What is a moment of truth?
A moment of truth is a marketing concept that refers to any moment of interaction with a brand that can change or form a consumer’s opinion about its products or services.
A customer’s brand experience can make or break a business relationship at any moment of truth. It can also determine whether an existing customer leaves or remains loyal to your brand.
While there are numerous interaction points along the customer journey, not all of them have a significant impact on the brand’s success. Hence, to create or identify your moment of truth, search for interaction points that can leave a lasting impression on your customers.
By asking questions through surveys and getting insights from user communities, you can identify possible pain points that may be associated with these interactions.
What are the 5 moments of truth stages?
The 5 moments of truth stages are based on different parts of the customer journey. It begins when your customer realizes they need a product or service until the point of conversion.
Less than zero moment of truth (<ZMOT)
The less than zero moment of truth describes the earliest stage of the customer life cycle. Here, an individual to realizes they need a product or service. At this point, this individual is a prospective customer and will usually interact with ads, social media posts, or emails from relevant brands as they look for the product or service to use.
It is an opportunity for your brand to drive targeted marketing content through various channels.
Zero moment of truth (ZMOT)
At this stage, the individual is already exposed to your brand but needs additional information to make a buying decision. The term zero moment of truth was coined by Google to include the impact of the Internet on customer buying behavior.
According to Think with Google, 53% of shoppers do their research before making a buying decision. Hence, online reviews play a huge role in convincing prospective customers to choose your brand over others. Providing adequate information about products or services also gives your brand a competitive advantage.
First moment of truth (FMOT)
The first moment of truth refers to the first 3-7 seconds of a consumer coming in contact with your product or service whether online or in a physical store. This is the actual moment of conversion for marketers.
Second moment of truth (SMOT)
This stage refers to the experience the customer has with the product after purchase. It determines the customer’s future buying decision. If the customer has a good experience using the product, they’ll likely choose the same brand again. What’s more, they might recommend the brand to their social circles.
The ultimate moment of truth (UMOT)
When your customer publishes feedback content after an experience with your brand, they are at the ultimate moment of truth. It could be a review or social media post about how they enjoyed using your products or services. This is a form of brand advocacy that attracts new prospects to your brand.
It can also affect how well a brand can engage prospective customers at the zero moments of truth. This is because social reviews and user-generated content are a major source of information for people when they research a brand’s products or services.
Why does a moment of truth matter?
Identifying these points in your customers’ interaction with your brand is a huge factor in customer retention. With many brands producing similar products for the same market, you need a competitive advantage to stand out.
Your customers’ view of your brand is based on your ability to engage them at the main interaction points. For example, if you offer an intangible product, the quality of your customer service will determine your customers’ view of the brand. This will also determine your market position.
Examples of moments of truth
Moments of truth apply to both consumer and B2B brands. Here are two main examples that happen with B2B and B2C companies respectively:
Onboarding B2B customers
The onboarding experience is a typical example of the second moment of truth (SMOT). It creates a far-reaching impression that affects the customer-brand relationship throughout the customer journey. It determines how the customer perceives the company and interacts with it going forward.
Clients who are properly onboarded are usually quick to renew their subscriptions or upgrade their plans. In contrast, clients with a less than effective onboarding process never get to fully learn how to maximize the product. They may not even see the reason to renew their subscription or upgrade their plan.
To create the best impression at this moment of truth, B2B companies ensure they have effective customer service. Clients must be able to reach customer care agents as soon as they require help or have a question.
A B2C customer onboarding
Assume a person visits a store and sees a product on display. When they pick the product up and they form an impression that can prompt them to either buy it or put it back on the shelf.
This type of experience falls under the first moment of truth (FMOT).
Other examples are:
- seeing a product ad on TV (<ZMOT)
- getting a product demo (FMOT)
- trying a product sample at the store (FMOT)
- speaking with a customer representative on the phone (SMOT)
- a customer publishing a product review on their blog (UMOT)
Provide an effective, usable and satisfying experience
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Frequently asked questions
What is a moment of truth in marketing?
A moment of truth is an approach to consumer experience that describes any point of interaction with a brand that can lead the customer to either form or change their impression about the brand’s products or services.
Why should you care about moments of truth?
Knowing your moments of truth helps you to identify opportunities to improve your customers’ experiences with your brand. This gives you a competitive advantage in the market and increases your customer retention rate.
What are examples of moments of truth?
Some real-life examples of moments of truth include: seeing a product ad on TV (<ZMOT). getting a product demo (FMOT), trying a product sample at the store (FMOT), speaking with a customer representative on the phone (SMOT), a customer publishing a product review on their blog (UMOT).
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- Effective Customer Onboarding Program (New Guide)
- Brand Advocate (Explained)
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