Retail customer satisfaction 101 in the digital age

By: Militza Bishop


What’s the single most important goal for any retailer in today’s age of instant gratification? Customer satisfaction. This is what will keep repeat buyers’ money rolling your way. In a highly competitive retail landscape where constant comparison to web retailers and your competitors is the name of the game, what will you do to keep customers happy?

Give customers what they want, when they want it

As a retailer, you should always provide the customer what they want by taking the guesswork out of the buying game. New tools can help your organization decide what to carry in your inventory, what to have on hand and what to order once a customer requests an item you may not carry.

Cognitive analytics can help you predict market trends and position your organization at the intersection of supply and demand. Cognitive logistics and trade-off analytics provide insight into what you should stock, how to transport items to your warehouse or to the customer in the most efficient manner and what these scenarios mean for your bottom line. Inventory analytics warns you about low supply and considers time in supply chain for orders. Imagine data-driven decision-making using the analytics available at your fingertips to help you meet your customer satisfaction goal.

Efficient checkout: A must for customer satisfaction

Here’s a nightmare scenario for any retailer or supplier: a bar code scanner failing while an unloaded shopping cart sits on the conveyor. The problem isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar transactions, either — an online checkout cart displaying incorrect pricing is enough to make you rethink your choice in web vendor.

Wouldn’t you like a digital tap on the shoulder before equipment breaks? Predictive analytics can give you the heads-up that equipment should be replaced, that there are errors detected or that the equipment requires service. This type of analytics tool can even dispatch your trusted service provider to your store or your data center, expert knowledge and replacement parts in hand, so they can fix your IT infrastructure before customer satisfaction is impacted.

Answer customer questions in person and online

Natural-language cognitive analytics can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for and where it’s located, down to the aisle, section and shelf. Visual recognition analytics can tell your customers where to find a product from a picture, without taking up employee time. And a friendly, cognitive-based interface can help answer questions customers have about products, resulting in higher satisfaction and sales.

Outthink your competitors: Offer customers exactly what they want, when they want it, with no inefficiencies in the buying process. Create your competitive advantage by leveraging analytics and cognitive tools to keep your customers satisfied.

Contact Militza Bishop at the IBM Expert Hub


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About The Author

Militza Bishop

Global Information and Analytics Program Manager, IBM

Militza Bishop focuses on multi-vendor support and complex, four-wall solutions. She has worked in IBM Technical Support Services for 21 years. Transformation is always her priority, along with continuously improving client experience. She is an IBM Redbooks thought leader and uses social media to share and gather ideas.