What’s the experience that we want our customers to have? It’s a simple question, really, so why isn’t it front and center for marketing and sales people at oncology companies? Perhaps because being in the business of providing life-extending medicines to cancer patients, we would believe that should result in a positive customer experience. We’d at least expect an experience that’s better than, say, the next iPhone or a visit to the Magic Kingdom, and yet when you look at the Net Promoter Score for oncology manufacturers, the experience that they deliver lags woefully behind that of Apple and Disney. In fact, based on a recent research study conducted by ZS, we see that most oncology manufacturers have a negative Net Promoter Score, meaning that more of their customers have a negative experience than a positive one.

The reality is that the oncology marketplace has changed. It’s increasingly competitive and complex, with a number of new therapies and options—a great thing for patients, and a new reality for manufacturers of those therapies. Oncology customers have also been subject to change: They're strapped for time, inundated by the growing number of therapy options, and looking for value. Oncology manufacturers recognize the challenges, but too often, they focus on point solutions to these problems, rather than addressing them holistically. They create individual tactics or expand the set of roles and services to their customers to meet needs, but the result can be uncoordinated field teams and efforts that hit their customers from multiple angles. The need to proactively design and deliver a better customer experience is an opportunity for today’s oncology manufacturers.

Outside of the pharmaceutical industry, companies that have innovated to deliver a great customer experience have created win-win situations in which their customers benefit greatly from the enhanced experience, and they’ve reaped the rewards of customer loyalty. Despite the commonly raised objections—that pharmaceuticals is a regulated industry, or that products drive the experience—our study finds that customer experience does actually matter quite a bit in pharmaceuticals and in oncology. Companies that have found ways to consistently deliver positive experiences to oncologists, nurses, administrators and, ultimately, patients have enjoyed more consistent use of their products for patients in need, better access, and better engagement with their customers. And it all starts with asking that one simple question: What’s the experience we want our customers to have? More to come, as we get ready to share our findings in upcoming posts. #CXmatters.

Topics: customer experience, Pharmaceutical, Jon Roffman, oncology, CX, manufacturers, pharm