The pharmaceutical industry continues to make strides in providing life-saving drugs and medical devices to boost human health and well-being. However, delivering the best customer experience is only sometimes a priority, particularly in this industry. With competition rising, pharmaceutical companies must put customers front and centre to build loyalty and gain a competitive edge. Research indicates that customers expect consistent interactions across departments, with 74% typically needing multiple channels to start and complete a transaction, and 66% of consumers expect companies to have some understanding of their needs and expectations. For businesses to remain afloat, it has become essential to understand customer needs ––and even exceed them–– by investing in strategies aligned with emerging trends in customer experience management. In this article, we'll delve into the opportunities and challenges involved in creating great customer experience in the pharma world while highlighting best practices and trends of the future.
Challenges in Meeting Customer Communication Preferences in the Pharmaceutical Industry
The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated and has traditionally been opaque, with limited customer access. This can complicate the delivery of a personalized customer experience, erode trust, and limit the options for care. Moreover, the cost of pharmaceuticals can be high, which may leave customers feeling they need to receive value for their money. Also, due to complex scientific concepts and terminology, effective communication between parties can be difficult. Ultimately, privacy concerns may arise as companies collect personal health data from customers. It is essential to address these factors to ensure a positive customer experience in this sector.
Pharma companies do not fully act on their customers’ communication preferences, primarily regarding what types of information and services (content) they want and where they prefer to get them (channels). Content and channel preferences vary by country and specialty area. Still, pharma firms tend not to address those variations, leading to gaps resulting in low customer engagement and dissatisfaction. It is found that physicians:
Prefer Education And Data, But Firms Focus On Product Awareness
Both GPs and specialists want medical education and highly value new clinical data. Pharmacists prefer patient support materials and drug-related information. But firms aren’t adjusting their approach by country or type of customer, instead focusing on promoting their products. The lack of content relating to clinical practice—like guidelines, patient support, and clinical cases—contributes to low customer experience ratings.
Prefer A Mix Of Communication But Mostly Get Meetings With Sales Reps
If physicians’ most recent interactions represent all interactions, it’s clear that pharma firms rely on sales and medical reps to drive their overall strategy. Various communication types comprise the rest of the mix, with websites taking the largest share. While physicians value rep activity, firms appear to underutilize digital channels and likely rely too much on face-to-face meetings. While physicians prefer roughly a quarter of their interactions with firms to be such one-to-one meetings, they’re getting twice that many. To realign the communication mix with HCP preferences, firms need to complement—or replace—sales rep touchpoints with group meetings, virtual events, recorded events, and useful mobile experiences.
Why Invest In Pharma CX?
For pharmaceutical companies, Customer Experience initiatives are essential for success. Research shows that customers expect reliable information and services - and beyond that data, there are several reasons why pharma companies should prioritize this area. Here are our top 5:
Strengthens Brand Loyalty
A great customer experience means active prescribers and patients returning to your company because they know what to expect each time. Providing an excellent customer experience builds loyalty and increases the likelihood of continuous prescriptions for your brand.
A smooth customer experience can lower operational costs by cutting out delays and ensuring all processes go off without a hitch. Automating engagement tools, such as creating pathways for prescribers to connect with company reps, helps reduce wait times and instantly makes the necessary products and info available. This way, manual errors are prevented while streamlining processes and saving time.
Incorporate Customer Experience initiatives in your pharmaceutical strategy to create relationships of trust with customers through personal engagements tailored to their needs. This could involve offering access to online resources like educational materials regarding treatments or medications, personalized reminders about upcoming meetings, or even programs that provoke continued interest in your services. Doing this builds relationships with people with higher engagement rates with your brand and what it offers.
Customer Satisfaction Benefits
Understanding each customer's needs elevates their experience working with your pharmaceutical business, leading to higher satisfaction and improved relationships. Innovative pharma customer engagement initiatives can boost reputational growth, too - a positive experience leads to positive word-of-mouth, increased brand recognition, and more people exposed to your products and services.
Fostering positive customer experiences increases reputation growth, as customers notice when you consistently prioritize providing great service. Word spreads quickly of your commitment to an exceptional Pharma Customer Experience, offering more visibility and reach across the industry.
Best Practices To Improve Customer Experience
1. Leveraging the Power of AI
Implementing AI in pharmaceuticals has brought various with-it benefits for the pharma industry. AI has helped systems process information faster, elevating the standards of analytics and offering a holistic pharma experience to customers all at once!
For instance, Chatbots are one of the many technologies powered by AI to elevate the customer experience and ensure that customers are provided with the most relevant information regarding their queries.
CX software for the pharmaceutical industry utilizes AI to its full potential by offering businesses comprehensive analytics, reports, and automation, providing them with a holistic view of their customer’s feedback. Whether it is accessibility to medicine or poor delivery, customer feedback provides pharmaceutical businesses with the problem statements to concentrate on for improving their operations and eradicating the issues customers are facing.
This helps the pharma businesses correctly identify their customers’ plights rather than assuming and creating newer strategies to improve their CX based on customer feedback.
One of the most important factors for improving the customer experience in any industry is ensuring that the customer feels their journey is personalized. The same stands for the pharmaceutical industry as well. Customers engaging with any pharmaceutical venture expect to be served with options and expect their requirements to be met without hassles.
For instance, if a customer walks into a pharmacy shop to get digestives, they’d want the pharmacy to provide them with multiple options. The customer would also prefer they don’t have to walk the extra mile of going to another pharmacy shop if they prefer a particular brand of digestives.
This is an example of how a pharmaceutical business can offer personalized CX. This can be taken a step further through a healthcare feedback app, through which businesses can evaluate their customers’ feedback and ensure that the next time the customers return, it is visible that their feedback has been taken into account and implemented.
3. Conducting Customer Feedback Surveys
Setting the stage for customer feedback is the first step to enhancing your customer experience. Customer feedback plays a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry in identifying gaps and plights the customers might face. Pharma businesses can design targeted customer feedback surveys using healthcare feedback software and data analysis for life sciences.
A feedback survey plays many important roles, including getting valuable insights into the customer journeys. Through customer feedback surveys, businesses can identify how happy a customer was after conducting their business with them and what could be done to improve their customer experience the next time they visit. Survey questions can be drafted based on the customers' key requirements and expectations to evaluate how well they are met, which ultimately helps businesses improve their overall customer experience.
4. Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey Mapping is very intriguing and relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. This process helps businesses visually illustrate the customers' needs, journeys, perceptions, and satisfaction levels based on their interactions with your brand. This helps you accurately calculate your customer satisfaction and evaluate what level of CX you are offering your customers. This makes it convenient for businesses to identify opportunities to improve their customer experience and create targeted strategies to ensure the same.
5. Empowering the Customers’ Feedback
Reviews, forum blog posting, ratings, etc., are all the different mediums through which a customer can provide feedback. Hence, using healthcare feedback software, you can redirect a customer’s perception of your brand to your personal database by offering them various options to provide feedback. Happy customers tend just to provide ratings. Unhappy customers mostly like to suggest ways to improve your servicing, which can be asked via elaborate feedback forms, which provide a more personal identity to your customers’ feedback. This also gives them the impression that their feedback will be taken seriously, ultimately urging them to give your business another shot and improve their customer experience.
6. Create a Robust CX Strategy
For a CX strategy to be effective and ensure maximum customer satisfaction, it must first and foremost be led by executive-level leadership. Additionally, in developing an effective CX strategy, organizations should look at the following: consider who the customers are; what great experiences look like; what are the current benchmarks and standards of service; how can we empathize better with our customers; assess CX capabilities within the team; determine the prioritization of tasks moving forward; and decide on which metrics need to be measured. By taking these steps into account, companies can create a successful roadmap for achieving their desired CX objectives.
As a pharmaceutical company, you have the opportunity to keep your customers satisfied and build loyalty. Through advances in digital technology, personalized solutions, and quality control processes, you can provide customers with the best experiences possible.
At Agilisum, we understand the precise requirements that make delivering top-notch customer pharmaceuticals experience for these industry challenges: complex products, regulatory compliance issues, data privacy concerns, and communication challenges. However, we believe these obstacles aren't insurmountable - by understanding your customer preferences, you can craft engaging interactions that improve satisfaction and loyalty.
We specialize in IT operations; our services are designed to divert cost savings towards discovering customer insights that enable data-driven decisions leading to personalized experiences for each individual customer. To learn more about how Agilisum can help your business take its customer engagement efforts to the next level and beyond, please get in touch today!