Customer Centric Stories I


Walgreen’s has an automated message that rings on your home phone (if that’s how you want it configured) telling you your prescription is ready. This particular message was for my daughter and it rang today as a reminder and had rung yesterday too. I suspect they will continue this process for the next several days. The automated message is triggered once the prescription has been processed by Walgreen’s. I think this is a great service, however, could I add two things that may improve the process.

  1. When leaving a message, please mention the patient name. There are situations where several family members are getting prescriptions at the same time, so it would be helpful to know whose prescription is ready.
  2. Adding a feature to this call would be helpful too in case there are questions or issues. For example, adding the option  of ‘Press 1 (to the automated message) if you’d like to speak with a pharmacy represeJune Pics & Retail Stufff 016ntative’.

A nice feature occurred after the automated message had reached out on two consecutive days. A representative from Walgreen’s pharmacy called and asked to speak with the patient (my daughter). Frankly, that was delightful surprise. Integrating the automated system with the personal touch is still possible, and any gaps missed with by the automated system may be closed when the pharmacy rep actually calls the patient to verify they’ve received the message and are in the process of picking up the prescription. I wonder how things would be handled if the patient completely forgot about the prescription for a week or so.


2This past spring I was very busy doing some shrub and tree planting and wall building which required dirt, mulch, stone, limestone screening and fertilizer. When the need arrived, I had the option to go to a big box retailer such as Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards. The other alternative was Ace, which is located in Libertyville, Il, within walking distance of my home.

There’s no question that I typically find better deals at Home Depot or Lowe’s on many of the lawn fertilizer, dirt and mulch. I said ‘typically’ because Ace sometimes is quite competitive with their sales. I generally save .50 to $1.00 per bag of mulch or stone by shopping at a big box hardware supplier; however, if I need 10 bags, the savings is only around $5-7 by going to Home Depot. Trouble is, the nearest Home Depot is 7 miles away. Moreover, I typically have to load the dirt, mulch or stone onto my cart before it’s paid for. If it’s not too busy, someone at the big box retailer may be around to assist. Sometimes I have to ask and sometimes not. My local Lowe’s is less busy so they typically can lend a hand.

1Getting back to Ace, I’m fortunate to have one nearby when the other larger suppliers are 5-10 miles away. Yes, they can be more expensive than the big box retailers, although I typically save up to an hour by shopping at my neighborhood Ace. In addition, they are big supporters of the community — they host car washes for local sports’ groups and are big supporter of the cute girl scouts selling their latest cookie varieties.

My favorite thing about Ace is the customer service. I’m generally greeted with a smile and a hello as I select which stone, sand or limestone screening I’m interested in and from there, I pay for it and go to the loading area. 90% of the time, there’s a young man waiting there to assist who politely asks to see my receipt before loading my car. I can assist or join him in the fun. Being physically able, I’ll always oblige. I know where to park to assist in the loading process. It’s quite easy.

In summary, the3re’s a time and a place for the big box retailers and a time to support local stores. If I need some PVC pipe or a gallon of really good paint for my indoor trim, I’m headed to Ace. If I’m repairing a patch of grass in the backyard, Ace is the place. It’s just so incredibly convenient and fast. However, if I need 15 bags of mulch, some duct tape, and light bulbs, I may spend the time and energy and head to Home Depot and if necessary, finish my list at Lowe’s. It’s not something I think about too much — in my mind I automatically know which store is best based upon my schedule and current project requirements.