SURVEY: Emotion key to positive CX

A recent survey conducted by ITWeb, in partnership with CallMiner, examined if SA contact centres use analytics to understand how their customers really feel.

Here are the key findings:

1. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the respondents have an in-house customer contact/service centre, while a quarter (24%) have outsourced it.

2. Almost all (92%) said they recorded customer conversations and interactions.

3. 65% said their company was using speech or multi-channel interaction analytics technology to monitor customer interactions.

4. A high percentage (80%) of the participants see a need to identify and score emotional attributes of customer/employee interactions.

5. 33% already analyse and score customer emotion, while 26% plan to start doing so in the next 6-12 months. 

Graphed results
To view the complete graphed results of the ITWeb/CallMiner Speech & Analytics Survey, click here.

6. Nearly 40% share customer satisfaction scoring and emotion metrics with their executives.

7. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 80% of survey respondents said their customer service agents were dealing with more emotionally driven or vulnerable customers.

8. 78% of respondents said their customer service agents were working from home.

9.Top factors that prevent companies from improving CX were ranked as: lack of tools (51%), lack of data (45%) and lack of internal expertise (39%).

10. The top five call centre KPIs that matter most to respondents are: customer satisfaction (69%); first call resolution (33%); customer journey (multi-channel) experience (27%); service level (25%); and voice of the customer (23%).

Frank Sherlock, VP of International at CallMiner.
Frank Sherlock, VP of International at CallMiner.

Commenting on the survey results, Frank Sherlock, VP of International at CallMiner, said: “For modern organisations, driving positive customer experiences is critical to success. It’s really encouraging to see that most organisations recognise the importance of customer emotion in overall experience and the potential it has in driving the intelligence that business needs to operate effectively.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses, employees, and customers alike. In view of this, 82% of survey respondents said their customer service agents were dealing with more emotionally driven customers. 86% said their customer service agents were dealing with more vulnerable customers, owing to an assortment of issues such as health, unemployment, and financial challenges.

Emotion is a key driver for developing strong and lasting customer relationships.

“Emotion is a key driver for developing strong and lasting customer relationships – especially when customers are experiencing crisis and vulnerability, both of which accelerated dramatically owing to the pandemic," said Sherlock. "It is clear in these results that organisations in South Africa are seeing this, too. The good news is that there are tools to enable organisations to both understand and leverage emotion and identify and manage vulnerable customers. In doing so, organisations can improve their customer experience and provide

a 5-star service as well as leverage business improvements.”

On the topic of how challenging the company found it to improve customer experience today, nearly half (49%) said it was mildly challenging to train customer service agents to deal with more emotionally charged conversations and 29% said it was very challenging.

“In dealing with highly emotional customers, empathy and ownership is critical. By employing conversation analytics, organisations get a holistic view of 100% of interactions so they can quickly and accurately understand, measure, and trend human emotion between contact centre agents and customers,” he says. “Gathering these insights enables organisations to address the challenges, shift development strategies as needed, and make business improvements.”


ITWeb, in partnership with conversation analytics specialist CallMiner, conducted an online Speech & Emotion Analytics Survey during February and March 2021.

The survey, sought to uncover what South African organisations’ strategies are – if any – around analysing and scoring customer emotion.


For the purposes of this survey, we defined speech/ interaction analytics solutions as: technology that extracts meaning from customer interactions and provides guidance to improve business processes and optimise performance.

We defined emotion as a strong feeling deriving from circumstances, mood, or relationships with others that manifests physically; what you do, the way you behave

Who responded

A total of 228 responses were captured, with 62% of respondents being at executive, middle management and director level, and working in a range of major industry sectors. Some 39% of respondents came from the IT sector and 11% came from the financial, insurance, banking and accounting sector and telecommunications/cellular sectors, respectively.

Follow the Key Findings and the Graphs links