South Africa’s customer experience professionals are slowly emerging as some of the best in the world, and the data is there to back up the claim.

Sarina de Beer, MD Ask Afrika, says: “Service levels are at their best ever, with satisfaction ratings of 91%, delight ratings of 54% and very low dissatisfaction scores of 5%. This is largely driven by technological advances and progress, with systems, and technological solutions, self-help channels and chat bots in place to deliver bigger, better, faster.”

De Beer was addressing delegates to this two-day Customer Experience Management Africa Summit in Cape Town this week.

These results can largely be attributed to the work customer experience professionals are doing in designing deliberate customer journeys.

Diane Magers, CEO of the CXPA, says: “Designing these deliberate customer experience is like building a bridge. Just like any team sport, it takes coordination and a clear understanding of the goals and it requires collaboration and contribution by all team members to ensure the bridge across the support structures is solid and consistent.

“Building in silos or vacuums creates an inconsistent experience for our customers. Inconsistent experiences are one of the key factors commonly identified as a factor of dissatisfaction by many other organisations, particularly B2B, as a key opportunity to improve CX.”

Juan Mouton, portfolio director for the Customer Experience Management Africa Summit, adds: “The results presented by Ask Afrika were for me a great reward and justification for what we do, but great customer experience is a double-edged sword.

“The better you get, the higher the customers’ expectation and that baseline sets a new bar. You have to keep improving, keep evolving and stay moving when it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience.

“Finding and nurturing talent in the CX profession will be the next great challenge businesses face within in this industry.”

Grace Sikapokoo, chief customer office for AIG, shares five steps to remain relevant and continually skilled: understand your organisation; understand you customers; understand customer experience management; understand technology; and understand your purpose.