4 ways to step up your organization’s CX Maturity

Best practices, pitfalls, and next steps for leveraging a CX maturity model at your organization


Christine Rimer

March 2, 2021

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When it comes to assessing how your customer experience (CX) program stacks up, there’s no better tool than a maturity model. CX maturity models are useful for getting a clear view of where your organization stands with its CX program, understanding what areas you could improve upon, and getting you thinking about what goals you can set to uplevel your maturity.

But CX leaders commonly wonder how best to leverage CX maturity models. Last week, we brought this question to the February edition of SurveyMonkey’s CX Leader Roundtable program. To fuel our discussion, we surveyed the group of 100+ senior CX leaders ahead of time to gather benchmarking data. Here, I’ll explore the top learnings I took away from the roundtable.

1. A framework that drives action matters

While 48% of participating CX leaders had never used a CX maturity model, they were clear that the most compelling reasons to leverage one was to have a framework to improve their organization’s CX maturity (88%) and to help CX leaders drive action in their organization (86%).  

In our discussion, we agreed that our ideal model would enable us to assess where we stood so we could have objective conversations with our leadership teams, as well as provide us with specific steps we could take to get better. 

2. Program governance is hard

While there are multiple CX maturity models on the market, many were considered too complicated and overwhelming to be actionable. When asked how CX leaders would rate their organization’s maturity on common elements, 40% stated they were most mature in the areas of culture, people, and leadership. On the other hand, 58% said they were least mature in the area of governance. A consistent, effective governance program helps CX leaders drive organizational accountability, leverage insights across the organization, and resource initiatives to improve their customers’ experience.  

3. A CX mission, strategy, and roadmap help

I asked my good friend, Jeannie Walters, CEO of Experience Investigators and active member of our CX Leader Roundtable Program, to lead us through a discussion of best practices as well as most common failures to assure that leveraging a CX Maturity Model was not just an academic, intellectual exercise that collects virtual dust in your leaders’ inboxes.  

Based on advising hundreds of companies across all industries in the past twenty years, Walters found that CX leaders who have a documented mission, strategy, and roadmap for their CX program are not just able to leverage the benefits of a CX maturity model, but also deliver meaningful business impact with their CX program. Too many organizations kick off their CX programs by naming a leader who will drive a handful of tactics, but they don’t stop to get aligned on how their CX program will serve their company’s mission—nor do they clearly document how they will measure success with quarterly deliverables.

4. Staying focused and socializing updates is key

When it comes to the pitfalls of leveraging a CX maturity model framework to drive action, CX leaders were guilty of diving into execution with their working team and forgetting to update their broader stakeholders early and often. In the silence,  CX leaders can lose confidence or support from their peers and leadership team. 

In order to demonstrate meaningful progress in months and not years, CX leaders need to focus. Walters noted that, like a music producer uses an audio mixer to dial up or down a particular track, a CX leader might lean into one dimension of the maturity model for a quarter or two before dialing back to focus on another dimension.


In summary, like customer journey mapping, CX maturity models are a tool intended to help a CX leader drive action in their organization to improve their customers experience. The goal is not the scorecard or the slides, but rather the action it inspires. 

Of course, like any other effort to improve your customers’ experience, don’t forget to ask your customers for input. “Take the time to ask your customers” is always the right answer.

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