Introducing Astute’s Customer Experience Maturity Framework

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[Estimated read time: 4 minutes]

The customer experience has never been more important. In fact, Forrester found that customer experience quality accounts for as much as 76% of the variation in consumers’ brand loyalty. And companies are sitting up and taking notice. By the end of 2017, more than 50% of R&D investments will be directed toward CX innovations, according to Gartner.

With this challenge in mind, we created a framework to help organizations determine their level of maturity when it comes to five core CX competencies:

For each competency, there are several factors that determine the level of maturity on a scale of one to five. In this multi-part series, we’ll walk you through each competency, its maturity factors, and how to move your organization through the levels. We’ve also developed this set of assessments to help you find out how your current CX stacks up.

CX Competencies & Maturity Factors

Channel Choice

Customers want to be able to find answers and resolve issues wherever and whenever they want. When they contact your brand through one channel, they prefer to continue the conversation that way. A successful channel choice approach relies on a strong understanding of your customers’ journey.

Here are the factors that matter for channel choice maturity:

  • Quantity of channels available
  • Popularity of channels among your customers
  • Ability to easily transition from one channel to another
  • Response time
  • Ability to adopt and scale new channels
  • Cohesive customer journey strategy

Find out more about how to advance your channel choice capabilities. 


With all the data consumers share with companies, they have come to expect more and more sophisticated personalization. The average percentage uplift in online sales and site performance from personalization is 19% over a 12-month period.

Here are the factors that contribute to a mature personalization strategy:

  • How many data points are used for personalization
  • Which customer data points are used in personalized interactions
  • Consistency of personalization across channels
  • Whether personalization is used in both proactive and reactive communications

Learn more about the five levels of personalization maturity.


We’re always talking about the fact that consumers want to find their own answers instead of calling customer service — and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Millennials in particular are notorious for hating to talk on the phone. In fact, a Gallup poll shows that text messages outrank phone calls as the number one method of communication for this age group.

A mature web and mobile self-service strategy is a must for engaging today’s consumers. Here are the components that matter for customer self-service:

  • Accessibility, i.e. number and type of channels
  • Consistency of experience across channels
  • Automation using narrow AI technology
  • Maintainability of the knowledgebase, i.e. how information is kept current
  • Accuracy and quality of information presented
  • Ability to leverage multiple data sources to provide responses

Learn more about your organization’s level of self-service maturity.


When customers can’t find an answer on their own, or need to be transferred to another department, it’s a safe bet that their level of frustration is already on the rise. The majority of consumers expect support staff to know their contact information, interaction details, and product history from the moment their conversation begins. Understandably, they get even more frustrated when asked to repeat their story.

Here are the most important factors for your approach to escalation:

  • Seamlessness of the experience, i.e. allowing customers to stay within their preferred channel
  • Automated, proactive escalation of certain situations based on customer activity
  • Context for agents handling escalations, ensuring customers don’t need to repeat their issue
  • Optimization of escalation channels
  • Ability to route escalations to the agent or department best equipped to handle them

How mature is your company’s escalation strategy

Voice of Customer

Companies with VOC programs have been shown to outperform their competition across a variety of metrics, including revenue, Net Promoter Score, and first contact resolution. To gain all the benefits VOC can provide, you’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • Types of information collected, including direct, indirect, and inferred VOC
  • Consolidation of data into an easy-to-analyze format
  • Ability to derive usable insights from data
  • Timeliness of insights, including ability to use real-time data in decision-making

Learn where your VOC program falls on the maturity scale.

The Customer Experience Maturity Framework

Within the Customer Experience Maturity Framework, the levels of maturity rank from one to five, with five being the most sophisticated. Below is a chart showing the characteristics of all five capabilities at each level — view it in PDF format here.

Astute's Customer Experience Maturity Framework

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a deep dive into each capability, and show you how to move your organization’s CX to the next level. Stay tuned!

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