Moments of Truth in customer service can be conversations with a customer about some complaint that they have, they can be interactions when they’re buying something in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant, they can be questions about an order that the customer calls in to the company, or they can be brief interactions in an emergency room or in the lobby of a government building.
During these interactions, there are often waits. At the fast food restaurant, the employee at the window is waiting for the food to be prepared. In the E.R., the employee waits for the room to be cleaned for the next patient. When the customer calls about an order, there could be wait time while the employee researches the order and the customer’s question.
During these Moments of Truth, the employees are often waiting or doing an activity while the customer is present. Yet, too many employees only communicate with the customer when the employee needs or conveys information. The employee doesn’t realize the importance of keeping the communication going during the rest of the Moment of Truth.
We need to view these periods of silence as opportunities to build rapport, as opportunities to improve the customer experience. While research is being done or the wait is underway, we can simply say nothing and create a cold, impersonal experience for the customer – where inactivity can create customer doubt, frustration, or questions.
Or we could engage the customer. We could talk to the customer about their situation, describe what is being done during the wait, educate them on some aspect of the product/service/facility/website, or note what activities may follow. We could use these times of waiting and research as times to build rapport and relationship.
The next time you’re with the customer and the customer is waiting, keep the communication going. Turn wait times into part of a positive customer experience.