Otago Polytechnic

Artificial intelligence could help supermarkets to receive and process customer feedback.

The supermarket industry is highly competitive and depends on customer satisfaction and loyalty. To this end supermarkets use customer feedback service channels to find out what customers expect - what's going well and what can be improved. Some of these feedback channels are informal and unsolicited, such as social media, but others are a request from the supermarket for feedback, for example a traditional complaint or suggestion box. 

Olufemi Omisakin and Indra Kularatne are lecturers in Applied Management at our Auckland International Campus. Together with Chanaka Bandara from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology they have investigated how Artificial Intelligence might help supermarkets improve their customer feedback processes. They interviewed supermarket managers and IT and AI experts, then surveyed supermarket customers about their experience of customer feedback service channels. 

The research team recommends that a digital screen be installed in supermarkets with voice recognition and typing features so that customers can say or write their feedback. Artificial Intelligence would analyse all feedback received and categorise it, to improve speed and accuracy of response and increase capacity to handle more feedback. The survey results revealed that customers like to know if and how their feedback has been actioned, so it is desirable to capture customer contact details with the feedback. The option to scan a loyalty card could streamline this for loyalty card holders.

Sep 2020

Image credit: "dotpolka", used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0