Walgreens: Tips for Transforming the Customer Experience

“Never in my 31 years with this company have I ever seen customer satisfaction jump like it does in these [Well] Experience stores. Customers keep telling [us] they want to stay in those stores longer, which is music to a retailer’s ears.”

This quote is from Gregory D. Wasson, President and CEO of Walgreens. The company ranked 89th on this year’s InformationWeek 500, a list of the top technology innovators in the U.S and also listed as the highest-ranked company in the retail category.

Walgreens is moving away from a product-based approach and towards a fully encompassing consumer experience they call, “the Well Experience.” This new approach seeks to transform the customer experience across all of the company’s touch points, channels and formats.

“We are taking a multi-pronged approach to delivering the Well Experience. We increased engagement [between] team members and customers, and an omni-channel approach that blends our brick-and-mortar stores with e-commerce and mobile commerce. We are deliberately blurring many retail channels to fit how consumers shop today.”

  • Walgreens is expanding across channels to combine physical locations with superior online experiences such as the company’s acquisition of Drugstore.com which advances meeting that objective.
  • They have added mobile device capabilities in the past year to include prescription refills and transfers by scanning the pill bottle; QuickPrints, an application that enables users to print photos directly from their devices to any Walgreens store; and in-store maps that allow customers to use a digital shopping list to map and locate items in a store.
  • The company’s Balance Rewards loyalty program has seen more than 50 million people enroll since its introduction.

This shift is in line with ERDM findings regarding how consumers, (BtoB and BtoC) define the customer experience:

  • Preferences must drive high quality personalization of communications and experiences.
  • Consumers have shifted from being passive recipients of ‘push’ marketing, to selecting companies which engage, listen to, and act on, input from customers and prospects.
  • Satisfaction with a product is now a given, engagement is what counts.

5 Key Takeaways

  • Give customers what they want… and they will want to do business with you. As a result of preference-based interactions, consumers are more willing to respond to communications and offers.
  • Customers expect a multichannel experience. Marketers must deliver on the expectations of improved customer experiences with consistency across every channel and point of contact.
  • Be Flexible and open to change. Make customer listening part of every functional area, not just marketing. And, be flexible about acting on what you learn from customers.
  • Continually monitor how your company interactions impact every customer experience. Be sure your policies and communications are in line with customer preferences… across every channel and every company department.
  • Designate a Team. Establish a dedicated customer experience team to develop and execute an enterprise-wide plan to set customer experience standards and set milestones for adoption by every employee and department.

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