Why Creating Compelling Customer Experiences is Critical
The scope of what we call marketing grows every day. No longer are there Four P’s of Marketing, I think we’re up to 12 and marketers need to be experts at all of them in order to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
It’s fair to say, in whatever industry you work in, marketing has long since moved on from the ‘Mad Men’-esque advertising stereotype to a discipline of big data insights, analytics and sophisticated omni-channel, always-on tapestries of content designed to live, grow and deepen emotional connections with customers over a lifetime.
One such evolution of the marketing toolkit sees businesses clammer to establish brand affiliations with community causes. The halo effect of good citizenship goes a long way to building brand equity. Think Tesla and electric vehicle innovation, IKEAs sustainability models and Unilever championing their waste reduction and recycling initiatives.
Today customers expect brands to both behave responsibly and create meaningful experiences for them. Experiences through a mix of media, especially digital and interactive media where the audience not only engages in dialogue but plays an active role in co-creating a brands success. Think: Likes, Shares, ReTweets and also how social ‘influencers’ and bloggers can almost make or break a brand in a weekend.
For all our progress in the digital space – where, from banks to coffee shops the adoption of tech tools to create simple, timesaving customer experiences is commonplace – the pharmaceutical industry has not done a particularly good job of providing these coordinated and customised experiences for their multi-audience customer base. Clinicians, patients, and all those across healthcare now demand better because if a local café can, so should big Pharma be able to make everyone’s life easier.
Mobile-friendly just isn’t good enough
Any communication tool with any degree of complexity should be built with the mobile (on the move, time poor audience) experience at top of mind.
People go to their mobiles to find information fast and marketers must tailor mobile experiences that way offering access to information, services and tools quickly – like health trackers, co-pay support apps, specialist or pharmacy locators, non-intimidating patient portals and concise, simple education.
Zoom calls with doctors (driven by COVID-19) have shifted our expectations – ‘connecting’ should be easier! Telehealth for example is key to an improved customer experience and requires reliable, digital tools and service models.
It is no longer about whether to adopt digital transformation, it is about optimising the acceleration of digital transformation.
Optimising is more than housekeeping
The idea is to make every dollar work as efficiently as possible. If customer experiences are to be a matter of priority for your brand, it’s best to pay attention to the outcomes of those experiences and optimise accordingly.
At what point do you consider replacing your legacy IT infrastructure and applications to enable rapid build and adjustment of customer centric applications that can scale as needed and ensure your customer experience is a unique selling point for your business?
The short answer is, NOW!
Optimise your language – optimise your services
If you have the right tools, the right platforms, the right third-party partnerships and the right IT Service Optimisation that can deliver; lower costs for IT operations, higher returns on IT investments, minimal service outages, the ability to establish well-defined, repeatable, and manageable IT processes then the improved customer experience may just create an advocate for life!
Integrate, integrate, integrate
Customers want tools and solutions that are applicable across the whole spectrum of their lives, and they don’t much care what brand is attached.
For example, many patients with diabetes have other health issues, too, like hypertension. In our present brand monument environment, that might mean one health tracker from the diabetes company, another from the cardio company, and maybe even another from the weight loss company, all beautifully lacquered up with each brand’s name. Or, the patient could use Apple’s Health app, which can take inputs from virtually anywhere and cover all those bases, creating a simpler experience.
Which do you think the typical patient will choose?
If the pharmaceutical industry really wants to improve a customer’s experience, it starts with building tools and services that can be tied together with other tools and services, even third-party ones that are simple, time efficient and immediate.
Some companies are doing this already – Sanofi with Google, Novartis with Verily, Roche with FlatIron. If truly integrated and meaningful customer experiences are to succeed, pharmaceutical companies must start partnering across industries to provide all customer groups within healthcare the seamless experience that comes from customer centric, optimized services.