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Are you managing your moments of truth?

By James Cronk
Are you managing your moments of truth?

“Any time a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, is an opportunity to form an impression.” – Jan Carlzon

In 1981 a young airline executive was delivered an impossible task.

Turn around the European airline with the worst service record and disastrous financial results. And do it quickly.

What he did became a Harvard Business School case study, a best-selling book and a model for thousands of companies to follow.

He called it:

Moments of Truth.

Jan Carlzon wasn’t any airline manager—he was meticulous in his planning. Very quickly he realized one critical truth about any service business.

If you can identify and improve all the little service delivery touchpoints your clients experience you will retain and attract more customers, build viral word of mouth advertising and improve your bottom line.

My question is…

are you managing your moments of truth?

Moments of truth

“If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” – Jan Carlzon

Every touch point your member has with your club is a moment of truth – no matter how small. And each moment of truth (MOT) adds up, quietly, subtly, and incrementally until your member, or guest, has an impression of your club.

A great 30 minute team exercise is to make a list of all the MOT’s at your club. This is one more way to get your employees Powered ON!

Most employees will list the most obvious ones, like member arrives at the club. Challenge that and keep asking them to break it down until you get to the smallest MOT possible, like in this example:

Member arrives at the club:

  • Goes online to check tee times.
  • Books tee time.
  • Gets confirmation (or doesn’t).
  • Enters gate/entrance sees signs (lights burnt out?).
  • Pulls in to the parking lot.
  • Parks car, walks to club house.
  • Sees staff member and is greeted (or not).
  • Sees signs: daily events/announcements (or not).

Remember: the smaller the MOT the more likely you can improve it.

Small changes

“You cannot improve one thing by 1000% but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%.” – Jan Carlzon

Your second 30 minute exercise is to choose a few MOT’s to revisit and look for improvements. A simple change like improving how member washrooms are cleaned, or how members are greeted in the lounge (are staff rewarded for remembering names?) maybe small for you, but huge for a member.

When brainstorming ideas with your team, keep the exercise open and let the ideas flow. You are better off to have lots of crazy ideas and find a few gems you can work with.

Enrolling the team

“The moral of the story: perceptions are everything. During each moment you are in contact with a customer, you are the organization.” – Jan Carlzon

The magic of MOT strategies is when you enroll your whole team to become change agents—looking for opportunities and excited about making improvements.

One way to do this is with case studies – or external examples. In this 30 minute exercise, ask team members to think of a favourite restaurant, cafe, hotel or vacation destination. Next, have them list all the MOT’s and what they liked about each one.

Now that the ideas are flying, it’s time to turn attention to your club and listing improvements you can make.

1 percent better in 100 things

Taking your operation to one level higher in MOT performance will be all about small changes done well. “Quality doesn’t mean we have to be 100 percent better in any one thing,” wrote Carlzon, “it means we strive to be 1 percent better in 100 things.”

At the Cronk Group we work with you to create a Powered On service business with 4 core deliverables: a clear brand, a well-planned strategy, a full toolbox, and of course, great people.  At Cronk Group, we help you assess, develop and implement each one.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming the best manager possible, contact the Cronk Group today!




Download and apply these 10 ‘POWER ON’ principles and see immediate improvements in the satisfaction of your staff, your guests and your bottom line!

James Cronk

For the past twenty-five years James Cronk has been helping business owners get themselves, their people and their customers powered on. He uses a unique blend of creativity, experience and proven systems to help golf clubs achieve their goals and increase their profits by improving their systems, their service and their people!
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