Moment of Truth

Moment of truth is one of the important concepts in the realm of marketing. It’s about the critical points of contacts between a brand and its customers that influence the perception of the customer regarding the brand. Whenever a customer comes in touch with a brand there are always several points of contact between him and the brand but only a few are crucial and help the customer build his overall perception of the brand. Such crucial points of contacts are termed as “Moment of truths”, the moments when a brand is understood by its prospects. An example can illustrate it better.

Suppose there is a fashion outlet brand. Starting from the point when a prospect steps in the store to the time when the deal is made, to any future issues regarding grievance eradication, there will be many point of contacts. But not all will be a moment of truth, only a few specific ones that influence the psyche of the customers can be considered as moment truth. In the above case it can be the very first time the customer enters into the outlet and the kind of impression he builds seeing the grandiose of the outlet, the next can be the kind of collection he gets and whether that collection fulfills  expectations both in terms of price and range followed by humility and helpfulness shown by the sales force, provision of utilities like toilets and changing rooms and of course future stuffs like grievance removable and the quality of garments which can be properly understood only after some use.

In building a brand, every moment of truth has its own very importance;  one single mistake can infuriate the customer. In the above case suppose the outlet was perfect at all the moments of truth except showing of proper courtesies by the sales force. This might have a very bitter impact on the customer.

The moment of truth depends on the context as well as the kind of products being used. For eg:- In a restaurant having a clean toilet is a must but that might not be the case with an electronic shop, similarly for few customers a grandiose outlet might be a very motivating and influencing factor but for others who are value driven customer and want proper utility at economical price the ambience might be irrelevant.

Three types of moments of truths:-

Functional Aspects: – For any kind of service or product a customer has some functional requirements as well as expectations. If he attends a flight he has some functional expectations like timely flights, safe carriage of luggage, good and timely meals etc. Thus the functional aspects are the services for which he primarily pays. During such moments of truth if expectations are not met then he might feel cheated. After all why is he paying the money, just to get some specific services?

Emotional Aspects: – Every customer has an emotional side also. As far as good value is concern it’s a primary requirement, but what if the emotional sides are not satisfied. A customer does not only expect good service but along with it also wants self respect and proper care. A good meal at an airline is always welcome but a cold behavior on the part of steward might lead to an indelible bad impression, on the other hand an average meal associated with a very warm and courteous behavior steward might be a better alternative.

Aesthetic aspects: – Though not as important as other two of its counterparts but it has its own significance. A beautifully decorated shopping outlet or lounge is always a welcome. Especially for some specific high end products and services like restaurants and airline it is very constructive in building the brand image.

– Paritosh Kashyap (Batch 2009-11)

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