What are moments of truth?
There are several moments at which a customer, a potential customer, or a future customer will have an interaction with your business.
A moment of truth (MoT) is any interaction during which your customer can form an impression of your business, brand, or product.
In customer experience management, they are essentially points during the customer journey when key events occur and your customers tend to form opinions about you
Now, the impression that they form may be positive or negative. Your aim needs to be to make sure that these moments of truth cause your customers and prospects to have a positive impression of your business or product rather than a negative one.
The point of this is simple, if all your customer interactions have positive outcomes and leave your customers feeling good about your brand or product, your business will be far more likely to experience success and growth.
Your customers expect every moment of truth to provide accurate information and seamless, effortless interaction with your organization.
You need to undertake customer journey mapping, identify every touchpoint and interaction, optimize these touchpoints and interactions, while also detecting gaps and figuring out how to fill those gaps.
What are the 5 Moments of Truth?
The 5 moments of truth are:
- Less Than Zero Moment of Truth (<ZMOT)
- Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
- First Moment of Truth (FMOT)
- Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)
- Interim Moment of Truth (IMOT)
- Third Moment of Truth (TMOT)
Less Than Zero Moment of Truth (<ZMOT)
The Less Than Zero Moment of Truth (<ZMOT) was coined by Eventricity. They declared that understanding it was a critical requirement for success in Event Driven Marketing (EDM). This is the earliest instance of a potential customer beginning their journey with your business.
This moment of truth is even before your customers get into the research phase. It’s when an event transpires that triggers a thought in them about even making a purchase.
At this point they’re not completely sure about their need and are open to suggestions. They’re in a state where they’ll be more receptive to you contacting them
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
The Zero Moment of Truth was first introduced by Google. This is when the prospective customers recognize a need and start doing their research and looking up their options.
The Zero Moment of Truth influences your customers’ decisions far before they reach a store and pick up the actual product, either offline or online. You want to make sure your customers come across you early on during their research and that you have a good amount of social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials on display at various touchpoints, so as to win your customers’ trust and influence their decision.
First Moment of Truth (FMOT)
The First Moment of Truth is the point at which your potential customers first come in contact with your products. It’s the first impression that they have about your actual product, when they start learning about your product and its benefits. According to Proctor & Gamble, this is where you should be focusing your efforts on converting potential customers into actual customers.
Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)
The Second Moment of Truth is the point at which your customers actually purchase your product. It could also be considered as the point when they purchase your product and start using and experiencing it. That would also involve how your company supports and assists them throughout their relationship with you.
Interim Moment of Truth (IMOT)
The Interim Moment of Truth is the period between the time when the customer purchased your product and the point when they actually received the product. This can also be called the Absolute Moment of Truth.
Third Moment of Truth (TMOT)
The third moment of truth is the point at which your customers have experienced your product and actually provide feedback about it. This could be when they post content about using your product and how they enjoy it. This is also known as the Ultimate Moment of Truth. This moment ends up creating new zero moments of truth for many new people.
Why are moments of truth important?
Today, with the number of vendors available for products and services of all sorts, your customers are pretty much spoilt for choice. Even if there are only a few options available in your niche, chances are that at some point in the not-so-distant future, you will face more competition.
Moments of truth have a critical impact on a customer’s relationship with your brand. They determine your customers’ perception and their reaction to your brand.
These moments of truth don’t only influence the purchases of those customers who experience them. They also impact the purchase decisions of other people. That’s because those customers who go through those moments of truth will also tell the people in their circles about the opinion they formed during those moments of truth.
This is even more important with businesses that deal in services. That’s because they’re selling intangibles. These are differentiated in the minds of their customers by expectations based on promises.
Managing these expectations is an extremely important part of creating moments of truth and these moments of truth are extremely important for driving business success.
What happens when MoT goes wrong?
If a Moment of Truth goes wrong, your customers will potentially have a horrible impression of your brand or product. And if you don’t fix it fast, they’re going to tell their friends, family, and anyone else who’ll listen to them about that negative opinion they have about your business.
Now, you can’t set off one bad experience or negative moment of truth with a single positive experience of the same magnitude. You need multiple positive experiences of that magnitude or a single experience that’s extremely good in order to compensate for that one moment of truth that went wrong.
If you don’t fix moments of truth that went wrong, you run the risk of losing a lot of business and even earning a bad reputation.