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1Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
SPOTLIGHT ON...
THE PHARMA
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Inspiring audiences. Motivating ch...
This eZine explores the concept of customer experience from a variety of angles, such as
the role it plays in adherence, p...
Defining the pharma customer experience
Shifting from product to patient centricity
Adherence: The patient is no longer a ...
4 | Customer Experience
v
With the explosion in connectivity, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops,
pharma...
5Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
Good CX depends on answering a number of vital
questions:
	 Function: does the pr...
6 | Customer Experience
To shift from a product-specific to a patient-centric model is
proving to be trickier for pharma, ...
7Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
Make it easy
Focus on making it as easy as possible for them to
communicate and e...
8 | Customer Experience
The realisation that good customer experience (CX) is important for the
success of a business is c...
9Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
Patients want to be involved in their own healthcare,
they increasingly access cl...
10| Customer Experience
WHO IN THE NHS NEEDS TO
HEAR YOUR BRAND VALUE
PROPOSITION?
You would be hard pushed not to notice ...
11Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
Changes to the NHS over the last ten years
has seen a marked increase in its num...
12| Customer Experience
WHY MEASURING EMOTION
IS VITAL FOR THE PHARMA
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
When writing about the pharma cu...
13Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
A little side bar to this blog post. Emotion has never
been defined, the word it...
14| Customer Experience
15Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
At COUCH, we create content that responds to the known
needs and preferences of your target audience, and elicits
the desi...
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Spotlight On... The Pharma Customer Experience

In this edition, we’re shining our spotlight on the pharma customer experience. We discuss what customer experience really means in pharma, how it’s developing, who your audience is and why measuring emotion is vital.

Read online or download your free copy now! Then be sure to get in touch with us with any feedback or insights you have too – we’d love to continue the discussion…

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Spotlight On... The Pharma Customer Experience

  1. 1. 1Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com SPOTLIGHT ON... THE PHARMA CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Inspiring audiences. Motivating change. Thinking beyond. ISSUE 1
  2. 2. This eZine explores the concept of customer experience from a variety of angles, such as the role it plays in adherence, patient centricity and, from a local perspective, the NHS. We also try and define what customer experience in our industry means. I as always would love to hear your thoughts on this eZine and if this something you would like to see more of? You can email me at ash@wearecouch.com or tweet me at @ash_rishi. Till next time. Ash Rishi Managing Director COUCH Medical Communications Welcome to the first in our spotlight eZine. We will be launching these periodically and the first spotlight is on pharma and the customer experience. If pharma can boldly move on from the past and embrace a new way of thinking – slowly weaving a commitment to customer experience throughout the organisation – they can make huge advances. For as long as good customer service exists alongside a product that works, customers will keep on coming back, and pharma will reap the rewards. NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
  3. 3. Defining the pharma customer experience Shifting from product to patient centricity Adherence: The patient is no longer a passive player Who in the NHS needs to hear your brand value proposition? Why measuring emotion is vital for the pharma customer experience IN THIS ISSUE
  4. 4. 4 | Customer Experience v With the explosion in connectivity, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops, pharma is finding it easier to keep in touch with their customers, this is creating a step-change in interactions, with online content and social media discussions supporting and sometimes even replacing traditional advertising and sales. Companies can also begin to understand much more about what their customers want and need. This two-way interaction improves transparency, which in turn can help to build trust and boost customer loyalty. However, this has not been a straightforward task so far, for a number of reasons, such as: DEFINING THE PHARMA CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE We’re not clear who our customer is. What we do has worked in the past – why shouldn’t it work in the future? We already know exactly what our customers need – safe and effective drugs and devices. Strict regulations make it impossible for us to change how we communicate with our customers and their patients. 4 | Customer Experience
  5. 5. 5Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com Good CX depends on answering a number of vital questions: Function: does the product do what the customer, healthcare professional, and the patient needs it to do? Accessibility: how easy is it for customers and patients to access the product? Usability: how easy is it for the patient to understand and use the product or comply with the drug regime? In order to create and maintain a good CX, the pharma company must answer all these questions and interact with the customers and end-users in a way that meets, or preferably exceeds, their expectations. If the customer has a product that works, and is easy to get hold of and use, this will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, improve patient outcomes by improving access to drugs, and ultimately boost revenue. For industries like biotech and pharma, changing this mind-set is vital, as the only way they can compete in the crowded and cash-strapped marketplace is by developing a value-driven CX strategy. Customer experience (CX) is the sum of every experience and interaction a customer has with a provider over the lifetime of the relationship. The pharma perspective on CX is more complex than many other industries, as it involves a number of different customers, and needs to bear in mind the patient perspective as well. The patient journey is highly personal, with interactions with many professionals at different stages and locations, including primary, secondary and tertiary care. Understanding this journey is an important part of building customer experience for the payers and budget holders who buy the products and services on behalf of the patient. WHAT IS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? Costs are key drivers for pharma’s customers. As funding gets more and more squeezed because of changes in global economics and patient and disease demographics, customers such as budget holders and commissioners are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the value of the products they buy. Patients are more informed than ever about their condition, and can access disease and treatment information (reliable or not) at the click of a button. Therefore, they want more than just product information; they want support in managing their disease. To achieve these aims, the companies need to build better connections with customers and demonstrate exactly how their products provide value and meet customer needs. KEY CUSTOMER CONSIDERATIONS
  6. 6. 6 | Customer Experience To shift from a product-specific to a patient-centric model is proving to be trickier for pharma, bound by regulatory and legal hurdles, getting this right is difficult. However, pharma, you can start by understanding what makes your audience “tick.” Sounds like a tall order? Not really. To create a model that appeals, you need to tap into neuroscience, which is simply understanding people. Neuroscience is the understanding of the way our minds work, particularly with regard to making links and connections. The brain is like a series of highways that are all interconnected, and during the process of thinking we make up to 100 million new connections every second! Through this, we associate some pieces of information with other pieces to create understanding. To make neuroscience work for you and help you create a patient- centric model that focuses on drawing stakeholders to your products and services, you need to drive associations and the connections that facilitate them. Some of the ways you can create the associations you want are: SHIFTING FROM PRODUCT TO PATIENT CENTRICITY 6 | Customer Experience
  7. 7. 7Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com Make it easy Focus on making it as easy as possible for them to communicate and engage with you by setting up processes in a way that feels familiar. This makes it possible for them to do things using an existing “mind map” or understanding, without having to learn something completely new. In addition, we want minimal change because it’s hard work to create new mind maps. Empower Patients need to reach realisation on their own,so you need to empower them to do so. Those “Aha!” moments when they believe they have understood something well enough to make a choice are the best selling tool you’ll ever have. To encourage them to happen, you need to highlight emotional connections by using terminology such as highlighting benefits, not features. That empowers us to make the connection between your products and services and the problems or issues for which they need solutions. Connect socially With social media now at the heart of (almost) every digital interaction, there’s no longer a free pass. Start sharing tips to manage conditions, make your social media presence useful. Try and move away from disease awareness, I can think of a number of prominent pharma companies on social media who are in fact scaring patients, patients want to be motivated not scared. To make the shift to patient-centricity you need to prepare for the future, which requires you to use neuroscience. And who knows, it might be easier to implement than you think! 1 2 3
  8. 8. 8 | Customer Experience The realisation that good customer experience (CX) is important for the success of a business is certainly old news, even in the pharma industry. With the proliferation of CX related articles, conferences etc., we assert that pharma still have a few challenges to overcome to implement customer experience strategies, and remain out of sync with stakeholder sentiment. Pharma struggles to accept that the power is now in the hands of payers, healthcare professionals or the patient. Ultimately though, the next generation will reshape pharma as they have already transformed other industry sectors. Pharma must focus on improving their customer experience strategies if they don’t want to be left behind. ADHERENCE: THE PATIENT IS NO LONGER A PASSIVE PLAYER 8 | Customer Experience
  9. 9. 9Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com Patients want to be involved in their own healthcare, they increasingly access clinical and prescribing information online, no longer a passive player when it comes to their own health and digest as much information as they want, at their own leisure. Patients each with unique priorities, expectations and demands, will have a large appetite for personalised information and real-time feedback. As patients, payers and healthcare professionals demand more, pharma are at a crossroad to live up to those expectations, piling on more pressure to demonstrate product value and improved patient outcomes. Today, successful companies base their consumer and business decisions on a real- time understanding of how their customer feels. Too often pharma neglects to fully understand or implement a CX based on the needs of the customer but it would be advantageous for pharma to begin investing in its customer experience strategies. This is always easier said than done. Successful strategies will always focus resources where they will have the most impact and too often pharma fail to focus efforts in any meaningful way. The challenge begins by defining who the customer actually is and pharma should start by being clear about this. THE PATIENT IS NO LONGER A PASSIVE PLAYER CUSTOMER SENTIMENT Research and measure again and again and again... If you’ve put into place a great added value strategy, what’s the point if you’re not going to bother adapting and improving it based on the feedback you get? How can you expect to offer a compelling experience if you do not know what they expect from you during each stage in the treatment journey? Many successful companies say measurement is the ‘voice’ of the customer and research is the only way you can understand customer needs as they evolve and change. Even more vital is that research is continuous and outcomes are readily available to staff delivering your customer experience otherwise the data is worthless. Tracking also ensures you know where you stand relative to competitors over time. Begin by measuring: How your customer rates their experience? How the CX affected outcomes? This allows pharma to focus on measuring what matters. In a world where your competitors can reach a global audience in seconds, ensuring that they are happy is clearly good for business and should remain a constant top priority. It isn’t an unattainable goal for every pharma company to utilise good engagement tools to increase the positive impact they can have on patient lives, by remaining adherent, and the healthcare industry more widely. And ultimately, if you are not making this effort, it is without doubt that your competitors are. BUT HOW ARE WE MEANT TO KNOW HOW A CUSTOMER FEELS?
  10. 10. 10| Customer Experience WHO IN THE NHS NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR BRAND VALUE PROPOSITION? You would be hard pushed not to notice that things are changing. Gone are the days when using a sales team to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of your drug or device would have been enough. Your product is now in a market full of ‘me toos’ and substantially cheaper generic drugs. Payers have the upper hand and in most cases, smaller budgets. What are you doing to stay current, demonstrating the value that only your product gives? Brand strategies are about more than just increasing sales. Drugs and devices are developed to improve outcomes, and this needs to be reflected in the brand, alongside the cost-effectiveness for the payers – the customers – who are looking to cut costs, including possible adoption of cheaper product options such as generics. To survive in this increasingly competitive market space, the brand needs to work effectively to establish market share and brand equity, protecting products against generics by building loyalty and trust prior to patent expiry. Communicating the ‘brand value proposition’ is an important part of engaging stakeholders in any marketing activity. However, with global brand teams building a global value proposition, they cannot neglect the need to remain locally relevant to succeed. 10 | Customer Experience
  11. 11. 11Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com Changes to the NHS over the last ten years has seen a marked increase in its number of stakeholders, including decision makers, influencers and payers, all with an increasingly diverse set of roles and responsibilities. The decision-making process has undergone significant change, moving from being largely clinically-led to substantially payer-led. These changes have left us with a multi-organisational and multi-stakeholder approach to decision-making. In an NHS customer structure that includes, frontline GPs, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), regional teams and national teams, getting a decision can be complicated and daunting especially for those companies used to working with physicians based on long-standing relationships. This complex web of non-clinical payers makes it harder for pharma to determine the best approach to influence customers, requiring specific approaches according to their differing roles. The national and local health economic situation will also affect how each payer makes decisions. However, job titles can only represent a vague guide of the specific nature of a payer’s role. Even within the same organisation, there may be one commissioner with a pharmacy or clinical background, and another whose background calls to financial decision-making. WHO IS THE CUSTOMER? Keeping up with these changes in the NHS will allow you to implement marketing strategies that will future-proof your brands. Therefore, it is more important than ever for you to truly understand your customer and give them the best experience possible. GPs are now responsible for more local commissioning, managing the total budget for healthcare provision to their patients, and having the right to veto service changes. At the next level up, commissioning support units (CSUs) support the CCGs and focus on helping the commissioners to improve patient care. This switch from top-down control to local decision- making allows a broader value- based approach, with a commitment to money-saving, reducing wastage and increasing efficiency. A spectrum of initiatives have emerged from this financial approach, including a longer-term focus on disease prevention through healthier lifestyles. However, by focusing on engagement and aligning with the needs of the customer, companies can work with payers to help to save money elsewhere in the system. Working with stakeholders in your NHS communications when creating your value proposition during your brand planning is increasingly useful when planning for the future, taking into account customer needs with the aim of driving brand uptake. Recognising the different payer audiences is vital to building the customer experience strategy, as well as understanding the patient journey and developing materials and content that can provide patient support and position brands alongside the patient journey. HOW IS THE NHS CHANGING?
  12. 12. 12| Customer Experience WHY MEASURING EMOTION IS VITAL FOR THE PHARMA CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE When writing about the pharma customer experience, we have often spoken of the benefits insight-driven research has, we often say it’s the best and only way to understand the needs of the customer, and find out what they expect from your brand. However, once you have understood the needs of your target audience, what comes next? In an industry where it is becoming harder to be heard, combined with the naturally (and perhaps increasingly) short attention span of many human beings, storytelling can offer a different approach to delivering relevant, meaningful and memorable information and create long lasting connections with stakeholders. Stories are also more likely to create a two-way exchange of information, as they will fit in with a stakeholder’s emotional experience. Stories after all are about people, their problems and the solutions, and therefore can work at a number of levels, especially for the healthcare professional looking to solve a problem, and the patient who may have difficulty understanding or acting on health information. 12 | Customer Experience
  13. 13. 13Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com A little side bar to this blog post. Emotion has never been defined, the word itself derives from the Latin ‘emovere’, which is to excite, agitate or create a shift in feelings. In 1981, Kleinginna and Klenginna created the closest to an accepted definition, they defined emotion as a complex set of interactions which can: causepleasure/displeasure create cognitive processes, such as labelling or appraisals activate physiological adjustments to pleasurable conditions lead to behaviour that is often expressive, goal directed and adaptive. The last point can be instrumental in eliciting a change in behaviour, such as prescribing patterns or health choices. References Cooper, P. and J. Pawle, Measuring Emotion in Brand Connections, in Innovate ES-OMAR Conference. 2005: Paris. DEFINING EMOTION To build trust in a pharmaceutical brand there needs to be familiarity, function and also an emotional connection. That emotional connection to a product and the relational strengths of companies and representatives can be almost as important as the product’s functional characteristics in driving trust and, ultimately, preference and prescribing behaviour. THE ROLE OF EMOTION Storytelling is an important tool for building trust and engagement with patients and healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and other caregivers. There needs to be an emotional bond created by a story. This is because emotion is an important storytelling tool – the contribution of emotional factors in making a decision about a brand is as much as 85%, and pays a greater role than functional factors1. While this is based on a study about cars, cereals and magazines, the levels of emotional connectivity are likely to be as great for healthcare products, and perhaps even greater, considering the role they play in our families’ lives. STORIES AND EMOTION The ability of brands to measure real, unarticulated and constantly expanding emotional customer expectations is where an advantage is won. Successful brands need to use authentic storytelling and position themselves meaningfully to appeal to emotional values of customers. They need to recognise that the experience and emotional investment of a customer is key. According to experts, in fact, emotions influence behaviour far more than quantifiable metrics.
  14. 14. 14| Customer Experience
  15. 15. 15Customer Experience |www.wearecouch.com
  16. 16. At COUCH, we create content that responds to the known needs and preferences of your target audience, and elicits the desired response from them. www.wearecouch.com © COUCH 2016.l if i

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In this edition, we’re shining our spotlight on the pharma customer experience. We discuss what customer experience really means in pharma, how it’s developing, who your audience is and why measuring emotion is vital. Read online or download your free copy now! Then be sure to get in touch with us with any feedback or insights you have too – we’d love to continue the discussion…

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