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Interaction Management (moments of truth)

At Imonic, we use Interaction Management as a guiding principle for much of the work we do. Here we describe how it can help you.

What does interaction management mean?

As customers, we all interact with the organisations we buy from. Jan Carlzon referred to these interactions as 'Moments of Truth', and claims to have used this as his focus for turning around the ailing airline SAS. (Ballinger, 1987).

We agree with many of Carlzon's views, and have taken them a step further to mobilise the concept of 'Moments of Truth' and begin to work with it. Imonic believe that the management of these interactions with customers is fundamental to managing performance, and hence customer satisfaction and relationships.

One of the starting points is to be absolutely clear on what interactions you have with customers. All our clients tend to be amazed at how revealing an investigation into this can be, and at the sheer number of opportunities they actually have "to mess things up!"

Interactions come in the following five forms:

  • Written (emails, letters, invoices, contracts, etc).
  • In person (visits, sales meetings, social or hospitality).
  • Goods/services (interaction with the product or service itself, such as product function, presentation or packaging).
  • Electronic (e-commerce, web site).
  • Telephone (both inbound and outbound).

Interactions can be identified by the audit of various processes and actual customer purchases. Imonic run workshops to demonstrate simple exercises that help you achieve this quickly.

Once identified, your bank of interactions (it is not uncommon for the number to be greater than 200). These interactions can then form the core of any future work you undertake to improve the effectiveness of your customer management.

Examples would include: prioritizing interactions to provide the questions for customer satisfaction surveys or using the results of how customers rate these interactions to look at process improvement.

Considering interactions with your products post-sale is also an excellent way of improving "ease of use", thereby making your organisation easy to do business with.

Once you have identified and prioritized your interactions, and asked your customers to rate your performance against competitors, then your priorities for customer retention and growth begin to emerge.