Walgreen’s “Urban Concept Store,” represents the best of the best in customer experience. As Walgreen president Joe Mangacca states, their aim is to “transform from a traditional drugstore to a retail health and daily living destination,” out of the desire to become “a central part of life for many who live and work” in and around their stores.” CEO Greg Wasson describes their strategic vision not as selling a product, but rather offering an experience. He describes the stores recent facelift as the “’Well Experience.”

The drugstore retail giant dumped  its pre-made pots of coffee, hot dogs, pizza slices, bags of chips, candy bars and tobacco products. It replaced these items with barista-prepared, fresh-brewed premium coffee, baked breads and pastries, a juice bar, self-serve frozen yogurt, and hand-rolled sushi and sashimi. The retailer also revved up its beauty and cosmetic shopper experience by adding a Nail Bar, Eyebrow Bar and Virtual Makeover kiosk to engage customers in a participatory way.

The fresh food initiative, however, pales in front of the state-of-the-art pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients. By on-boarding pharmacists to “Well Experience,” the new standard of customer care is “counseling” over “pill dispensing.” Pharmacists now carry portable tablets that store a patient’s medical history, allowing them to meaningfully contribute to the long-term care of customers. Every Walgreens’ pharmacists is a certified immunizer, meaning they have the capability of stocking specialty drugs in accordance with a patient’s needs. The pharmacy lives up to the stores new motto “Well Experience,” by offering a Take Care Clinic. Rather than offer services only when customers are sick, the clinic offers preventative care like vaccinations, health tests.

Walgreens is an example of good customer experience. If you want to explore your options, consider Moment Mapping , our method of redesigning the customer experience.

Colin Shaw, The Well Experience: Walgreens

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.

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