To create better HCP and customer-focused patient experiences, life sciences companies need to focus on cross-collaboration and improve their employee experience. Understand what to do to achieve 1 mission.

A quick look at the Net Promotor Score benchmarks of top life sciences companies paints a clear picture.1 With an NPS lower than 20 across the board, it’s clear that even the industry’s leading organizations are not yet living up to the expectations of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients.

Life sciences companies are well aware of the need to transform their customer experience (CX), citing it as their second most important priority in a recent Reuters survey.2 Leaders have even admitted that 50% of their tech investment is going toward software that improves customer interaction.3 So, why are life sciences organizations (LSOs) still lagging when it comes to meeting their customers’ demands?

Other than the need to invest in digital engagement, a less obvious approach to solving the customer experience dilemma is emerging across all industries, and not just life sciences. A holistic inside-out and top down approach to operationalizing CX that focuses on cross-collaboration between departments to offer a seamless customer journey is needed.

In this article we’ll explore the reason why current efforts are not enough, and what it takes for an organization to go from being customer-focused to customer obsessed. Before taking a deep dive into solutions, let’s start by taking a closer look at the global consumer behavior shifts behind the current CX revolution.

Global Customer Experience Trends

While the attention to customer experience is not new, it became an imperative for nearly all organizations during the pandemic; especially, when it comes to enabling a better online customer journey. The change is mostly the result of three main global trends:4

TREND 1 Evolving customer demands

Leaders like Apple, Slack, and Netflix raised the bar on what a great experience looks like, creating a new expectations in customers’ minds. Because of that, customer expectations have become liquid across industries.

The same physicians that interact with your organization interact with Amazon and Airbnb who offer them a tailor-made journey. They now expect the same treatment from all brands they do business with, especially from ones they constantly engage with, like yours.

TREND 2 CX is everywhere

Investments in customer experience have historically yielded positive returns, with CX leaders routinely bringing in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors.5 Although its importance is higher than ever, the competition is fiercer, with 84% of firms aspiring to become CX leaders themselves.6

Additionally, many of the fundamentals are now commonplace. Incremental improvements to customer touchpoints have been happening for over 25 years, leading to new norms. Many touchpoints that shape an experience are now fast and intuitive, but also easier to copy, making differentiation in the eyes of customers much harder.

TREND 3 The need for purpose

8 in 10 customers today say that the purpose of a company is at least as important to them as the CX customer satisfaction it offers. This puts the onus on organizations to have a mission and to show customers the whole company is unified behind that purpose.7

This need for purpose is a trend that is not going away anytime soon, with more than half of Gen Y and Gen Z saying they prefer brands that make them feel like part of something bigger and connects communities behind a common cause.8 Similarly, with the right company mission, that is implemented from the top-down and connects to every element of the company’s internal actions and measurable key objectives allows for more internal collaboration which then in turn creates better HCP and patient experiences. We’ll expand on this concept of unification and measurability throughout the article.

Current CX Challenges in Life Sciences

Currently, the customer journey in life sciences is disconnected from a CX strategy. HCPs and patients are not receiving the consistent personalized experience they’ve grown accustomed to from other industries.

One of the main reasons behind these gaps is that customer data is scattered across different departments because of legacy technology stacks. “Companies have a huge amount of data but it is very disjointed and they are struggling to make that data work for them,” says Ben Smeets, President, Smeets Advisory Services.9 Data silos impede the ability to have a unified view of the customer within the organization, without which, offering a consistent experience to customers is not possible.

On the other side, rigid internal structures and lack of communication regularly stand in the way of delivering connected customer journeys, especially when they span multiple departments. Industry professionals cited obstructive internal structure and misaligned objectives as two of the top 3 three hurdles to overcome when it comes to internal collaboration.

From CX-focused Teams to a CX-obsessed Organization

In the eyes of customers, there is only one brand and one experience with your organization. But with customer data scattered across departments that work in silos, CX suffers greatly in LSOs. The result is a mix of non-coordinated group of emails, events, and meetings creating a disconnected customer journey that frustrating. It’s as though your customer is playing a game of ping pong with several of your internal team members – one ball from your field rep, another from your medical science liason then a third ball flies in from the medical event planners and lastly a fourth from marketing which arrives with a completely different spin just to make it really confusing.

That’s why a holistic and unified approach to customer-facing experience built on cross-collaboration is needed across the organization. In a recent Reuters survey, 39% of industry professionals agreed that increasing collaboration between different departments to create a customer journey map would ultimately improve the customer experience.10 This way, organizations can act as one unit internally and in the eyes of HCPs and patients, to align with evolving customer demands. In other words, with cross-collaboration, you can move away from CX-focused departments to a CX-obsessed company.

The first step is moving away from departmental goals and establishing a common company-wide purpose – a north star. “Having a clear mission gives organizations a digital posture that ensures the purpose is clear and that you are clear in what type of action you try to achieve, ultimately resulting in better experiences for customers, and more importantly, better health outcomes for patients” says Elena Bonfiglioli, Regional Business Leader, Health and Life Sciences EMEA at Microsoft.11 Not only does a company-wide goal enable clarity for teams, it also shows customers that your organization has a purpose it’s working toward, satisfying the third global trend discussed earlier.

The next step is removing barriers to internal collaboration by updating the existing operating model. Customer experience is more than just the responsibility of the digital team, it’s also a challenge for the whole organization. Eliminating functional silos to fuse commercial, marketing, and medical affairs is the operating model needed that flips the switch from engaging at touchpoints to focusing on the full customer journey.

Tech-driven Organization-Wide Customer Focus

If you want to rally various teams toward a common goal and get them working as a single unit, you’ll need the proper infrastructure. Currently, most LSOs rely on legacy CRMs and a patchwork of add-on technologies and solutions, which have often led to fragmented customer journey digital initiatives.12 More importantly, as these tools are not interoperable, they exacerbate the problems caused by data silos and make collaboration between departments nearly impossible.

This is where relying on a platform built with interoperability in mind is essential. Customer platforms like Omnipresence offer the needed capabilities to enable a coordinated, united, and customer-obsessed approach:

Improving Employee Experiences for Better Customer Experiences

The cornerstone of customer-obsessed organizations is engaged employees. CX leaders have 30% more engaged employees and just a 5% increase in employee engagement can lead to a 3% jump in revenue. With stats like these, the association between employee experience (EX) and CX is undeniable.13

With work now looking so different for all of us, even if only 10% of the workforce is remote after the pandemic, you still need to connect those employees and ensure that they have what they need to thrive. It would help to begin thinking about how to maintain culture and connect teams in a hybrid world. That’s why organizations today spend over $300 billion per year on employee experience (EX).14

Functionality included in employee engagement platforms like Microsoft Viva allows your organization to foster a culture of collaboration. This will empower even fully remote employees to feel connected by offering virtual office space, simplifying access to learning material, and automatically organizing content and expertise across the organization to make finding information easy. This is all essential to make remote work efficient and enable cross-collaboration seamless.

Enabling the Experiences of the Future

All organizations today are envisioning how to manage their way as we move toward a post-pandemic world. As the customer experience landscape is evolving it’s crucial to factor in global trends into future CX strategies.

Focusing on cross-collaboration and employee experience will be essential in meeting HCP and customer-centric patient experiences going forward. Omnipresence will allow your organization to do just that. It is a unified platform built with Microsoft Business applications, including Microsoft Viva, a perfect fit for a customer-obsessed life sciences organization.

Redefine your customer experience organization wide. Schedule a demo today to see for yourself how Omnipresence can help meet your HCP and patient needs.

Reference

  1. https://customer.guru/net-promoter-score/industry/health-care-major-pharmaceuticals
  2. https://content.exeevo.com/reuters-evaluates-medical-affairs-and-commercialcollaboration
  3. https://content.exeevo.com/covid19-accelerating-digital-transformation-in-life-sciencesreport-new#/1
  4. https://www.accenture.com/ca-en/insights/interactive/business-of-experience
  5. https://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/newsletters/Omnipresence/ 1-24JNIG7W/lifesciencesCX.html
  6. https://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/newsletters/Omnipresence/ 1-24JNIG7W/lifesciencesCX.html
  7. https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-117/Accenture-Generation-P-urposePoV.pdf#zoom=40
  8. https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-117/Accenture-Generation-P-urposePoV.pdf#zoom=40
  9. https://content.exeevo.com/reuters-evaluates-medical-affairs-and-commercialcollaboration
  10. https://content.exeevo.com/reuters-evaluates-medical-affairs-and-commercialcollaboration
  11. https://www.exeevo.com/cxm-is-the-new-frontier
  12. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/ourinsights/the-road-to-digital-success-in-pharma
  13. https://www.ringcentral.com/better-employee-engagement/10-stats-that-show-theundeniable-connection-between-ex-and-cx/
  14. https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/videoplayer/embed/RWzlgZ?autoplay=true