Moments of Truth

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Every business confronts moments of truth – those moments when something that was promised to a valued customer goes wrong.

It may be a quality challenge, a performance failure, an urgent repair, or a delayed vital delivery. Whatever the issue, it’s these moments, when the value you promised to deliver is compromised, and your relationship is in jeopardy, that your customer experiences the true culture of your business, what you truly value.

When a business is young, every customer relationship is precious. Promises made to customers reflect a personal commitment and depth of caring that adds value to your offering. Delivering on those promises cultivates a customer’s trust and nurtures your growth.

As the business matures, so does its awareness of risk – there’s more to lose. Policies are created to promote efficiency and protect what has been earned. Policies generate procedures, which then require a bureaucracy to manage them. Over time, to justify its value, the bureaucracy may increasingly defend itself – often in such moments of truth.

What prevails in your company’s moments of truth?

Does the promised care for your valued customer drive your proposed resolution? Or, does a risk-averse posture dictate your response, claiming to make things right, while actually focused on protecting your business?

Obviously, every solution weighs each of these positions, but which is the default perspective that typically guides your decision-making?

Do you consider how your response will reveal the truth about your culture and what you value most? Do you assess how it can create value for the customer, and ultimately, for your business, enabling you and the customer to move forward together?

How does your business typically respond in your moments of truth?

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