iStock 000018633820SmallToday there is a significant amount of focus on optimizing the “customer experience” for health-care providers (HCPs). But what does it actually mean? Well, like most people who want to check on the definition of something, I went to Wikipedia, which defined customer experience as:

“The sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship.”

To optimize the customer experience for HCPs, each interaction an HCP has with a company needs to match that HCP’s preferences. And this has to occur across all promotion channels—push channels, pull channels, marketing channels, sales channels—and it has to occur over time. No small feat.

To succeed at delivering an optimal customer experience to HCPs, we believe a company must have five capabilities:

Capability 1: Build a 360-degree customer database.

To optimize the sum of all experiences, we must have visibility into each experience. The goal of the 360 customer database is to capture data on every HCP engagement—offline and online, push and pull tactics—to understand what happened, when it happened and with what content. Storing and integrating this data to develop a complete 360 view of the HCP is critical to understanding their preferences.

Capability 2: Develop HCP preference models.

Using engagement data, we can develop HCP preference models to understand and then predict each HCP’s channel and message preferences across marketing and sales. Using these predicted scores, HCPs can be micro-segmented by value, message and channel preferences. A promotion campaign will be optimally developed for each micro-segment.

Capability 3: Design the HCP promotion strategy.

The HCP promotion strategy integrates business objectives with what we know about the HCP. Specifically, using the value, message and channel preference micro-segmentation, it is now possible to directly build 6- to 12-month campaigns that are designed to match the HCP’s preferences. Including value in the segmentation process ensures that the amount spent on promotion does not exceed the potential HCP value.

Capability 4: Deploy the HCP promotion strategy.

With the HCP promotion strategy developed, deploying it sounds straightforward. However, this is where companies struggle the most. The 6- to 12-month customer campaign strategies need to be translated exactly into the tactical promotion plan. This requires a tight link between strategy and execution and is accomplished by mapping out the tactical plan—month by month—for each campaign.

Capability 5: React quickly.

As the campaign unfolds, more HCP preference data is generated. There is usually a small group of HCPs whose preferences are changing. As this data is captured, these HCPs can receive different treatment to reflect their changing preferences. This ability ensures that customers stay engaged, instead of tuning out.

Delivering an optimal HCP experience by integrating sales and marketing has long been an objective for pharmaceutical companies. Using these five capabilities, it’s time to make it a reality!

Topics: customer experience, sales, marketing, Pete Mehr, Pharma