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CustomerThink: Should #CX Professionals Care About the Four Moments of Truth?

By Annette Franz Gleneicki, CustomerThink (Excerpt)

Last year, I wrote about moments of truth, defining them as: that make or break moment in the customer journey, that moment when, if all goes well, the customer will continue the journey and complete the task or interaction; he will do (or continue to do) business with you. If things go awry, he will not complete the interaction and will go elsewhere.

I recently read Brian Solis’ latest book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design. In it, he devotes a chapter to moments of truth. He writes about the Four Moments of Truth:

Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): This moment of truth was introduced by Google and refers to that moment when people go online and search for what they need/want.

First Moment of Truth (FMOT): This moment of truth was coined by P&G and refers to when people first see the product – or its alternatives – they are looking for.

Second Moment of Truth (SMOT): Also introduced by P&G, Brian says this isn’t just a moment but a collection of moments. This is when the customer uses and experiences the product and the company supports the relationship.

Third Moment of Truth (TMOT): Ex-P&Ger Pete Blackshaw introduced this MOT back in 2006, and he basically refers that powerful inflection point where the product experience catalyzes an emotion, curiosity, passion, or even anger to talk about the brand. By opening up that pipeline, we not only absorb insight and deeper consumer understanding but also nurture empowerment and advocacy.

Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMOT): Brian coined this term to refer to that moment when customers go online to review or to talk about products and the experience, basically the same thing as that TMOT, and cited that one person’s UMOT is another’s ZMOT. Interesting.

(I know. Technically, that’s five. Brian only wrote about four in his book; he wrote about UMOT, not TMOT, which others have cited as the fourth moment of truth.)

Here’s what’s interesting: these xMOTs help marketers and advertisers, but they aren’t helpful to customer experience designers. I’d say these are more stages of truth than moments of truth. Moments are, well, moments; they are a (brief) point in time. These xMOTs relate more to stages in time, stages in the customer lifecycle, than they do to brief points in time.

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