PatientMetRx® Blog

The Rise of Customer Care In Pharma

In a time when customers are better informed and have high expectations for product quality and support, pharmaceutical companies want partners who can provide great service to ensure maximum productivity and product success. There is noticeably momentum surrounding customer experience which is starting to accelerate in Pharma. 
May 3, 2021

In a time when customers are better informed and have high expectations for product quality and support, pharmaceutical companies want partners who can provide great service to ensure maximum productivity and product success. There is noticeably momentum surrounding customer experience which is starting to accelerate in Pharma. 

Reasons behind the Change

1. Increased Importance of Holistic Customer Experience. 

Undeniably CX has fast become the top priority for businesses. The “customer” in Pharma does not necessarily just associate with those who buy products like doctors and hospitals. This has become much broader as all stakeholders in the supply chain are important for shaping a distinct customer experience. Further, opening up the importance for Pharma to understand the level of customer care that patients are expecting.

Image showing customer experience in Pharma

2. MDR Compliance 

The EU Medical Device Regulation has forced companies to review their customer service processes. An example is to ensure the audibility of customer complaints. 

3. Missed Opportunities For Efficiency 

The supply chain and customer service has not been central to the attention of most Pharma Execs. For example it’s difficult to redesign processes around the needs of the customer when everything has been historically designed around the structure of the organization, and it is hard to create a business case for automation when a process exists in multiple locations inside the organization.

How Pharma Should Re-think Experience for all “Customers”:

“Discover” – Understand the needs of all customers that are relevant stakeholders. 

“Derive”Conduct zero-based journey design with a focus on improving current pain points as well as entry and migration points. Putting customer-centricity at the core.

“Deliver” – Bring to life by defining implications on the operational target picture. Including initiatives and measures for customer care, supply chain, logistics.

Customer Care’s Role and Responsibilities Advance The Customer Transformation in Several Ways:

1. Own Customer Journeys

Customer care controls a significant number of touchpoints across primary channels, making it the natural owner of many service-focused customer journeys. With insights from these customer interactions, customer care is also in a unique position to inform the strategy of sales, marketing, and product development, among other functions.

2. Implement Improvement Measures

When issues arise, customer care’s position enables it to take action to improve customer experience—either for one specific journey or across common touchpoints in all journeys. The function is often the first to detect operational and product issues: for example, one retailer’s customer-care function identified a pattern of unreliable parcel delivery first and brought the issue to the logistics department’s attention.

3. Catalyze Performance Improvement

Customer care can assemble a detailed picture of the overall experience through the customer’s eyes. With this perspective, it can identify the different touchpoints and channels in a given journey as well as the departments or functions that own the interaction.

In essence there is huge momentum in the industry and a major opportunity to be addressed. As the front line, customer care should not just have a seat at the table; the function and its managers should be prepared to lead the charge. A truly customer-focused approach would start by asking individual patients what really matters to them.

References:

McKinsey & Company, (2018) ‘From product to customer experience: The new way to launch in pharma’. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/from-product-to-customer-experience-the-new-way-to-launch-in-pharma [Accessed 28 April 2021]

Mckinsey & Company, (2018) ‘The role of customer care in a customer experience transformation’. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/the-role-of-customer-care-in-a-customer-experience-transformation [Accessed 28 April 2021]

Raabe, J., (2020) ‘Pharma: Why Customer Care and Order Management are on the rise just now?’. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pharma-why-customer-care-order-management-rise-just-now-julian-raabe/?trk=related_artice_Pharma%3A%20Why%20Customer%20Care%20and%20Order%20Management%20are%20on%20the%20rise%20just%20now%3F_article-card_title [Accessed 28 April 2021]

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