Walgreens stops wishing shoppers ‘be well’
Walgreens has officially dropped the requirement that its workers wish shoppers to "be well" after they check out. The change also applies to Duane Reade stores.
"It’s accomplished its goal of reinforcing our branding," spokesman Michael Polzin told CNN Money. "We’ll continue to build our relationships with customers in other ways."
The drug store’s slogan is "At the Corner of Happy & Healthy."
The "be well" greeting will be replaced by a new set of guidelines for checkout goodbyes that’s expected to be less rigid.
A Walgreens memo sent to employees this week attained by the Chicago Tribune outlined other changes in dealing with customers. Among them, associates:
- Should learn customers’ names;
- Should thank customers for their purchase;
- No longer have to say, "Welcome to Walgreens" when a customer enters the store. Instead, they could offer a cheery "Good morning" or "Welcome back, Mr. Smith. What brings you in today?"
A Facebook page, "Walgreens Gone Wrong," set up earlier last year by a workers advocacy group provided a forum for workers as well as some shoppers to voice their frustrations over the policy.
In many cases, such as someone buying cigarettes or alcohol or purchasing medicine for a terminal disease, the "be well" phrase was inappropriate, some workers noted. The big complaint was that the forced script made the workers sound fake and insulted the intelligence of their many regular customers. A few called for more personalized communications.
"I love and respect my customers, and of course, want them to be well, but it’s just not necessary to sound like an insincere carbon copy routine Walgreens worker," wrote one worker after news of the change. "This is definitely a step in the right direction."
Still, more than a few last year defended the practice, noting that shoppers enjoyed being acknowledged rather than ignored. Wrote one associate, "Saying ‘be well’ is just like saying, ‘have a nice day.’ It is a Walgreens branded saying. This more than just a job to me, so to me and my customers, ‘be well’ is genuine. If you act fake about, it will be fake."
- Walgreens cashiers no longer have to say: ‘Be well’ – CNNMoney
- Walgreen nixes ‘Be well’ at checkout line – Chicago Tribune
- Walgreens Gone Wrong – Facebook
Are mandated scripts a viable way to encourage associates to be personable? Do suggested or required phrases make associates sound too robotic? Did Walgreens make the right change?