Perullo Kipnes makes a point of stopping in almost daily at this Walgreens store for a consultation on makeup or to pick up a prescription for the chronic pain condition she lives with, which has a side effect of bruising thin skin like hers. For Reiners, she saw it having a negative impact on her customer, who she now considers a friend, and knew she could help.
“When Beth gives me samples or recommends a product, she always makes sure it’s something that works with my existing medications, and won’t irritate my skin, which is very sensitive,” Perullo Kipnes says. “I’ll show her a product and ask, ‘What about this?’ and she knows me and the products so well that she’ll say immediately if it will work for me. I don’t get that knowledge or level of service anywhere else.”
Reiners is representative of the more than 3,500 beauty consultants working in approximately 3,000 Walgreens stores with an expanded beauty offering (find your nearest location). Since its inception, Walgreens beauty consultants have been focused on helping customers improve their health and wellbeing through a passion for all things beauty.
It’s in the training
Those hired into the program bring with them a wide array of industry expertise, counting among its ranks licensed hairdressers, nail technicians, estheticians and licensed makeup artists (MUAs), whose knowledge and skills are made even more relevant through extensive training. With hundreds of over-the-counter (OTC) products for the beauty consultants to know, the training never stops.
“What really makes the Walgreens beauty consultant program unique is our investment in training and education,” says Jennifer Volz, Walgreens Senior Manager, Beauty Customer Care Program Development. “Before beauty consultants spend a minute on the floor, they go through one week of training with our beauty area experts, who are the trainers and mentors in the field for the beauty consultants and are critical to making the program work. Beauty consultants also spend two days every quarter in seasonal training sessions, go through weekly updates with suppliers to learn about their new products, and are required to be internally certified on skin and scalp care.”
Beauty consultants are assigned a minimal number of hours for tasks around the store so they can spend the majority of their time doing what they do best: consulting in the store aisles with customers and helping them find the right solution to meet their needs.
“They start by asking questions, and as they do, they’re able to make recommendations to a customer about what they should or shouldn’t use or inform them of possible side effects they may experience, particularly with the medication they’re already taking,’’ says Volz. “They’re there to be part of the customer’s beauty and personal care journey.”
Beauty consultants focus primarily on three areas: skin, hair and nails, providing input ranging from cosmetics to clinical. Beauty consultants are comfortable recommending a new lipstick or a better way to apply foundation, but they’re also educated on an array of OTC products and serve as trusted advisors who complement the pharmacy team.
A seamless unit
At Walgreens, pharmacists are the face of the store to patients, serving as a guide and counsel on proper medication management. Beauty consultants are trained to build a rapport with the store’s pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to create a seamless experience for their customers.
Cody Stroh is the pharmacy manager at Reiners’ Walgreens in Scottsdale, and works closely with her. It’s a relationship five years in the making, and, according to him, it’s based on a mutual trust and knowing they both have customers’ health in mind. That, in turn, has built customers’ trust in them.
“I have total confidence in turning patients over to Beth because she’s an expert on OTC products, just like our pharmacy team is with prescription medicines, and I know they’ll leave the pharmacy and the store a whole lot happier for having worked with her,” he says. “The beauty offering at Walgreens has really grown and developed over the last few years, extending what we do in the pharmacy to the aisles of the store. I’ve seen it add real value for our patients and customers.”
Real value for patients and customers, like Ferma.
“When I first walked into Walgreens and met Beth, I wasn’t happy with how I looked. I knew what to do to take care of my appearance, but I just didn’t want to bother anymore,” Perullo Kipnes says. “Beth has been an inspiration, and I’m now more conscious of taking care of myself, and love how I look. I’m so grateful to have a resource like her available, and all I need to do is stop by Walgreens.”