What is meant by the moment of truth in service design

Moments of truths are those brief periods of communication between the customer and a service provider where either a positive or negative response is generated.  For example, in a retail store all points of contact between the customer and service personnel are considered moments of truth.  These include check-in, enquiries about products, bill settlement, check-out, etc.  Hence, understanding the concept of moment of truth is essential for good customer service.

One of the ways in which customer goodwill can be generated is by anticipating points of interaction and developing protocols for the service team to follow. By paying attention to service design a business can convert accumulative moments of truth into brand loyalty.  In the service industry the customer experience is usually not based on tangible factors.  Instead they are constituted by first impressions, feeling of trust and confidence toward the service provider, etc.  In other words, the customer experience is mostly based on qualitative factors and on quantitative aspects.  It is for this fact that a well thought-out service design becomes imperative.  Successful businesses embed of moments of truth into their service design to garner strategic benefits.

Reference:

B. Chase, F.R. Jacobs, N.J.Aquilano, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 11th ed. McGraw-Hill 2007