o what is CX, anyway?
At its core, “Customer experience,” or CX, is shorthand for
the relationship between a
customer and a company, even if that company is removed from the point of sale. The
CX relationship should stretch across all
touchpoints both physical and virtual and
all media in between. Today’s customers
expect companies to know and understand
them, creating a seamless experience across
the entire customer-company relationship.
Is CX a new concept in marketing?
Not at all. Disney was creating great CX
at its parks 40 years ago, providing memorable, emotional experiences that kept
visitors coming back again and again.
But marketers are thinking more deeply
about CX today because customers are demanding products with great service, and
cloud-based technologies are simplifying
the foundation that’s required to deliver it.
Companies that only provide great products won’t succeed when the bar has been
set by CX superstars like Starbucks, Virgin
Atlantic, Amazon, et cetera.
What might great CX look like in
the HCP context?
An endocrinologist wakes up and does
what we all do when we wake up – she
checks her email. She sees and reads a
pharma company email message (that has
been A/B tested to ensure it attracts her attention) about the efficacy and safety of a
particular brand. She clicks a link to learn
more and spends four minutes engaging
with the brand’s content. Later in the day,
she encounters a sales rep from that company. That sales rep knows that the endocrinologist has been reading about his
brand’s efficacy and offers additional information on cost and coverage, because the
predictive analytics engine the rep uses in
pre-call planning indicates the likelihood
of success when orchestrating messages
in that order. Later that night the endocrinologist performs a search and visits the
website which is tailored to her on her tablet promoting patient support materials to
compliment the messages from earlier in
the day. Great CX would track and respond
to that endocrinologist throughout her day,
from the email in the morning to the sales
rep in the afternoon to the MOA videos she
watches or the copay information she forwards to a patient in the evening. And great
CX would adapt immediately to that endocrinologist’s actions at every touchpoint,
anticipating her needs while driving the
brand’s business goals.
Is all that really happening yet?
No, because there’s still too much lag between the data feeds, and, as an industry,
we are still in the infancy of figuring out
how to utilize them in a timely fashion.
Companies are beginning to invest in
the infrastructure necessary to make real-time CX adaptation a reality, but no one
has quite gotten to that finish line.
So how can my company get there?
Getting to great CX is not an overnight
proposition, especially with large pharma
companies who are traditionally slow to
change. The best path to get there is via
many small steps that quickly build upon
one another while showcasing value to
the organization. No one is going to get
to full Disney or Starbucks right away. So
figure out where the goals of your brand
and the needs of your customer overlap,
and where the lowest-cost/highest impact
opportunities are within that overlap, and
start there. Think of it like fishing. Let’s
say you have one day to catch the maximum number of fish. You could fish in any
one of a hundred different places. The first
step to great CX is about finding where the
most fish are, and the best lures to catch
them. It’s not just where you might catch
some fish. It’s where you’ll get the most
fish for your time. Some of those places
where you might fish are going to match
your business goals. Some will meet customer needs and expectations. You have
to find the three or four fishing spots that
will maximize both.
All this sounds complicated. Am
I going to have to spend lots of
time and/or money on custom
technology and/or software?
No. Successful companies in this space
are those that spend more time in the
marketing of things instead of the building of things. Newer cloud based solutions
allow for quick setup and deployment if
marketers can restrict themselves to configuration over customization. Building
platforms does not drive business … using
them does. The quicker you can take advantage of such platforms, the quicker you
can drive revenue from your customer experiences. These cloud based technology
platforms like Adobe and Sales Force are
making it easier for marketers to create
seamless and orchestrated experiences
quickly and efficiently.
Really? CX doesn’t mean all sorts of
complicated proprietary platforms
No. Keep it simple. To paraphrase Jeff
Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park –
Just because you can create a certain cus-
tomer experience with certain segments
doesn’t mean you should. The simpler
your tactic is, the easier it’ll be to manage,
the lower the costs will be, and the easier
it’ll be to track and optimize and adjust.
Too many marketers make the CX mis-
take of making their tactics too compli-
cated because they think they’ll feel more
valuable or sophisticated. What they end
up doing is building statues of their brand
or campaign versus their original goal of
establishing a customer focused experi-
ence. Keep it simple … simple to build and
simple for your customer.
How do I know what tactics to use,
and whether they are working?
All marketers claim to “know their customer,” but good CX requires knowing
your customer at a whole new level. Who
are they, where are they, what do they
need/want from you? What are the right
segments, and how do you determine
them? What are the right channels, and
how do you determine them? Figuring out
the answers to those questions requires
data, and data science, and lots of both. Set
aside whatever preconceptions you might
have about your customers – go out and
do primary and secondary research, analyze activity data, use predictive analytics
engines. The fish might not be where they
were last week, or yesterday, and their favorite lures may have changed – but if you
don’t know about it, you’ll be fishing in the
wrong place and in the wrong way.
As for whether they are working, test
and optimize! Too many marketers have
the Ron Popeil mindset – “Set it and forget
it.” But the research shouldn’t stop when
a tactic starts. In my experience, ongoing
optimization can improve the return on
even the most effective tactics by 10 to 20
percent. Don’t ever allow any tactic to become static, because your customers are
And what about patients?
All this applies just as much to patients as
it does to HCPs, though the approach to
patients is a little different. For example,
let’s say you are running a TV campaign.
Your TV campaign is going to lead to
spikes in search traffic. What is the best
way to optimize your paid search investment as it relates to the metropolitan areas where you might be running those TV
ads so you can yield the highest possible
level of patient awareness and acquisition
per dollar invested? Those are the terms in
which CX marketers must think.
What else do I need to know?
Don’t forget the Airline Paradox. What’s
the Airline Paradox? Today you can buy
an airline ticket from anywhere, you can
check in and get your boarding pass from
home, you can use your phone as a board-
ing pass, if your flight is delayed the airline
will send you a text message, the airports
have restaurants and WiFi and phone
chargers, and on and on. Airlines are
more customer-oriented and transparent
than they’ve ever been, with the cheapest
flights on record – and yet they are even
more hated than they’ve ever been. Why?
Because they’ve set up an expectation with
one side of their CX that the other side
– the actual in-person flight experience
– couldn’t fulfill. All that transparency
just makes the customer that much more
irritated when he gets on the plane and
finds out that his TV screen doesn’t work,
the WiFi is out, or he’s been relegated to
boarding group four. So be careful about
the expectations you set with your custom-
ers. Or, put a slightly different way: In CX,
yesterday’s good is just not good enough
anymore. Customers don’t remember yes-
terday ... they only remember today and
what they want tomorrow.
I’m a little nervous.
You should be. Executing good CX is challenging. But you don’t have a choice, because your competition is already ahead of
Aaron Uydess is executive VP,
customer experience at Intouch Solutions.
Just 27 percent of physicians say that
they ;nd pharma websites to be a credible source of professional information,
according to a recent survey by Manhattan
Research. Seven in 10 U.S. physicians
agree that “It is crucial that pharma companies provide education resources rooted
in science to gain my trust.” However, half
of all U.S. physicians say that no pharma
company is providing quality scienti;c
62 percent of physicians agree that
the info pharma companies provide on
third-party websites for healthcare professionals “are always ads” for their products,
and only one in three ( 34 percent) trust
the information pharmas provide on
these websites. Physicians want more
from pharma on these websites – for
example, 54 percent of cardiologists want
pharma-sponsored continuing medical
education on non-pharma websites for
providers, and 46 percent of urologists
want disease diagnosis tools.
Nearly half – 49 percent – of physicians
who watch professional online video
agree it in;uences their clinical decisions,
yet 52 percent of physicians don’t think
that any pharma company is doing a good
job at providing quality physician video
86 percent of physicians use a smartphone to access digital resources for
professional purposes, but 41 percent of
smartphone users don’t visit pharma websites more often because it takes too long
to ;nd the information they need.
Source: Taking the Pulse U.S. 2017, Manhattan Research
Everything you always wanted to
know about CX* (*but were afraid to ask)
It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think.