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.