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Loyalty360 Reads: McDonald’s To Remove Soft-Drink Stations, Anthem Blue Cross Launches New Array of


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McDonald’s Will No Longer Have Self-Serve Drink Stations 

The global fast-food chain has decided to nix its fountain drink stations inside its restaurants. Due to the shift from in-store dining to takeout, McDonald’s has decided to remove self-serve drink stations from its locations by 2032.  

“McDonald’s will be transitioning away from self-serve beverage stations in dining rooms across the U.S. by 2032,” the company said in a statement. “The change is intended to create a consistent experience for both customers and crew across all ordering points, whether that’s McDelivery, the app, kiosk, drive-thru or in-restaurant.” 

McDonald’s has let customers pour their own soft drinks for decades, enabling dine-in customers to get refills to improve the value of their purchase. However, the benefit of refills has become obsolete as a growing number of fast-food guests prefer the drive thru. Even before the pandemic, more than two-thirds of the chain’s business came through the drive thru and has grown more ever since.  

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana Introduces Anthem Link Virtual First Health Plans, Helping Members Access Convenient, Affordable Care Options 

The health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, has announced its Anthem Link Virtual First health plans to eligible members in select commercial health plans. These plans give individuals affordable access to virtual care options, including access to a symptom checker driven by artificial intelligence, routine wellness care, and chronic condition management, along with behavioral healthcare. 

“These Anthem Link Virtual First plans are part of our ongoing efforts to introduce innovative services to our members that provide convenient healthcare on their terms through a range of options including virtual care, such as video visits with providers, and in-person care – making healthcare more convenient,” says Beth Keyser, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. 

The health insurer will leverage its digital health platform to connect health care data from various visits and providers throughout the healthcare system. This use of data will enhance the healthcare experience for consumers by reducing redundancies as people go from one care setting to the next giving providers easier access to the patient’s health history and information.  

The Anthem Link Virtual First plan is accessible through the Sydney HealthSM app. Members can access benefits, cost transparency tools, and resources they need 24/7. Members can expect virtual first plans offered by their employers that provide a variety of cost-share options including no-coinsurance for virtual care, guiding members to more affordable, high-quality digital care. In addition to having convenient access to virtual care, members can also see in-person doctors and specialists in Anthem’s broad network of providers. 

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Salesforce Partnership Leads to Serving Customers at Home 

In order to serve more customers where they are, Williams-Sonoma and Salesforce are teaming up to improve the brand’s customer experience. This brand partnership will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) and data collection to determine and implement the most personalized rewards and benefits to customers’ loyalty account.  

“We put our customers at the center of everything we do and are constantly focused on finding new ways to better serve them,” says Laura Alber, CEO, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. “We have always had a history of in-house innovation. However, bringing in Salesforce as a partner to help us augment that innovation and continually improve the connection to our customers, made sense. They are not afraid to grow with us and help us scale our marketing email program, while sharing a core value of trust.” 

With a more complete view of customer preferences and engagement, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. will be able to better anticipate customers’ needs, and deliver personalized customer connections for every stage of life. 

“AI is changing everything – customer experiences, company operations, and work itself,” says Brian Millham, President and COO, Salesforce. “The Williams-Sonoma, Inc. team is at the forefront of the industry, using data in a way that builds trust, understanding, and elevates the entire customer experience.” 

Here are some of the goals WIlliams-Sonoma has for this partnership and how they can improve the customer journey:  

  • Delivering Tailored Experiences: Using Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is able to create a unified view of customers across all of its brands and improve customer engagement. Soon, the retailer will explore Salesforce Einstein’s generative AI capabilities to deliver even more personalized communications, both at scale and efficiently. 

  • Faster Time to Value: Williams-Sonoma, Inc. saw accelerated time to value by partnering with Salesforce Professional Services, deploying Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud to develop personalized emails at an unprecedented scale. 

  • Accelerating Growth: Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is streamlining its B2B sales process with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, allowing B2B customers like hotels, restaurants, and resorts, to swiftly order in bulk. Both Sales and Service Cloud help the B2B teams analyze customer activity in order to create potential upsell opportunities. 

  • Increasing Collaboration: With centralized data and AI-driven search, Slack streamlines collaboration across Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s in-house technology teams. 


Read More on Trends, Updates, and Industry Leaders  


Original Article Links:  

McDonald's is getting rid of its self-serve drink stations (restaurantbusinessonline.com) 

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana Introduces Anthem Link Virtual First Health Plans, Helping Members Access Convenient, Affordable Care Options | Business Wire 

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Salesforce Team Up to Serve Customers at Home | Business Wire 

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