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  • Writer's pictureKarsten Schmidt

How to reveal key leverage points in customer journeys for remarkable multi-channel customer engagem

Interview: Karsten Schmidt with Steffani Wilde

In our previous article with Steffani Wilde we touched upon the importance of building behavioural customer segments and now we want to shed some light together on the power of mapping customer journeys to build better engagement plans. Karsten: What is actually “Customer Journey Mapping” in Healthcare and why are agile methods relevant in this context? Steffani: Instead of focussing just on the products, we discover every phase from first symptoms of the patient to consultation of primary care, specialty care, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The reference for this is the customer cycle, you could map for every product or service; starting with a Need, Research, Selection, Contract, Use, Maintain and Recommendation. Agile design tools like user journey mapping can be very revealing to fully understand the disease-to-treatment process in every detail.

The Customer Life Cycle

The goal is that the user, patient or customer never leaves this cycle and always becomes an advocate. Journey mapping in a healthcare process helps to understand how different stakeholders (like referring physicians, nurses, family members) interact and influence the process. Potential leverage points and critical moments can be identified, where the process is not efficient, the patient might be misdiagnosed or does not comply with the treatment. In healthcare we often also call this patient care pathway.

Karsten: And how do you identify these leverage points? Steffani: My recommendation is firstly to map an indication journey with all the experience you have in a multidisciplinary team from Medical, Sales, Marketing and Advocacy. You start with phases of the process from the appearance of first symptoms, to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of treatment. Every action of the patient is relevant. Then you integrate all other relevant stakeholders, like the General Practioners (GPs), the specialists, nurses, technicians, support groups which is very much depending on the disease. The journey map is a customer-centric management tool for agile marketing & sales management. We learned from digital businesses how detailed they map all steps and clicks of their users. Every sideclick can mean they are lost to a competitor offering. Carefully and creatively they try to avoid any leakage or bad user experience. Also in healthcare, we realized how Journey Mapping can help the customer-facing staff to create empathy with their clients and focus more on clients needs and interests rather than on the product of the company. Leverage points can be identified were the user has a specific need or interest. An example is the referral of a patient from a GP to a specialist. In this moment, the patient wants to have a smooth transition, have easy access to a specialist appointment, needs to feel trust into the specialist. The specialist needs a comprehensive referral documentation, communication possibilities in case he requires further details about the diagnosis. Other stakeholders on this journey might involve accompanying family members, which are instrumental to motivate the patient and support treatment compliance. Research shows that patients after receiving the diagnosis of a chronic disease, enter in a state of shock and denial. In these situations, family members are usually the ones that first understand the meaning of the diagnosis, receive instructions for next steps.

Example of Customer Journey Mapping

Copyright: sWILDE Business Design

The example described above makes clear that detailed knowledge about those “moments that matter” in a patient journey can help to create really relevant services for stakeholder needs.

We need to establish empathy with the stakeholders like patients, specialists, nurses or family members and need to know their routines and information behaviour. Consequently, we know better what they need at what time and how to engage with him through which channel.

Karsten: How do you ensure that what is being developed in a journey mapping workshop gets actually executed?

Steffani: Many Life Sciences companies already established regular journey mapping processes, complementing the annual brand planning. The optimal case is to have the customer journey for an indication visibly pinned up across a large wall of the office or conference room. This ensures that people can ideate about customer engagement opportunities in the context of specific user needs. New market trends, changes in the healthcare system or availability of new treatment options can immediately be anticipated and worked on.

This works very well because people love and care for everything they have created. Services design tools like the journey map are based on a prototyping mindset. The aim is to de-risk, prototype and pivot before failing with unnecessary materials, like yet another patient brochure which does not hit the user language or another advertising brochure that goes straight to the doctors bin. A prototype of any service can be tested and improved with the learnings in iterative loops.

In summary we can say that journey mapping and identifying important leverage points can make customer engagements truly relevant and can help to innovate the healthcare value chain in our rapidly changing market environment.

Multidisciplinary teams in Life Sciences can identify leverage points by mapping customer journeys to better serve customer needs and to create truly relevant engagements. #customerjourney #commercialexcellence #businessexcellence #sfe


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.


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