For CVS officials, truly listening to their customers has reaped grand dividends in the brand loyalty department. Some companies launch loyalty programs and achieve early success, but don’t spend the time to constantly monitor and enhance them through effective listening.

Deep corporate commitment aimed at customer loyalty, customer engagement, and customer experience is an ongoing mission that is essential in nurturing brand advocacy. CVS launched its ExtraCare loyalty program 15 years ago, but officials are not about to rest on their laurels.

The highly successful loyalty program has helped CVS build and strengthen customer relationships, forge deeper customer engagement, and create brand advocates.

“It’s no secret that consumers have come to expect a more personalized shopping experience when they engage with a brand,” Michele Driscoll, vice president, loyalty & personalization, CVS Pharmacy, explained to Loyalty360. “At CVS Pharmacy, we are doing everything we can to meet that demand for personalization in ways that deliver true value for customers, and offer them information, rewards, or savings that are relevant to their everyday lives. At the core of this strategy is our ExtraCare program, which launched nationally in 2001 and has since set the gold standard for loyalty programs as the longest-running in the drugstore space with nearly one in four Americans active in the program today. Our ExtraCare program helps us better understand our customers and, in turn, they love the value they get from it.”

ExtraBucks Rewards continues to be a critical piece of the loyalty initiatives at CVS.

“We’ve learned a lot by listening to our customers and are focused on evolving the program to respond to their individual needs,” Driscoll explained. “This includes offering new digital and mobile touch points and experiences that make it easy for customers who are mobile-minded to engage with us in the ways they want, while also offering extra opt-in elements of the program that speak to individual customers’ interests – such as earning ExtraBucks Rewards for filling prescriptions.”

Loyalty programs are constantly changing, she added, and it’s important that companies continue to listen to their customers and modify their loyalty offerings to keep pace with evolving customer preferences and industry trends.

“Through listening to our customers – and responding swiftly – we are building a program that goes beyond monetary rewards – we’re building a close-knit customer relationship with our ExtraCare members,” Driscoll said. “There are approximately seventy million members active within the past six months who are receiving personalized value through the ExtraCare program. As part of our Customer-Driven Personalization efforts, we identify actionable customer segments, each with their own unique behaviors and attitudes and, in turn, provide every customer with communications and offers unique to them, and we offer both digital and paper options for them to receive their receipts and ExtraCare offers. As a result of these initiatives, we continue to see increasing customer engagement with the ExtraCare program at CVS Pharmacy. The ExtraCare program is a terrific example of this commitment in practice. The insights we can glean about our customers’ behaviors and preferences allow us to serve them more relevant information and offers, so we can truly offer an unparalleled customer experience.”

Some of those insights and relevant information emanate from social media. For CVS Pharmacy, specifically the ExtraCare program, leveraging social media helps educate members by providing answers and information in real-time.

According to Driscoll, the key to acquiring and retaining customers is to create the most meaningful engagement possible with all of them.

“Our ExtraCare program and personalization efforts continue to yield tremendous value for us and our customers,” she said. “Our top customers are among our most loyal and their engagement with ExtraCare is a key contributing factor to that.”

Creating the ultimate customer experience is something the entire CVS Pharmacy organization is aligned on and committed to, Driscoll noted.

“We understand that the success of our business hinges on the value we place on our customers and we are constantly re-evaluating and improving our practices to ensure the customer remains our number one priority,” she said. 

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