How to Measure Digital Maturity & Build an Efficient Digital Experience Program

A digital experience team stands outside a conference room brainstorming together

Learn what a digital maturity model (DMM) is, why it’s important for a brand’s digital experience program, and the phases of digital maturity to achieve growth.

Digital is no longer just a channel. It’s the first touchpoint of almost every customer journey. Customers go to your digital presence whenever they want to interact with your brand, and brands wanting to meet customer expectations need a digital presence that is intuitive, seamless, and personalized to each customer’s needs.

Creating a digital channel that meets customer expectations doesn’t happen overnight. But for brands who stick with it, the results are impressive. A recent study from the Medallia Institute found that customer experience leaders are 26 times more likely than laggards to experience revenue growth of 20%, and they’re 2.8 times more likely to meet financial targets.

It’s a digital-first world, and your digital experience program needs to keep up with customers. With a digital maturity model, you’ll understand where your brand’s digital maturity is today and set it on a transformational path to meet customer needs and expectations efficiently.

Let’s discuss what a digital maturity model is, why you need to use one, and the initiatives to take within each phase of a digital maturity model for your digital experience program to be successful.

What is a Digital Maturity Model?

A digital maturity model, also known as a DMM, is a step-by-step guide to help brands launch, refine, and grow their digital experience programs.

We’ve used our expertise from working with over 700 of the world’s largest brands across all industries to define four key phases of digital maturity: Beginning, Integrating, Innovating, and Differentiating.

Why You Need to Use a Digital Maturity Model

Brands cannot ignore digital experience anymore, which is why the use of a digital maturity model is more important than ever. Customers live online — if your brand doesn’t understand how customers navigate websites, apps, and other digital channels throughout the customer journey, chances are you’re lagging behind the competition.

“Leading brands know that investing in digital experience is a priority,” says Michael Mallett, Medallia’s Digital Solutions Principal. “The question they have is: how do we take our existing program to the next level?”

“Think of the maturity model as your experience program’s best friend and mentor. I’ve seen the maturity model truly transform existing programs, whether by uncovering low-hanging fruit the experience team is missing, or redefining the vision of the experience program so it better aligns with broader business goals,” he adds.

Principles of a Digital Maturity Model

To maximize program impact and value, digital experience leaders should pay attention to two questions: what are the strategic objectives of the program, and what are the tactical objectives needed to make the program a success?

Examples of strategic objectives include prioritizing the customer view, engaging employees consistently, and aligning across business units. Tactical objectives, on the other hand, include channel breadth (e.g., web, app, mobile app), engagement strategy (e.g., feedback, behavioral analysis), reporting (e.g., role-based dashboard, executive-report), and integrations (e.g., CRM integrations).

Only when your brand considers both strategic objectives and tactical objectives does its digital experience start to earn results and make an impact on the entire business.

4 Phases of Digital Maturity in a Digital Experience Program

Moving through the digital maturity model is no easy task. It takes strategic alignment across teams, an understanding of the customer’s viewpoint, employee engagement, and most of all, consistency. However, the brands who do so are able to differentiate themselves on the basis of experience.

Here are the four phases of digital maturity in a digital experience program and the initiatives to take with each.

Phase 1: Beginning | Score & Optimize

Every program starts somewhere. In the Beginning Phase, take stock of where you are, how to perfect what customers are currently experiencing, and set the foundation to get you where you want to go.

Key initiatives in the Beginning Phase include:

  • Focusing on most important journeys only: What are the most critical paths customers are taking through your site? How do those paths relate to business outcomes? What do you need to know to optimize those journeys?
  • Launching a fully or partially new program: What data do you need to improve customer experiences? What customers do you want to engage, and where? What questions should you ask, or behaviors should you observe?
  • Creating a central management & action structure: Who is monitoring collected customer insights? How are insights being analyzed, so issues and opportunities are addressed?

Phase 2: Integrating | Engage & Prevent

Fixing existing problems is the first step toward perfection. The Integrating Phase is dedicated to preventing critical issues from recurring, and creating positive engagement opportunities with customers.

Key initiatives in the Integrating Phase include:

  • Expanding to cover more journeys & key customer segments: Where are you seeing the most engagement? Where are your highest value customers going? How can you get more value out of those high-impact experiences?
  • Some real-time action with focus on online support: What issues are preventing critical conversions? What journeys always conclude with a call to the contact center, or a lost sale? How can you proactively engage and prevent those negative experiences?
  • Sharing insights beyond the digital team: Who has access to the collected customer insights? Would any other teams benefit from those insights? How can those insights be leveraged to make strategic decisions and drive growth?

Phase 3: Innovating | Personalize & Be Proactive

Personalization is king on the digital channel. The Innovating Phase is all about proactively engaging customers with relevant, personalized content so they feel truly known by your brand.

Key initiatives in the Innovating Phase include:

  • Adding innovative online & some offline scenarios with profiling: What does the omnichannel customer journey look like? How can you use digital insights to engage with customers offline?
  • Adding real-time action with focus on sales/marketing: How can you use customer history and real-time actions to facilitate a sale? A live promotional offer? Personalized recommendations?
  • Fully integrating with your martech stack: How could customer insights help supercharge your CRM data? Your content management system, or your marketing tools?

Phase 4: Differentiating | Anticipate & Create

Differentiated brands can anticipate customer needs, and create individualized experiences in real time. The Differentiating Phase focuses on automating one-to-one interactions with your customers, so you can create an emotional connection that lasts.

Key initiatives in the Differentiating Phase include:

  • Omnichannel journey coverage with dynamic profile & segmentation: How can you use existing customer segmentation to anticipate what net new customers want or need? How can you understand and influence the omnichannel journey?
  • Journey orchestration & real time interaction management: How can you influence an experience in the moment, using that customer’s history with your brand? How can you anticipate and recommend the next best action?
  • Human & automated delivery of experiences as the norm for 1:1: How can you augment human customer interactions with automated interactions? How can you make those automatic interactions as personal and engaging as possible?

Take Your Digital Experience Program to the Next Level

Regardless of where your digital experience program stands today, examining digital maturity provides the opportunities to improve and create seamless experiences. Every customer journey is different, and adapting your digital experience program for shifts in needs and expectations ensures your brand is aligning with their unique preferences. Over time, these optimized experiences lead to happier, more loyal customers who boost revenue.

Interested in seeing what a successful digital experience program looks like? Check out this case study with Vodafone UK to discover how the wireless carrier tapped into the full power of the Medallia Digital Suite to increase online visitors, generate sales opportunities, and resolve customer issues quickly and at scale.