CXM in the Pharma Industry | The new competitive battlefield lines have been drawn. Conquering the elusive Customer Experience (Cx) challenge is big and hairy, requiring strong leadership, collaboration and new measures of success. This new trend is hard to get right, but if you do get it right, it is really hard to imitate, providing significant competitive advantage.
According to Gartner, 2015, “Customers punish poor CX's but reward great ones.” Does this apply in Healthcare too?
The Cx dialogue often focuses on the use digital channels and new technologies. However, while these can be differentiators, they are enablers of possibilities. Cx is a human effect. Interestingly, according to Forrester, 2016, those who invest internally in developing and empowering the workforce and equipping them with access to the right data and technologies, are achieving better Cx than those who do not.
So, Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) appears to be the next evolutionary function emerging in pharma, as digital marketing becomes normalised.
Definitions of Cx and CXM
- Cx, or Customer Experience, is the cumulative effect of a customer’s interactions with a company’s employees, channels, systems and/or products on the customer’s perception and feelings.
- So CXM, or Customer Experience Management, is the function of designing and reacting to customer interactions and feedback.
Starting Point for Your Pharma CEM Strategy
Let’s start where we are comfortable. Technologies and digital interactions are enabling us to get closer to our customers – whether we are considering the customer the patients, the HCPs, or other stakeholders. It is also enabling us to collect more rich data on our interactions with customers.
Here are a fex examples:
- The introduction of tablets really changed the way businesses operated as it enabled mobility for all sorts of activities. Seeing a tablet in the hands of a maître when you enter a restaurant, as well as the greeter in a store, or in your hotel room on the wall to turn on the TV and air conditioning, are all just normal experiences now.
- Self-service touchscreens in shopping centres, offices and airports are part of daily life.
- Smart phones took it up a notch, putting the power in the customers’ hands and where the customer was at any time. Mobile phones have become an extension of individuals in developed markets, enabling tracking of personal health data, social activities, photos and storing of private information.
Turning Customer Experience Data Into Insights
Using this data and making sense of it, is challenging. However, it is provides a great opportunity to incorporate insights in to a company or brand strategy, and accelerate improvements in the Cx. It is important to note however, that without strategy, and without relevance, it is still just data.
Multichannel Marketing (MCM) and in its superior form - ‘Omni Channel Communications’, was made possible fuelled by new digital channels including but not limited to social media, websites, apps, virtual events and more.
So, we can agree, we are overloaded with Cx delivery options and that can be paralysing. It can also invite complexity and inconsistency that will fail to deliver a superior Cx.
Another area paralysing Cx design and CEM is measuring the benefits and outputs to ensure we are delivering a superior Cx and securing the C-suite investment and support as a core way of doing business.
CXM Outcomes and Benefits
Customer experience research by Forrester, 2016, demonstrated that the companies that offer better customer experiences grow their revenues four to ten times faster than their competitors do.
Some of the potential Cx outcomes and benefits that are measurable are:
- Better quality control – real time feedback loops enabling remedies modifications in shorter cycles; lower operating costs; lower complaints;
- Customer Satisfaction – lower cost of service; lower complaints;
- Loyalty & Advocacy – reduced marketing and cost of sales;
- Brand Equity – reduced marketing and cost of sales; and
- Revenue growth.
Did you know that employee satisfaction has been proven to drive Customer Satisfaction?
[Forrester, 2016]. "It begins with understanding that employee experience, customer experience, and revenue growth are decisively linked."
Change Management Checklist
CEM may be a new function for many, but strategic initiatives such as the introduction of a formal CEM strategy and functional capabilities, will follow similar pathways.
Here is a short checklist to stimulate the next steps:
- Do you have a common vision across the organization that unifies everyone, and holds everyone accountable?
- Do you have a sufficient allocated budget and a leadership sponsor?
- Have you got the right people on board and the right technology in their hands? Cx traverses the organisation so a cross-functional approach is critical. You need the right people operating collaboratively. Get everyone involved in mapping the customer journey and give them access to the data and technology to ensure they are informed and can deliver.
- Did you find a way to connect everyone to the customer? The further you are away from your customers, the hard it is to really get to know them and their needs.
- Have you synchronised all your communications – right content, right recipient, through the right channel, at the right time and always consistently!
- Start small, and iterate over time. It is important to get the basics right first.
- Remember technology is an enabler. Try not to be seduced by the capabilities of new technologies. Cx is led by customer needs and is a human experience, often fuelled by technologies.
- New strategy, new technologies and new devices mean new metrics and measures of success. Are you measuring the right things?
- Have you incorporated secure, personalized, and fully integrated self-service capabilities into every digital interaction? If not, why not? It is not whether you have, but rather you know why you have or have not and you understand the value it is to the customer.
- Are you investing enough in your workforce? As a Learning Solution provider, Actando knows only too well, that training supports change and is an integral part of any change management program. It is also integral to employee satisfaction. Have you developed the right capabilities to support CEM and can we help you?
Jennifer Grech is an experienced Customer Excellence professional, with over 10 years experience working on the transformation of pharma marketing and sales, and a member of the Actando consulting team.
If you are interested in our mobile learning solutions on digital channels, contact Actando.