Our Top 5 Favorite Insights from FullStory DX Maturity

FullStory recently released its “State of Digital Experience 2020” report, and this year’s focus is on mapping a path to digital experience maturity. One of the foundational reasons we began our partnership with FullStory lies in the platform’s ability to combine qualitative and quantitative data. And true to FullStory’s technological foundation, this report packs qualitative and quantitative insights designed to help you assess your organization’s current level of digital maturity while outlining a path for continued growth. We aren’t here to spoil the whole read for you, so here are five key takeaways for our team. Of course, we encourage you to read the whole digital experience report… after you read this blog post.

The human experience and the digital experience are deeply intertwined

Test yourself. When you see/hear the phrase digital, do you start thinking about your app, your website, your checkout funnel, or data visualization? Or, are you thinking about your real-world customer interacting with your site or app in their real-world environment? 

It’s easy to lose sight of the connection between the two – human experience and digital experience – because they often become disconnected during the design and build process or as the digital experience evolves. Technical requirements, platform limitations, and device constraints can take precedence over the needs of the user. However, maintaining a focus on the humans who engage with your digital experience can pay off in customer satisfaction and conversions. When you adopt a culture of analyzing, testing, and optimizing your digital experience, you uncover opportunities to improve the digital experience, often in the form of customer-centric digital design

“According to data from Qualtrics, 94% of consumers who give a company a “very good” customer experience rating are “very likely” to purchase more products or services from that company in the future. Only 18% of those who gave a company a “very poor” CX rating say the same. Similarly, 95% of consumers who give a company a “very good” CX rating are “very likely” to recommend the company. Only 15% of those who gave a company a “very poor” CX rating say the same.”

We’re strong believers in establishing personas and customer journeys with a focus on empathy and an understanding of the key emotional drivers your customers bring when they arrive at your site in your app. By leveraging qualitative data and quantitative data, we can then assess how our design aligns with customers, and how we address their changing motivations over time.

Organizations that celebrate testing and learning deliver better digital experiences

Good news! Testing and learning is better than not-testing and not-learning when it comes to digital experiences – just check the data!

“According to our research, companies that deliver better digital experiences more often are more likely to encourage testing and learning than their counterparts… They are also 47% more likely to actually iterate.”

It’s a drum we’ve been beating for a long time. We talk to people in organizations of all sizes that fall along the digital experience maturity path, and the idea of testing, learning, and iterating is far from a given, regardless of the size of the company. FullStory calls out several important cultural components for organizations embracing testing. One of those, “everyone checks their ego at the door,” can be a real mind shift for organizations that prioritize having the best idea and then moving on. We still need people in organizations to come up with great ideas, and we also need the open-mindedness to test those ideas, look at the data, and come up with the next, even better iteration.

Having a culture of testing also means that sometimes we are going to be wrong and that we’re going to be able to prove it and own it. Maybe it’s a slight drop in conversion rate, or perhaps it’s a significant decrease in interaction with an element on the page. Testing gives us the ability to be flexible, nimble, and data-backed. “Losing” tests are just as important as the winners, and oftentimes provide a wealth of information about our customers’ motivations and actions. And when you are launching new experiences with a testing mindset, it’s easy to revert to your control, while you evaluate and iterate.

“The data shows that more mature digital experience organizations are more likely to report being able to:

• Easily prioritize digital fixes and improvements

• Quickly ship digital fixes and improvements

• Translate customer insights into action

• Optimize the digital experience for key conversions”

More mature organizations structure teams with speed in mind

We mentioned company size above, and while we often think of large companies with large resources (and pockets) as being the ones to lead the charge, yachts aren’t known for turning quickly. What FullStory’s data shows is that organizations that structure cross-functional teams, regardless of organization size, are able to move faster, adapt, and implement changes with a customer-centric focus.

“While there was little standardization across all survey respondents—with organizations indicating they structure teams cross-functionally, via job function, or both—the data revealed that more mature digital experience organizations are 68% more likely to report they structure teams cross-functionally.”

You may see this is in your own organization. Perhaps your company has analysts, but they function outside of the product team, making it hard for the product team to get the data they need. Or, perhaps you live in the all-too-common scenario of working on a team without dedicated development resources and are not able to maintain consistent alignment on the needs of your users. One of the ways we are able to move quickly with our clients is that we staff a multidisciplinary team of designers, developers, strategists, analysts, and producers – it affords us the opportunity to be flexible and augment internal teams as needed. If you’re starting down the path of building cross-functional teams, there is a great section on getting started in the report that we highly recommend.

Ensure that digital is an executive-level priority

Organizational priorities live and die at the executive level. Whether it’s the prioritization of financial resources, human resources, or the support to keep a digital initiative going, you need buy-in from the top.

“The “digital experience” is massive, encompassing your brand’s digital marketing channels, sales channels, product experience, customer support and feedback channels, and more. It is truly cross-functional, cross-departmental, cross-banner—and to bring all of the pieces together, there must be executive-level oversight.”

In our experience, executives love data just as much as we do. When those individuals are siloed, their needs, and the metrics they are concerned about can fall out of alignment with the digital team. One of the greatest aspects of maintaining executive-level involvement and buy-in is the opportunity to cooperatively build the roadmap for digital success.

Your digital experience technology stack must be highly integrated

Marketing and digital experience technology stacks can vary widely across organizations, and we’ve worked with a lot of configurations. Regardless of how simple or complex, the data needs to be clean, connected, accurate, and accessible. From a technological perspective, FullStory calls out a few must-haves for the technology you are vetting.

“That’s why—if you are taking the stack approach—you must integrate your technology. To that end, you’ll want to source technologies that have:

• Robust APIs that empower developers to enrich their tech stack with platform data and deepen the insights they receive within the platform itself• Webhooks to power workflows across the business and allow you to set up automations and take action in real-time

• Webhooks to power workflows across the business and allow you to set up automations and take action in real-time

• An ecosystem of integrations that allows you to connect your tech stack and create a shared language around digital experience across your business”

Along with technology integration, you also need to have a plan for human integration with your technology. Identify who has access to your data to perform analysis in your cross-functional teams. Once you know who has access to the data, become friends with that person or be that person, and maybe introduce us too! 

We recommend checking out the full FullStory report. If you’re interested in talking about all things digital optimization, send us a message and we’ll set up a time to chat.

Ask the Optimization Experts: Perspectives on FullStory’s latest platform release: Dashboards

There’s no denying the importance of innovation in digital product development. The digital marketing ecosystem is no exception. The apps, websites, and related technologies and services it’s composed of are always changing to meet constantly evolving consumer needs and behavioral changes. 

In the world of analytics, more effective data visualizations are the reigning champion of innovation needs – visualizations that help us better sift through and understand the avalanche of data in front of us. The FullStory platform is a data processing powerhouse that champions better customer experiences. Their latest data visualization feature ‘Dashboards’ puts FullStory squarely in the ring with other highly effective data visualizations we love.

We sat down with our Behavioral Analyst, Tyler Hudson, and Sr. Account Executive, Matt Bullock to chat about FullStory’s latest data visualization feature, Dashboards. As key strategists on the RoboDX team, they use the FullStory platform every day to bring valuable insights and optimization opportunities to our clients.

Let’s start with the big picture. Why is data visualization important for a behavioral analytics platform like FullStory?

Tyler: At its core, an effective behavioral analytics visualization allows anyone to understand what’s going on with the customer experience. It’s a distillation of a really complex data set into something approachable and easy to understand – regardless of how familiar you are with interpreting analytics reports.  It shows, at a glance, what is, and isn’t working on a website – that’s extremely valuable to my role in communicating actionable insights to our clients. When everyone is comfortable with what’s being presented and recommended, they can utilize that information to make significant improvements – that’s so much more effective than navigating an Excel spreadsheet full of numbers or a bunch of data points in Google Analytics. It’s a powerful communication tool for anyone in the company, especially key stakeholders who might be more business-minded and easily overwhelmed by raw data.

Matt: The benefit of effective data visualizations is that the data points you’re viewing are rendered into an understandable story that easily translates to actions. Decision-makers in an organization often are not the people mining through data or performing an analysis. Their focus is on reviewing key metrics to make smart business decisions. When they have clear data visualizations in front of them, they can see trends and outcomes without being an analyst. That’s powerful stuff that gets results.

Tyler: Definitely. The new analytics platforms like FullStory are empowering marketers to improve digital customer experiences at a much quicker rate. Essentially, customers are helping themselves simply by interacting with a site and allowing brands to see what’s working and what isn’t. Data visualization is at the epicenter of understanding that information–it’s pretty cool from both a consumer and website performance perspective.

So going a bit deeper on FullStory, the Dashboards feature is new. What do you like best about it, and why do you think that it’s such a key innovation point?

Matt: FullStory has made data visualization a key focus of their platform with a number of other features outside of Dashboards. How they visualize elements when evaluating session replay, drop off rates, conversion funnels–those are all data visualizations that make analysis easier and more intuitive. It’s a natural progression to move into Dashboards, so you can combine data into a shareable format for data presentation.

For organizations big and small, the migration to a single platform view, where you can manage data and view those visualizations, lowers the barrier to entry, strengthening adoption and ROI for the platform. FullStory has that comprehensive view into customer behavioral data and now the visual analysis, potentially removing the need for several pieces of software.

Tyler: FullStory’s whole offering centers around making analytics accessible. They’ve already automated a lot of the platform with custom dashboards on the homepage such as bar charts, line graphs, and heat maps, which are really strong visualization tools to show engagement.

With Dashboards, you don’t have to rely on an analyst to export all that data or deal with the additional step of creating visualizations in another platform like Tableau. You can easily set these up with a few clicks, eliminating the need to wade through a sea of data.

If you had to pick one thing you love best about Dashboards, what would it be?

Tyler: For me, it’s how easy the feature is to use. I’ve worked with a lot of analytics platforms and data visualization tools and there’s typically a bit of a steep learning curve. With FullStory, if you’re already comfortable navigating the platform, you’ll be able to jump in and build these visualizations almost immediately. The way they’ve structured it is so user-friendly and presents the information you need in a very digestible way, which really resonates with me. There are plans to evolve and grow this feature, but I feel like the initial launch is a really solid foundation. Right now, it’s exactly what you need to get started. I’m excited to see how they customize it further.

Matt: Yeah, I agree, it feels like another native, intuitive feature of FullStory. You can quickly create Dashboards based on specific goals or KPIs and build out Dashboard cards for different teams. There are card types for single metric values and for user flow funnels, and they both use the same layout as accessing segments in the platform. That consistency makes it really easy and intuitive to get started and include visualizations in your analysis workflow.

What would be the first card that you would set up on a Dashboard for an e-commerce site?

Matt: I would set up high-level metric cards to track day-to-day, big picture operations, like conversion rate, average order value, users, total sales–all of those things that I want to see at a very important high level in my FullStory Dashboard. But then I’d set up additional, more funnel-specific cards in the Dashboard, like my Conversions checkout flow. And then if you want to do additional conversions analysis, you can go right from the Dashboard to that element in Conversions.

Tyler: I’d start navigating to Dashboards before diving into session replays, just to get that understanding of what’s going on. Whether that be a drop off rate in the checkout flow or the general site performance on paid traffic. For example, if that’s going down, using that to inform what you’re searching for in a larger application. If you’re seeing a big drop off on your payment page, you go watch sessions from the payment page. Use it more as a jumping-off place early on and then starting to hone in on more specifics down the road.

Those are some great e-commerce examples. What about websites designed for lead-generation?

Tyler: Oh yeah. It’s perfect for that. There’s a lot of information gathering that happens before someone commits to signing up to engage in a sales conversation. Particularly for larger purchases. It’s really valuable to be able to see their path leading up to the conversion/sign-up and gain a better understanding of what content is resonating, and where they’re spending the most time. But those behavioral metrics like time on page, session duration, that help paint a picture of what’s working and what is not, can be a bit more difficult to evaluate. So, visualizations combined with session replay is a really powerful combo for lead-gen. 

Matt: One thing that is critical to capturing users at the top of the funnel is identifying those positive signals on your website that indicate somebody is interested in purchasing your product or your service. As you’re making improvements, the ability to identify and iterate on those elements that make a difference, and seeing the effects of your enhancements in your Dashboard, can be really powerful and empowering.

Dashboards is useful in other ways as well. Take for example A/B testing. Dashboards is perfect for monitoring test performance. That’s really important for a lot of experiments, particularly when sales and conversions are at stake.

Tyler: Yeah, definitely. One of the cool features within Dashboards is the ability to look at performance from a macro level and then really zoom into the micro-level details. Whether you’re A/B testing an element, changing the hierarchy of a page, or changing an entire page design–it can be as granular as you want. You’re able to look at a macro level and say, “I want to understand more of the why behind this”, then zoom in on page performance. That’s all possible because every interaction is tracked in FullStory and available in Dashboards.

Here’s a scenario to help illustrate this. Say there are five CTAs on a page, and you want to run an A/B test to reorder them and test engagement. Dashboards makes it easy to compare the performance of your baseline to the new design. If you have your A/B test set up correctly, you just build your segment for the test, and then you can automatically customize that and leverage existing Dashboards to have a visual representation of the test performance. It’s great for not only monitoring results but also communicating performance!

Thanks, Tyler & Matt!

Our partnership with FullStory adds a top-notch experimentation platform into our quiver of technologies we can use on our quest to optimize digital experiences for our clients. Dashboards will become available in August, and stakeholders and analysts alike will find it meets their visualization needs and beyond. Stay tuned for more updates from the RoboDX crew in the months to come!

Looking for some more interview action? Check out our conversation with Harrison White, Partner Manager at FullStory.