Moments of Truth

A Moment About Moments of Truth

Cover of Moments of Truth bookThe term "moments of truth" was coined by Jan Carlzon and served as the title of his 1985 book.

When he took the reins as president of Scandinavian Airlines System in 1981, the airline was on the verge of losing $20 million. A year later SAS was earning $54 million.

How did he do it?

Not by cutting overhead or slashing unprofitable routes. Instead, he and his team improved the "moments of truth" in which passengers could form or change their impression of the airline.

Every occasion in which a customer encountered the SAS brand came under intense scrutiny. Not just dirty tray tables, but virtually every interaction with frontline workers—from checking their bag to recovering it at its destination. And hundreds of others in between.

First, Carlzon and his team identified the most vital moments of truth. Then, their primary strategy was to empower frontline workers with the authority to make decisions and solve the customer's problem. Gone was the "it's not my job" attitude so common in large companies. Simple, but revolutionary in the 1980s.

These days, besides your patient care, how you treat a patient when they have a non-health care problem can be one of the most memorable ways of creating a positive and lasting impression.

A flat tire in your parking lot. A dead battery. Coming out with an umbrella during a rainstorm. Flowers at the death of a loved one. The list is endless. It comes from an overarching desire to serve—especially if it doesn't directly involve delivering patient care.

During the summer of 2021 I'm exploring 13 of the most important moments of truth in a chiropractic practice. There are others. But it's a great place to start. Use them to springboard conversations at your team meetings. Brainstorm with your team and "romance" each one to delight and exceed patient expectations, systematically producing a memorable patient experience.

Only as you deliver remarkable service (defined by patients), are they likely to remark about you to others. And being remarkable is what fuels referrals—even more so than great results. It's the greatest compliment any service provider can receive.

13 Moments of truth in a chiropractic practice:

   Your Website
   The First Phonecall
   First Visit
   Meeting You
   Report of Findings Part 1
   Report of Findings Part 2
   The First Adjustment
   Regular Visits
   Progress Exam