CCO Explains Importance of Associates in Walmart’s Future

Walmart’s first chief customer officer explains how the intersection of in-store shopping and eCommerce is the future of the business—and the vital role associates will play in serving customers.

Watch a video from our interview with Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside below, or scroll to the bottom to listen to a podcast of the full interview.

“We can’t forget: When you hear the great stories about why people love Walmart, they’re always anchored in some kind of experience that they had with an associate,” says Janey Whiteside. 

As chief customer officer, Janey gives a lot of thought to the customer experience, in stores and online. And for her, the key to Walmart’s future is combining the warmth and connection associates offer with the convenience of online shopping.

“Technology will play a role in how we operate—whether it’s delivery, store maps, or allowing customers to return items they bought online in a store,” she says. “If we can give people time back to do other things, then that allows us to play a functional and an emotional role in their lives.” 

Janey sees this intersection of service and technology happening already in Online Grocery Pickup and Delivery.

“Our ability to leverage our stores, and the closeness that they have to customers to allow them to be able to shop wherever they are, that’s exciting for me.” 

And what role do associates play? “What I fundamentally believe sets us apart is our associates,” she says. “When people go online and then to a store, it shouldn’t feel like individual actions. It needs to feel consistent. One Walmart, one customer, one experience. The more that we can deliver and personalize that, the better.”  

 

What’s Your Career Advice?

“Set a goal and then ask, what’s it going to take to get there? Then think, OK, what’s it going to take to get to step one?
What’s it going to take to get to step two? Breaking it down into those bite-size chunks is really important.”

 

“A Chief Customer Officer is somebody who stands up for and advocates on behalf of the customer, somebody who pushes the organization to make sure that we think about everything, starting with the customer, and then work back from that. ... Then thinking about how we bring it all together so it makes sense from a customer perspective.”

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Winter issue of Walmart World here!

 
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