Featured Image for the blog: Unveiling 5 Exemplary Customer Experiences by CVS

Ding! Your prescription is ready. 

The first time I got a text message from CVS about a prescription ready to pick up, I was thrilled at the convenience. But I didn’t think too much about it once I pulled up to the drive-thru window and snagged what I needed. 

A month later though, when I was running out of my prescription, I got another text message. It asked me to reply if I wanted a refill. 

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Well, that’s easy, I thought. And since then, I’ve been paying attention to all the ways CVS makes my experience so easy. They’ve continuously innovated to reshape their CX and remove effort for their customers, providing leading examples of how to build a good customer experience.

That’s why this month, we’re crushing on CVS

Half of today’s consumers have stopped doing business with a company and switched to a competitor who stayed more relevant and better met their needs. 

CVS knows this. So since 2017, they’ve been building what they deem “the next evolution of customer experience.”

And the work they’ve put into their experience has brought home high returns. The company used to lag in customer satisfaction. But now, they rank above big-name competitors like Walgreens and Rite-Aid in the eyes of customers. CVS snagged one of the top three spots on the ACSI index in 2019.

Let’s dive in and learn examples of good customer experience from a brand dedicated to changing the game.  

1. Delivering omnichannel experiences to meet customers where they are. 

My phone buzzes when it’s time to pick up my latest prescription, when it’s time for a refill, or if the CVS team needs to contact my doctor. 

Fast text messages let me know the status of my prescriptions and offer a channel to respond. If I want my prescription refilled, all I have to do is type the letter “R” and press send to process my refill. Why? Because that’s how I prefer to communicate. 

But for people who don’t find fast text messages helpful, CVS has other options. 

The brand doesn’t force you into a journey that doesn’t fit your needs. Instead, they offer a truly omnichannel experience. One where you can pick up the phone and talk to a local pharmacist. Or, where you can email an agent working for their customer service team. Even better, their customer service agents have full access to your customer history, so they can provide a tailored experience just like the one you’d get in person. No matter how you want to reach out, CVS doesn’t hide help behind a confusing customer journey. 

Your customers expect service that’s reliable, consistent, and personalized to their needs. Learn how an omnichannel contact center helps you deliver on those expectations.


2. They create standout experiences through digital channels and brick-and-mortar.

Last December, I was visiting family in my hometown in North Carolina. I stopped by my local CVS for some items (and a bit of nostalgia). But when I walked in, the store looked nothing like I remembered. There were displays of healthy grab-and-go snacks, digital touch screens at every checkout station, and beauty products that looked like they belonged in Sephora, not CVS.

An example of good customer experience: revamping your store layouts for customers
Here’s the layout of some of the revamped CVS stores.

The brand overhauled their entire experience for customers – both in-store and online. 

Now, in addition to picking up prescriptions in the drive-thru, CVS offers a drive-thru menu for other common over-the-counter medications, like Ibuprofen and Claritin. You can pull up and get what you need, without stepping foot inside. (This was a pre-pandemic move, by the way). 

What’s more? They’ve built vending machines for personal care items – like hand sanitizer, basic medications, and toiletries. You can find these in local malls or shopping centers. Experiences at your local CVS now match any digital experience you get from the company, too. They’ve nailed consistency in the customer journey. 

3. All decisions align with their company values, even if it means losing out on short-term gains.

CVS has a mission and vision for the company, along with a set of values that represent who they are to their core. And, they make business decisions based on those values – not based on throwing fast cash in the bank.  

Back in 2014, CVS stopped selling cigarettes because of their dire impacts on our health and communities. The decision aligned with the direction of the company and the values they follow, but it came with a hefty price tag – almost $2 billion

How can a company afford to take the high road and forgo huge amounts of guaranteed revenue? They played the long-game, not the short game. 

“CVS lost substantial revenue by dropping cigarettes, but they more than compensated for that loss by improving their relationships with customers, employees and health-industry partners who appreciated their dedication to healthcare.  It wasn’t painless, but it was critical for their new direction.” 

– Robert Glazer for Forbes

And today, CVS is offering up their parking lots and facilities to run drive-thru COVID-19 testing so more people can get the care they need. Plus, as they need more workers to help fight the pandemic, they’re recruiting from pools of furloughed hotel workers to make 50,000 hires.

Most companies don’t have the luxury of giving up $2 billion or hiring a crop of 50,000 workers. But the sentiment remains true: make decisions that align with your values, and you’ll build loyal customers who pay back the dividends.  

Acting with intention and connecting your team to purpose has big benefits for team productivity, morale, and retention, too. Learn how. 


4. The customer’s best interest is at the heart of what they do. 

A while back, I needed a prescription that was out of stock. My doctor wrote the script for the generic prescription rather than the name-brand – that way my insurance would cover more of the cost. 

Upon finding an empty shelf for the generic prescription, the easy solution (and the more profitable one) would’ve been for the pharmacist to fill the name-brand prescription, instead. But, CVS worked with me and other locations to fill the generic script and make sure I had what I needed, at an affordable price. 

The customer (read: me) was the priority, not adding some fast cash to the bottom line and taking the easy route. 

And, I’m not the only one who shares this sentiment. Local CVS pharmacists get praise online for their quick help and the knowledge they pass off to customers. Check out one of the examples of another customer’s good customer experience:

5 Star Rating for a Local CVS Pharmacy

5. Customer loyalty programs. 

As CVS carefully crafted the new wave of customer experience for health care stores, they did it with loyal customers in mind. We know that 96% of customers are disloyal after high-effort experiences. So, CVS built positive, low-effort experiences to keep customers. 

Then, they developed programs to reward customers who stick around – underpinning their loyalty and making it harder to jump to the competition. 

With programs like CVS ExtraCare, customers earn rewards (read: straight cash) just for filling their prescriptions. And, you can rack up more points when you shop for other in-store products, too. 

And, if you’re a frequent CVS-er, you can become a CarePass member to get even more rewards. CarePass costs $5 a month, but you get $10 each month to put toward your prescriptions or purchases. If you need scripts filled monthly, you’re looking at a 200% return from that benefit alone. Tap into the other perks like free prescription delivery, and you get convenience at your fingertips, too. 

CVS is a brand that proves innovation and low-effort experiences bolster satisfaction and revenue. Making investments in your CX pays off long-term – even if the ROI isn’t as obvious on day one. 

Learn what customers expect and what other contact centers are doing about it. See what trends are shaping other good customer experience examples in the contact center market, according to leading analysts at Frost & Sullivan.