Greetings.  We all know that tough economic times require companies to do a better job of engaging their customers in order to win more of their business.  By staying in touch, being helpful, making life easier, delivering more knowledge and insight, making offers they can't refuse, and looking for any way–creative or not–to provide even greater value.  So getting a call from a company I do business with, even on a Saturday afternoon, should not have come as a big surprise.

Except when the call was from my CVS pharmacy.

"Mr. Gregerman, how are you today?" asked a pleasant voice on the other end of the phone.  "I'm fine, and how are you?" I replied.  "Great, thanks for asking.  I'm calling about your prescriptions," she continued.  'Prescriptions?'  I wondered to myself, only able to recall having one that I used all too infrequently.  "Is there anything wrong?" I asked, suddenly imagining that my pill had been recalled, or that they'd given me the wrong pill, or the wrong dose, or that I was about to have some cataclysmic drug interaction by virtue of eating way too much peanut butter. "No, everything's fine.  We're just calling to see if you need any more prescriptions."

And for a split second I wondered:  "Do I need more drugs?"  Pondering the possibility of some amazing pill or secret formula that might make me healthier, stronger, wiser, more beautiful, or able to recall unmemorable events.  Then, just as quickly, reality set in and I said that I was doing fine in the drug department–relying primarily on one baby aspirin and an undisclosed amount of chocolate (i.e., antioxidants) each day.

Then I started thinking about the oddness of a drugstore calling to see if I needed more drugs, and what special pills we might offer our customers as consultants, hardware stores, hotels, web portals, or government IT and defense contractors. "Pills" that could make them healthier, stronger, wiser, more beautiful, or able to create far more memorable results.  Pills that could make them more resilient in the face of their most pressing challenges.

We win in business by always looking for real opportunities to deliver greater value to those we serve.  Even when they don't need more drugs, they could use a bit more insight and innovation.

Cheers and don't forget to take your medicine…even if it's only chocolate!