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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.



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

he results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

Online shopper expectations: are you exceeding (or even meeting) them?


For many online shoppers, requesting more information about a product or service can lead to frustration. In a recent research by sales automation firm Velocify, a third of interested buyers never get a response to an online inquiry and those that do often wait 48 hours to hear from a sales rep. The disconnect between online shopper expectations and retailer execution is a critical and addressable shortfall.

To learn more about the expectations and experiences of online shoppers, we partnered with Velocify to commission an online survey from Zogby Analytics. Zogby surveyed more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. who had submitted an online form requesting information or expressing interest in a product or service valued at $1,000 or more.

The study reveals that many companies are likely losing sales because they are failing to meet the expectations buyers have developed for response speed and persistence.

Download today and learn:


  • The length of time a typical buyer spends researching online prior to submitting an online inquiry form
  • The longest buyers are willing to wait for a response to their inquiry
  • The best and worst industries when it comes to responses to online customer inquiries
  • The number of companies a typical buyer submits inquiries to when looking to buy a product or service
  • The number of call attempts buyers want you to make before you give up trying to reach them

Read Full Study





About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hits bookstores this summer. Eric leads the professional services organization to strategically guide companies on the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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