Customer Experience Roundup, August 6, 2019

Modern customers want convenience and control. They crave the power to get what they want, when they want it. As a result, forward-thinking brands are evolving their offerings to create experiences that give customers control. This week saw three examples of the evolving customer experience and how the most successful brands give the power to their customers.

Amazon Allows Customers To Opt Out Of Alexa Recordings

Alexa products are some of Amazon’s most popular items, but many customers have long been unsure about the practice of humans listening to Alexa recordings. After all, who really wants someone listening in to what they ask their device, even if it’s just for quality control? Amazon recently announced that customers now have the option to opt out of human review by changing the settings in their Alexa app. Before the new option was available, all Alexa recordings were subject to review by humans to improve Alexa services and better understand customers.

Customers want control of their information. Privacy has never been a bigger or more important issue. Google and Apple recently paused human review of digital assistant recordings, but Amazon takes it one step further by allowing customers to opt out completely. Although it takes some effort from customers, it gives them the power and allows them to take control of their data. Allowing customers to opt out is a big step towards transparency and greater trust for digital assistants.

Walmart Opens First Grocery Pickup Store

More customers are turning to grocery services like delivery and in-store pickup, and Walmart is preparing for the trend to grow even more. The retail giant recently opened its first Walmart Pickup Point, where customers can pick up items they order online without entering the store. The physical space will be reserved for employees fulfilling customers’ orders. The Chicago-area prototype is meant to test the concept, which is an extension of Walmart’s current grocery pickup service at its traditional stores. Pickup orders will be charged a $4.95 pickup fee, with delivery costs ranging from $7.95 to $9.95.

Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t dying, but they are evolving. Walmart’s pickup-only stores show that customers want convenience over traditional shopping experiences. The store is betting on the fact that customers will be willing to pay a small fee to avoid going into the store to do their own shopping. The element of convenience and speed could be very enticing to many customers.

CVS Rolls Out Prime-Inspired Membership Program

CVS Pharmacy is taking a page from Amazon with a new membership program that offers delivery perks and discounts. CarePass is the first membership rewards program to offer free national pharmacy delivery. For $5 a month or $48 a year, members get free one- or two-day shipping on prescriptions and purchases, access to a 24/7 pharmacist hotline, discounts on CVS brand items and monthly rewards. The goal is to provide quick delivery of prescriptions and other personal care items.

CVS is definitely taking a step in the right direction with CarePass. Prescriptions can be difficult and overwhelming to manage, but the new program makes it easy for customers to take control of their medications while also getting convenient service. Quick delivery and subscription-style programs are popular with Millennials and younger generations, so CVS could do well in extending its program around the country.

From data security to convenient pickup and delivery options, modern customers want control. Brands that update their customer experiences to provide innovative and convenient solutions will disrupt their industries and set the stage for future success.

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of two books, “The Customer Of The Future” and “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.

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