Skip to main content
Understanding Key Moments of Truth Along the Customer Journey


Understanding Key Moments of Truth Along the Customer Journey

There are a few moments that make or break a customer’s experience. It is in these critical moments where a customer can be won or lost. Many have come to know these as ‘Moments of Truth’ and while this is a well-known concept, when unpacked, it can lead to additional insight and guide strategic decisions on how to deploy investment across the customer journey.

Moments of Truth can take form in different ways. Some moments present only downside risk, while others present an upside opportunity to deliver a brand’s differentiated brand promise. Both of these, however, are important to understand and actively manage.

Moments that present downside risks are known as ‘Moments of Vulnerability’. These are typically parts of the journey where it is necessary to deliver on table stake expectations. During these times, a brand cannot “win” or differentiate, though they risk losing a customer if they fail to meet baseline expectations.


Consider a restaurant in your neighborhood. The food and service could be great, but if the kitchen or dining room looks unsanitary, most people will seriously question whether to return! In the restaurant industry, hygiene and cleanliness in the kitchen, washroom, and dining room is a table stake. A restaurant cannot meaningfully differentiate on having the cleanest place in town; however, they can lose out if they don’t meet minimum hygiene requirements.

In contrast, moments that provide an opportunity to meaningfully differentiate and deliver huge value are called ‘Moments of Opportunity’. These moments are essential points in a journey where the core value proposition is delivered. Best-in-class organizations not only exceed expectations in these moments, but they also inject a special twist that reinforces their unique brand promise, helping them differentiate and cement loyalty.


Consider another (reasonably clean) restaurant in your neighborhood. This restaurant provides an exceptional culinary experience that is personalized to each guest. When guests make a reservation at this restaurant, they are asked to share some information about their favorite cuisine and flavor preferences. When guests arrive, they receive a personalized greeting and are brought to their table where a tailored tasting menu has been prepared by the chef based on the guests’ preferences. This would be an incredible experience that wins the hearts and minds of segments who value unique menus and culinary experiences.

It is important to note that different customer segments often have different Moments of Truth. In the example above, a segment looking for a fun social experience with a large group of friends might not get a ton of value from a personalized tasting menu. This illustrates why it’s necessary to define a clear target and understand their inner drivers and motivations.

So, what do organizations do with this knowledge? Fundamentally, Moments of Vulnerability should be considered as risk mitigation investments whereas Moments of Opportunity must be viewed as growth investments. Organizations should invest the right amount of energy and funds to ensure the risk is sufficiently mitigated, but investing beyond that yields no return. After prioritizing Moments of Vulnerability and mitigating risk, investing in Moments of Opportunity will ultimately yield the largest upside return.

So how can you effectively deliver at these key Moments of Truth?

The first step is to have an intimate understanding of the customer’s rational and emotional drivers of value. At Level5 Strategy, we leverage proprietary tools to help our clients unlock insight about their customers and build winning CX strategies.

Deep customer understanding is just one important facet of managing a customer-centric organization. If you are interested in learning more about the different dimensions of customer-centricity, read our perspective pieces and try our online diagnostic tool to see how your organization compares to others in the market.


    Pin It on Pinterest