Key Findings

The survey sought to uncover whether South African organisations’ customer contact centres/service centres use speech or multi-channel interaction analytics technology to monitor customer interactions and what their strategies are – if any – around analysing and scoring customer emotion.

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.

Here are some of the key findings:

  1. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the survey’s respondents said they had an in-house customer contact/service centre, while a quarter (24%) have an outsourced customer contact/service centre-as-a-service.
  2. All of the respondents had email available as a channel whereby customers could contact them. 96% said calling was an option, 79% had social media channels, 65% offered chat as an option and 54% said customers could engage them via text.
  3. Almost all (92%) of respondents said they recorded customer conversations and interactions.
  4. 65% of respondents said their company was using speech or multi-channel interaction analytics technology to monitor customer interactions.
  5. 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 (meeting contractual obligations where you’re providing a service for a customer/third party) (25%); and voice of the customer (23%)
  6. A third (33%) of respondents already analyse and score customer emotion. A quarter (26%) plan to start analysing and scoring customer emotion in the next 6-12 months. 20% are currently implementing a customer emotion analysis and scoring project. 22% have no current plans to analyse and score customer emotion.
  7. 80% of respondents see a need to identify and score emotional attributes of customer/employee interactions.
  8. 39% of respondents share customer satisfaction scoring and emotion metrics with their executives. 35% share customer satisfaction scoring only, while 6% share emotion metrics only. 12% don’t share either.
  9. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses, employees and customers. 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 (due to health, unemployment, financial issues etc). 39% said their company was dealing with high employee turnover or absenteeism, although 37% said that they weren’t dealing with either of these issues. 78% of respondents said their customer service agents were working from home.
  10. 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 very challenging. 41% said it was mildly challenging to anticipate and interpret a customer’s emotional state, while 37% said it was very challenging. 45% said it was mildly challenging to understand a customer’s full journey (ie every interaction across all touchpoints prior to the interaction/chat), whereas 39% found this very challenging. 44% said while they scored their customer service agents’ performance, they found it mildly challenging to identify emotional attributes. 35% found this very challenging.
  11. Factors that prevent companies from overcoming this challenge were ranked as: lack of tools (51%), lack of data (45%), lack of internal expertise (39%) and lack of processes (37%)