Reps are being armed with more content in more channels to increase the number of meaningful touch-points with HCPs. Success requires more than just channel activity but rather the integration of channels and content in a way that creates a seamless more value-added customer experience [Cx].
For many years we have discussed the evolution of the role of the Pharma rep – from promotional message delivery to curating personalised content that takes a customer on a journey from discovery through adoption. This evolution is highly dependent upon the evolution of the organisation: their attitude to letting go of the old ways; building capabilities internally to support the desired new ways; and willingness to empower the field force to be a key decision-maker in executing the multichannel [MC] strategy.
The case for orchestrator multi-channel [MC] reps is strong. A multichannel rep strategy can:
- increase overall reach and frequency;
- uncover new insights;
- improve impact; and
- contribute significantly to the delivery of superior customer experience.
The rep should be able to leverage their traditional face-to-face calls to enable other channel interactions that add value through personalised service or access to additional relevant content e.g. remote engagements via email, SMS and virtual calls. The rep should also be able to drive traffic to educational meetings, KOL webinars, therapy area websites and patient support solutions, not to mention contribute to the collection of ePermissions.
An MC strategy can interconnect all channel interactions and content, with a clear understanding of the value each contributes to the overall customer journey. Content has to be fit for the channel and the holistic MC experience. The MC customer journey is rarely standardised or linear. Each customer can enter or exit at any point in any order.
The empowered rep will be informed through their customer interactions and MC data on where to direct the customer and how the customer can gain more value from the company to bring about better patient outcomes.
Customer Experience [Cx]
If we are able to understand what the customer needs to get better patient outcomes, we can design the Cx using relevant content in the preferred channels. It is this flexible content distribution that will enable both the customer and the rep to use the content in different channels in a personalised way that fits the conversation and customer needs at the time.
A valuable tool for determining where your opportunities will have an impact and add value is a customer journey map. The process can seem overwhelming because you need to consider many variables, channels and possible pathways a customer might take in the Omnichannel journey with your organisation.
A good Customer Journey map:
- is customer focused;
- informs cross-functional teams of what actions need to be taken;
- highlights opportunities to add value and the type of content needed;
- describes the strengths and weaknesses of current interactions; and
- identifies any silo’d activities that need modification to ensure a consistent experience when interacting with your organisation.
Within this map will be clear opportunities for the rep to share content – in person, via email, SMS, telephone, web meeting or even in print. Reps are informed of each customer’s interaction patterns and can then tailor the next interaction to deepen engagement and build confidence and trust in the content, and ultimately in the product and company. .
Customer experience [Cx] is the sum of all interactions a customer has with your organisation throughout all stages along the ladder of adoption.
The aim is to engage the customer in the right channels with the right content and empower the rep using an MC approach to personalise each interaction. The best way to achieve this is to work backwards from the customer journey map, rather than identify a limited number of channels that marketing or the organisation want to utilise. Of course, it may not be possible to engage in all channels at first. Developing a more sophisticated customer experience, and perfecting each channel before adding new channels, is often a better approach.
The Role of Data
The value of the rep has shifted – once a source of scientific information for HCPs relating to relevant disease states and related [company] drugs, to potentially using complex combinations of data sources to help HCPs stay up to date within therapeutic areas and available products and services via a variety of channels beyond the rep themselves. By having access to online real-time customer data, the value of the rep is now has expanded to that of a curator of content, to select and serve information to the HCP in digestible chunks.While it may not be practical for marketing to look at individual customer interactions across channel activities, the rep can and should perform this function in order to serve up relevant and personalised interactions based on the customer’s behaviours and expressed interests.
Within any touch-point is an employee action. Ensure that everyone understands the Customer Journey map and the strategy for each touch-point and how they are contributing to building a consistent Cx.
One critical success factor will be getting the right tools and the right content in the hands of the rep.
If you are interested in our mobile learning solutions on digital channels, contact Actando.
The Actando Consulting Team