April 2012 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
By Dwight Hill, strategist, The Retail Advisory LLC.
At the root of omni-channel retailing lies customer satisfaction.
I was struck recently by a joint study released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and KPMG entitled: “Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2011, Forecasts for 2012.” In the study, more than 200 retail executives from various sectors were interviewed and asked to provide their perspectives across merchandising, e-commerce, supply chain, store operations, and human capital. Among many insightful findings, one of the most striking was “nearly 67% of companies rank customer satisfaction as the top strategic initiative for 2012 and, similarly, 82% say their customer service strategies will be their top priority for the coming year, up from 75% last year.” While at first glance we should be grateful that more retailers are putting the customer first, why are these numbers not 100%? The question every customer is asking is this: how can 18% to 33% of the survey participants, retailers competing for every customer’s dollar, have anything BUT customer satisfaction or customer service strategies as top strategic initiatives?