work hard, do a good job, and customers will come back for more.

Moments of impact are those rare moments when someone goes way above the call of duty, stretches the envelope far beyond the stamp, innovates and takes action in unexpected ways that are valued, appreciated…and remembered.

While both types of moments will improve customer loyalty, it’s the latter that will have people talking about an experience for years to come.

A client at a seminar handed me this note: “Last night, 10 minutes before departure at the airport, I found my car and house keys still with me, which means my wife would have been locked out of the house. I passed them to the Singapore Airlines in-flight supervisor and they managed to get the keys to her within the hour!”

This is a great moment of impact. If the airline was only in the business of flying passengers from city to city, they would miss the opportunity to impact this customer for life and improve customer loyalty.

A client of Citibank was delayed for four hours overseas. He called the local Citiphone office at 2:00 a.m. and asked them to call his wife six hours later…by which time she would be awake, but he would be 37,000 feet up in the air. The bankers made the call, and made the impact. They also took the right step to improve customer loyalty.

Key Learning Points

Moments of impact do more than just surprise your customers: they deepen the relationship, extend goodwill, increase tolerance of any future problems and improve customer loyalty far into the future.

Action Steps

The next time your customer needs assistance that’s outside your normal course of work, make the decision, make the effort – make the impact to improve customer loyalty.