In a landscape where data reigns supreme, it’s often easy to overlook the vital role of human intuition and qualitative analysis. Samantha Payne, the service line lead at Ipsos in South Africa for the qualitative team, is a beacon in this realm. From her roots on a South African farm to leading qualitative research initiatives, Samantha brings a unique blend of experiences to her role at Ipsos.

Today, we peel back the layers to understand what makes her tick, her approach to qualitative research, and the importance of human insights in the realm of Customer Experience (CX).

The Roots of Her Passion
Samantha’s upbringing is far removed from the corporate world. She was raised on a farm, exposed to the raw elements of nature and community. The weather’s impact on crops, the animals that were raised to feed the community—these early experiences offered her a deep understanding of life’s complexities.

The Art and Science of Qualitative Research
Samantha brings this profound understanding to her role at Ipsos. She emphasizes the importance of being “close to the ground,” essentially mirroring the hands-on approach she learned as a child. In CX, this means understanding not just what the numbers say, but also what they don’t say. Qualitative research fills in those gaps, providing context and color to the numbers. It’s an art form requiring a nuanced understanding of human behavior and sentiment, two aspects Samantha is deeply attuned to.

Human Insights in CX
As CX leaders, we often lean heavily on quantitative data. Yet, Samantha’s approach serves as a crucial reminder: We must not forget the human element. Qualitative research reveals the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ and it’s often the key to unlocking transformative changes in customer experience.

Takeaways for CX Leaders


Final Thoughts.
In a world that’s increasingly data-centric, Samantha Payne stands out as a champion of human insight. Through her unique background and expertise, she offers invaluable perspectives for anyone in the CX space. As we navigate the complexities of customer experience, let us heed her wisdom: The human element is indispensable, and often, it’s the key to creating truly memorable experiences.