Digital Experience Maturity: Generating More Value from Websites & Apps

Discover how you can mature your business's digital experience offering to stay ahead of the competition and delight customers online.

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What is Digital Experience Maturity?

Today’s businesses no longer simply compete on product, price, and advertising space: the experience they provide to customers has become incredibly important, in terms of brand reputation, winning initial business, and establishing customer loyalty.

The kind of experience an organization can provide to customers depends on its digital experience maturity. An organization’s digital experience maturity is defined by two things:

  1. The level of insight it has into digital experiences across its websites & apps (i.e. understanding how customers behave and feel)
  2. Its ability to action this insight (i.e. being agile with improvements)

Higher Maturity = Higher Revenue

Decibel’s research has demonstrated that an organization’s digital experience maturity has a positive correlation with the value it’s able to derive online.

In other words, as an organization’s maturity increases, so does the revenue generated by its websites & apps. This is due to the superior experiences mature organizations can deliver to their customers, which in turn improves conversions, brand loyalty, and customer lifetime value.


The Digital Experience Maturity Curve

The Digital Experience Maturity curve visualizes the positive correlation between an organization’s maturity and the value it generates online.

Digital Maturity Curve

The five maturity phases signify the level of sophistication companies have in measuring & improving digital experiences. They represent the visibility a company has into digital experiences and the data it collects, the technology it has available to maximize data insights, its alignment around this data, the buy-in of its stakeholders, and the optimization philosophy adopted by its digital team.

TUI Mature from Phase 2 to Phase 3 to Forecast +$30m in Annual Revenue

World-leading travel group TUI invested in digital experience initiatives to mature from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of digital experience maturity. As a result, TUI’s digital team forecast an increase of $30m in annual online revenue. Read the full case study here.

The journey from Phase 1 to Phase 5 of digital experience maturity takes work, but reaps dividends for the organizations that embark on it. The remainder of this guide outlines each phase and discusses how companies can progress to obtain as much value from their websites & apps as possible.

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Quiz: Where Do You Sit?

To plot where your company sits in relation to the five digital experience maturity phases outlined in the previous chapter, take the quiz below now.


Advancing through the Phases of Digital Maturity

Explore the phases below to learn more about what your results mean, and to garner a deeper understanding of how to advance your digital experience transformation journey to the next stage.

Phase 1: Problem Resolution

Businesses in Phase 1 of Digital Experience Maturity have low visibility into digital experiences across their websites and apps. Moreover, the visibility that they do have is utilized only occasionally to help solve ad hoc problems.

For example, such businesses may use session replay technology to contextualize feedback customers leave through Voice of Customer (VoC) tools, or to resolve customer complaints made through a call center or social media channels.

As such, experience data collected by the organization sits within Support or Customer Insights departments, and remains under-utilized & siloed there.

In early phases of digital experience maturity, everything served to the customer is based on a ‘we know what our customers want’ attitude, rather than actual customer data.

Getting to Phase 2

In order to advance to Phase 2, businesses must look to adopt an optimization framework that harnesses experience data to enable continuous improvement.

Phase 2: Conversion Optimization

Businesses in Phase 2 of Digital Experience Maturity move beyond solving ad hoc problems to adopt conversion optimization as their framework for improving digital experiences, and conversions as their measure of success.

Optimization teams research areas of opportunity for improving conversion rates across their websites and apps, hypothesize actions they can take to improve performance, and test the suggested changes. If the changes result in more conversions, they roll them out; if not, they start the process over.

Analysts might use heatmaps or session replays to visualize or provide qualitative examples of insights garnered from more traditional analytics data, like Google or Adobe analytics data, and to help prove or disprove hypotheses.

Experience data thus plays a supplementary role in conversion optimization. The organization does not leverage it beyond using it to inform short-term, conversion-centric optimization tactics.

Getting to Phase 3

In order to advance to Phase 3, businesses must look beyond conversion-centric frameworks and become experience-centric in their approach to optimizing websites & apps.

Phase 3: Experience Optimization

Businesses in Phase 3 of Digital Experience Maturity graduate from conversion optimization to experience optimization in their approach to improving websites & apps.

With experience optimization, rather than focus solely on conversions, teams aim to measure and improve digital experiences. They look beyond quick wins and think strategically about how to leverage experience data to improve customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

For businesses in Phase 3, experience data is accessible to multiple departments, ranging from analytics, UX and optimization to ecommerce, product, and customer support. Different teams have shared visibility into and are aligned around data that quantifies customer experiences. This consists of dashboards that measure engagement, frustration, navigation, technical, and form experiences across the business’s entire digital offering.

This visibility enables teams to benchmark and improve experiences in an impactful and cohesive way – significantly improving the value businesses are able to generate from their websites and apps.

Getting to Phase 4

In order to advance to Phase 4, businesses should continue promoting visibility into experience data across the entire organization, and look to model it with data science to make intelligent predictions about customer behavior.

Phase 4: Predictive Intelligence

Businesses in Phase 4 of Digital Experience Maturity are sophisticated in their use of experience data, and near the cutting edge of what’s possible in delivering fantastic digital experiences to their customers.

Experience data permeates the entire organization, and all relevant teams are aligned behind customer experience initiatives.

Digital experiences insights are pushed to data science teams who model the data to build intelligent prediction engines, so that personalization teams can tailor messaging according to customer behavior – the result being that every level of the organization is empowered to generate more value from each customer interaction.

Getting to Phase 5

In order to advance to Phase 5, businesses should monitor and react to digital customer experiences as they happen.

Phase 5: Real-time Activation

Phase 5 of Digital Experience Maturity is the Phase for the leading companies of tomorrow. Digital experience intelligence technology will empower teams to monitor digital experiences in real time, and directly intervene to ensure all customers receive positive experiences.

Say, for example, a user demonstrates a certain behavior that signifies frustration, like multi-clicking on an on-page element. With real-time insights, brands can react to this immediately with tailored messaging that attempts to ease user frustration and generate positive website outcomes.

This process is called triggering, and the technology to activate it is not far away. However, only organizations with the appropriate maturity level will be able to harness it, as it requires the total alignment of all relevant teams to be truly effective.

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How Decibel Helps Businesses Mature

At Decibel, our vision is for every experience to delight, excite, and work. To achieve this, we’re on a mission to make digital customer experience a science. Regardless of your organization’s maturity level, Decibel provides you with the tools you need to progress to the next phase – and reap the rewards that come with it.

Simply adding more data will not fix a business structure unoptimized for agile change: aligning around and actioning existing customer insights is crucial for making the case to invest in technology that grants new ones.

Simply adding more data will not fix a business structure unoptimized for agile change: aligning around and actioning existing customer insights is crucial for making the case to invest in technology that grants new ones.

Digital Transformation at The Rank Group

Kerry Dawes, Head of Personalization Operations at The Rank Group: “A digital transformation is a significant undertaking. We knew the best way to start was to get the full picture of how all our users – not just customers – were actually experiencing our websites: information we previously had no access to. Decibel has been extremely powerful in granting us this visibility, and has changed perceptions across the business, allowing us to swiftly address areas for improvement while informing longer-term strategy.

“Its easy integrations with our analytics, personalization, and tag management technologies further equipped us to tackle our digital problems effectively – and we started to see real insights and achieve fantastic results very quickly. Without Decibel, the digital transformation that The Rank Group has undergone this year simply would not have been possible.”

The Rank Group went from phase 1 to phase 3 of digital experience maturity by committing to a year-long digital transformation project. The team supplemented quantitative analysis with qualitative insights to change the perceptions of and get buy-in from key stakeholders, whose support enabled the project to advance.

The result? The Rank Group achieved 400% return on its investment in digital experience maturity.

When it comes to digital experience maturity, the ultimate aim for brands is to get qualitative customer insights at a quantitative scale. This enables them to look beyond conversion optimization as the dominant optimization philosophy, and focus on developing a digital experience optimization model that is geared towards delivering fantastic digital experiences, as well as increasing conversion rates.

Doing so means such brands can cultivate longer-term revenue drivers like lifetime customer value, giving them a competitive advantage over companies whose sole focus is on increasing conversions in the short-term. With customer experience being the new battleground for brands, looking beyond conversion optimization is not just advisable: it’s necessary.

What phase of digital experience maturity is your business at? Whatever it is, look beyond conversion optimization, focus on being set up to optimize experiences, and reap the rewards that committing to digital experience transformation and putting the customer first can give you.

What phase of digital experience maturity is your business at? Whatever it is, look beyond conversion optimization, focus on being set up to optimize experiences, and reap the rewards that committing to digital experience transformation and putting the customer first can give you.

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