Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Walgreens Launches Social Care

One of the most gratifying parts of my role at Walgreens as head of social media is getting to see other people throughout the organization get excited about the value social media can bring to them, their team, our customers and our patients. When I first started at Walgreens there were so many ideas and so many areas we could prioritize. We needed a strong strategy; something we could rally around; something we could use as a litmus test to evaluate ideas.

As I’ve mentioned many times, for Walgreens, we believe that with social there’s a way to connect our 6 Million Customers with our 250,000 employees every day. Think about that. We have 6 Million customers every single day and we have 250,000 team members that wake up every day ready to help them.

“Connect” was a word we chose carefully. The beauty of the word is that it can enable a multitude of teams to deliver a wide variety of initiatives to keep Walgreens at the forefront of healthcare.

Well, in January, we launched Walgreens Social Care, a cross-team effort to bring even better customer care to our patients. Using the enterprise platforms we chose to manage and evaluate social AND the smarts of our most important asset; our team members we are scaling social across our organization.

We’ve been actively helping our customers in social for years. Even before I joined, our team was proactively reaching out to customers who had a question, wanted to provide feedback or needed help. But, this is a formalization of that dedication to customer care. Walgreens Social Care is just another example of how we’re helping customers by humanizing social media. With more of our customers choosing social media as the first place to turn for connecting with a brand, we felt it was important to launch a more formal destination for them to connect with our team.

Right now, Walgreens Social Care is only available on twitter. This isn’t because we don’t believe care can be provided on other social networks. It’s because we have a belief that insights are important. We leveraged insights from our social media monitoring tools and direct customer feedback. Those insights and feedback helped us understand that when we launched Walgreens Social Care, twitter was the first place to focus. Beyond insights, we also took into account that the twitter eco system is designed for real time personal communication.

Every day we learn something new, this program will impact future decisions about how we provide the best care to our customers. I’m excited to see how we continue evolving Walgreens Social Care and how we can continue to evolve social, as a whole, across our great company. I can’t say enough about our leadership. They continue to support initiatives like this…that we launch as a “pilot,” but a pilot that has a very clear visions for our end state.

Last June, just after I started at Walgreens, I wrote:

From the top to the bottom and across the organization, there’s a belief that social isn’t just an external initiative. We need to make sure we’re setup as an organization to embrace and leverage social. The scope of the role will include leadership across internal, external and supplier initiatives.

Walgreens Social Care is a very clear and honest demonstration of that sentiment. It makes me feel good to know that what I felt then is what I still feel.

We have a long road to go; we all do…any organization that continues to break new ground and boldly enter into social in an enterprise-wide way, has a long road. We can improve. We can get better. We make Walgreens Social Care something bigger, bolder, better and even more valuable. If you have ideas, thoughts or recommendations for how we can become the standard for customer care in social, email me directly. I’d love to get your thoughts.