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Rus Slater

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A modern thought on Moments of Truth

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A “Moment of Truth” (or an MoT for short) is any interaction that is visible between a supplier and a prospective customer or customer, from which the latter draws a conclusion that affects their likelihood to buy or buy more.  The concept was popularised some time ago by Jan Carlzon in his book of the same name.

MoTs are not just the deliberate actions that take place in the transaction but also the unconscious actions that take place behind the scenes.  For example, with regard to a restaurant the whole issue of the service and food quality is a set of deliberate actions that the restaurateur makes every effort to get right.  But the chef standing outside the back of the restaurant in his or her whites and smoking a cigarette and spitting on the floor is an unconscious action that can be a very powerful negative MoT.

 

Since Carlzon wrote the book the internet has come into our everyday lives and there are many MoTs in hyperspace that are often perilously overlooked.  With regard to recruitment we have all heard that companies now often screen prospective employees’ Facebook™ and LinkedIn™ pages but it is worth looking at some other areas as well.

 

Take, for example, the forum; there is one on this website, where people ask questions and other people post answers.  It is read by suppliers and customers alike and some people visit regularly. 

 

On a recent question concerning suppliers of Presentation Skills courses one particular contributor wrote a comment that was 145 words in length.  In those 145 words he included 18 spelling and grammatical errors.  These stretched from failing to start a sentence with a capital letter to referring to himself as i (sic) in one line and I in the next.  Words were repeated and question marks missed off the end of the questions in some cases but not in others.

 

He finally signed off as Dr. Xxx Xxxxxxx, PhD, which I am assured is not only poor professional etiquette but also just highlights a problem which education seems not have put right.

 

We all make mistakes….and I’m sure that some eagle-eyed reader will spot a few in this blog, to err is human, as they say, but what do 18 errors in 145 words say to a prospective buyer about the professionalism and attention to detail of the writer?  

Just because posting on the internet is easy and quick we still need to think about the potential effect of what we post....the moment of truth that we may be creating, not just for the intended reader but for every one of the 411 (and rising people) who have read the post. 

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Rus Slater

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Read more from Rus Slater
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