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  • Writer's pictureKarsten Schmidt

How to markedly accentuate personalized communication for superior digital customer engagements



Due to the pandemic lockdown situation, many Life Sciences companies are having no other choice than to activate, as quickly as possible, digital channels to keep up communication with their healthcare professionals. Different communication platforms for field forces are being activated so that they can keep engaging digitally with their customers. For these new communication channels, adoption levels vary depending on how convincing the new customer experience is, as seen from the physician’s perspective.


I have invited Michal Komorniczak for an interview to share his viewpoint as to how digital customer engagement in Life Sciences will evolve. Michal has been working as a consultant in Life Sciences for almost two decades focussing during the last five years on building innovative solutions for digital customer engagements that improve the overall customer experience.


Karsten: Thank you, Michael for taking the time for this interview. To start with, what trends are you observing in the Life Sciences industry in terms of digital customer engagements?


Michal: First of all, thank you for the invitation, Karsten. We do see that these days, companies are mainly relying on channels that can be activated relatively quickly: traditional emails and on-line meetings whether 1 to 1 or digital events.


Karsten: I have heard that lately there is a level of saturation and fatigue felt by physicians who have adopted digital engagements with field reps? Do you have the same impression?


Michal: I very much agree with you, Karsten. The number of emails and on-line meeting requests that HCPs are receiving result in overabundance. In the past, HCPs were receiving two to three emails daily. Now one of the HCPs I spoke with recently said that she is receiving on average 15 emails. Multiply that by 5 days. That’s 75 emails weekly! It's not possible to engage with all that email content nor participate in all the online meeting requests (whether live or on-demand).


Speaking of on-line meetings, there is one additional hurdle - the technology barrier. Often, to attend a meeting, HCPs have to download an app or some sort of plug-in. Considering their busy schedules, and lack of dedicated IT support they often end up cancelling their participation all together.


Illustration of digital channel saturation versus innovation

Karsten: What can be done to overcome these digital engagement obstacles?


Michal: There are a couple of things that I personally would consider.


First, in my opinion, pharma companies should look for ways of reaching out to HCPs via uncluttered communication channels. Channels that are not requiring HCP to download any apps or passwords to remember. Secondly, for this communication to work, it should be personalized. Content should ideally come from the source that HCPs know. This could be the Medical Representative, MSL, or well-known KEE (Key External Experts). There is a variety of ways to personalize content, my favourite example: personalized, short pre-recorded videos coming from MSL/Rep or KEE. Video easily transmits emotions, so important in person to person communication, something that emails are obviously lacking (hence, I think, the rise of all kinds of emojis ☺).


This leads me to the third point. For communication to be effective it should allow for effortless consumption of content that HCPs can access at their convenience, short, precise, to the point, meaningful information, adding value to HCP’s daily practice.


Karsten: From your perspective, what is the right mix between face-to-face versus remote/digital customer engagements under the new normal conditions?


Michal: You are absolutely right. There should be a balance between face-to-face and digital, ideally a face to face interaction augmented by digital follow up. Let's not forget HCPs are busy, after seeing the rep and dozens of patients, it is natural that they may not remember all that was discussed during the meeting. This is where digital communication comes in, precisely in form of a concise, personalized video message.


Karsten: What new trends do you see emerge in the near future to further improve customer experiences?


Michal: I would highlight a couple of points:

  1. Smartphone is HCPs new primary device through which they access digital content. Make sure that your content is ready for that.

  2. Use video. There is a growing evidence that recipients prefer video content over text.

  3. Leverage the existing relationship with HCP. Include short videos from your MSL or Rep.

  4. Last but not least – focus on the quality of content. According to the recent Accenture study, 58% of HCPs agreed that at least one pharmaceutical company ‘spammed’ them with digital content during COVID-19. Make sure that you deliver value added content that your customers expect, especially these days.

Karsten: Thank you, Michal for sharing your perspective on this topic which undoubtedly has a high priority for many Life Sciences companies in current times.


In summary, we can say that the activation of digital channels should be a frictionless, content-rich experience for Healthcare professionals which can be markedly accentuated by adding a personalized touch to existing in-field team relationships.


What is your experience with activating digital channels? Please feel free to comment below.If you find this article interesting, please like or share it. If you have further questions with regard to this topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@xeleratio.com or Michal.Komorniczak@connectmedica.com


 

Xeleratio Consulting Ltd.

We help Life Sciences executives improve sales performance with innovative best-in-class Business Excellence tools and methodologies . Expertise in Business Excellence has been gained with over 12 years of working in different global and regional roles in the Life Sciences industry.


 

Please feel free to reach out and request a free strategy session whenever convenient.


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