Method

Uncover and make the most of your signature moments

May 21, 2019

By Jess Leitch, Design Principal at Idean

The services we love, the services we remember, and the services which earn our genuine loyalty stand apart from their peers. It’s not just because they’ve focused on reducing friction in the user journey; they’ve gone beyond efficiencies and polish.

The services that stand apart create, what we call, Signature Moments – specific interactions designed to make an impact and to leave a long-lasting memory of what it was like to use the service.

  • Everyone with a Monzo card has experienced the moment when waitstaff or a clerk says, “I love the color of your card, what company is that?”
  • Anyone who found themselves frustrated on their travels with Ritz Carltons will remember the moment the staff have gone out of their way, spending up to $2,000 to make things right.
  • Lemonade customers are customers for life, thanks to moments like their giveback program that epitomize their strategy: move insurance from a begrudging purchase to a greater social good.

How we define a Signature Moment

Signature Moments are an interaction that occurs at a specific point in a customer journey, turning that otherwise ordinary journey into an experience that people remember.

A relatively small part of the full experience, they possess an influence that’s greater than the sum of their parts, making them a great way to build deeper, more lasting relationships between your customers, your employees, and your business.

They possess this influence because they elicit emotion, whether it be good or bad, from the people involved in the interaction.

Signature Moments are the perfect combo of the organization’s:

  • Strategy - what you’re focused on
  • Brand - what you want to be known for
  • Customer experience or service principles - your ideal service experience
  • Ability to deliver - the teams, channels and methods you use to deliver your services

For a moment within one of your services to be signature it has to be:

  1. Ownable: able to become synonymous with your strategy, vision and brand. You can’t just copy it from your competitor
  2. Differentiated: creates an outsized impact for your customer (or your employee)
  3. Memorable: effective at capturing people’s attention and creating competitive advantage for you
  4. Lasting: still affecting long after it has been experienced.
  5. Shareable: people want to talk about and share it with each other
  6. Repeatable: it isn’t a one-off experience
  7. And if you have a lot of channels, scalable so it makes sense in the context of your omnichannel strategy.

As you design your own Signature Moments, beware

There are a few things I would caution before you go out and start trying to identify your own signature moments:

1. Not all interactions need to be signature. In fact, most don’t. This isn’t about reinventing the wheel at every turn. There is a reason that most good customer journeys feel similar— as humans, we are used to certain patterns of service, so breaking these patterns adds cognitive load for your users and your employees. You don’t want to break these patterns without very good reason.

2. Signature Moments shouldn’t make bad experiences in your current offering even more obvious or seem frivolous to frustrated customers. While well-functioning interactions across the board are your priority, considering Signature Moments can provide insight into solving your current challenges in distinctive ways.

3. Signature moments don’t need to be flashy. In fact, if they feel flashy you’re probably doing it wrong.

4. Signature Moments can evolve over time. So be honest about where your service is now. Maybe a Signature Moment is very low-fi now, adding a well prepared and empowered team member to solve an emotional pain point until you can work out how to remove that pain point altogether.

5. Signature Moments aren’t just about B2C. B2B services need love, too — the expectations of the humans who deliver and receive your B2B services are just as influenced by Amazon’s one-click experience as anyone else.

To find the Signature Moments in your services, start by understanding the key interactions that make the biggest impact on your relationship with your customers. Match that with what you stand for in the market.

If you’d like to know more about Signature Moments drop me an email or let me know on Twitter.

Watch the presentation

We hosted our first event around this topic, Crafting Signature Moments, in San Francisco. Watch the entire presentation here: