Key Findings

A total of 356 responses was captured, with 54% of respondents being at executive or middle management level, and working in a range of industries, with close on half (41%) working in the IT industry.

Here are some of the key findings:

  1. Just over half (52%) of respondents interact with between 10 and 350 customers on a monthly basis.
  2. Almost all of them (94%) said that customer experience was crucial, given today’s climate.
  3. 37% of respondents regard CX as a valuable tool to create better customer experiences, with 37% also viewing CX as a key component of business survival. Nearly a quarter (22%) see CX as valuable in building customer trust.
  4. Some 39% believe that an elevated CX experience is crucial to customer retention, with 15% viewing it as key to customer acquisition. Nearly half (46%) believed the two weren’t mutually exclusive.
  5. In relation to marketing, commerce, sales and customer service, 88% see the CX function as unifying these, while 12% see CX as something standalone and separate.
  6. Only 59% of organisations have clearly defined customer journey systems, designed to deliver an effective, memorable CX.
  7. Asked whether their CX systems are installed on-premises or whether they use a cloud-based system, 30% opted for on-premises, 25% were in the cloud and 16% used a combination of the two.
  8. In nearly half (43%) of the organisations surveyed, the CIO or IT were in charge of CX, with 16% saying it was the responsibility of the business or the CEO.
  9. Asked to rate their organisation’s ability to deliver a customer experience, half (49%) of respondents said it was well thought out and executed, while 44% rated it average.
  10. For the purposes of the survey, an Intelligent Enterprise is described as one that applies advanced technologies and best practices in order to make it resilient, successful and sustainable. Just over half (54%) of respondents said their organisation was on trend when it came to being an intelligent organisation, with 16% saying they were behind the times and 31% saying it was correct in theory but not in practice.
  11. Almost all (97%) of respondents agreed with the statement: To build customer trust, it is as important to build and maintain conversations with them in person, as well as online and from places they are most comfortable.
  12. Over half (56%) of respondents felt that the challenges of COVID-19 highlighted both strengths and weaknesses around CX within the organisation.
  13. A relatively high percentage (65%) said their organisation implemented CX strategies based on the COVID-related lockdown restrictions.
  14. Information learned from these strategies was already being used to make changes to customer journeys by 19% of respondents, while another 19% said it was going to be used to form part of how they adjust in 2021, with 60% agreeing that both of these statements applied to them.
  15. 57% of respondents said COVID-19 had encouraged adjustments in the frequency for which their customer, experiential and operational data is reviewed for changes to operational practices.
  16. Asked how often they think experiential and operational data should be reviewed for changes to operational practices, 41% said monthly, 26% said bi-annually and 15% said weekly. 10% said annually.
  17. 57% believed that IT should lead development of the CX journey, while 43% believed CX should be a department all of its own. Of those who favoured separate CX departments, half (49%) believed it should collaborate insights and develop solutions together with IT.
  18. 42% of organisations that currently employ CX initiatives said they were focused on different products at different touchpoints and channels. 18% said they were singularly focused on one overall experience with the organisation.
  19. Finally, more than half (53%) of respondents said that forward-thinking companies needed to consider the customer experience in order to adjust to the next normal in 2021 and beyond. 38% said data and security should be a focus, and 9% said POPIA compliance.