July 14, 2022

Innovating customer engagement in pharma

Dr. Deepika Salwankar

In a recent article by Alvarez and Marsal, the author commented there is a need to further reshape and keep evolving the customer-facing commercial models in pharma. It is time to acknowledge that customers value experience just as much as science.  

And I could not agree more, in an age where the industry is still figuring out digital access, we are bound to take our time in creating best practices when it comes to newer models of engagement.  

We cannot deny that the pandemic fundamentally changed the way we communicate with our customers in the life sciences industry. The face-to-face customer engagement models quickly took a backseat as the restrictions of the pandemic reduced the field’s meetings significantly. But on the other hand, it also boosted the acceptance of remote meetings and virtual engagement, as it was still critical to have valuable educational discussions and to have questions answered to patient issues

But as the multichannel engagement exploded so did the newer problems that came along with it. And while almost every player adopted multichannel or omnichannel messaging, not all were able to crack it. A recent survey by Accenture showed that 65 percent of HCPs (healthcare professionals) felt that at least one pharma company spammed them with digital content during the pandemic.  

To be able to engage your customers effectively and stand out from the clutter, we need to create a seamless customer engagement where our audiences truly appreciate our message. And the data shows that HCPs favor the companies that do it by being respectful of their time, needs, and preferences. In short, everything comes down to the right messaging and the right level of personalization.

I often wonder about what could truly make a customer engagement strategy outstanding in this post-pandemic world? My conclusion is the answer lies in creating effective bespoke communication with all stakeholders placing convenience, consistency, and relevance at the top of the customer engagement strategy.

And as the A and M article points out following the use of data analytics to improve engagement, life sciences companies need to continue their digital journey by expanding the field with multi-channel models that genuinely create value – and therefore are preferred by their customers. Novartis, for example, alongside 4 others of the Top 15 pharma companies have partnered with Tact.ai to achieve their goal of reimagining customer engagement for the "new normal."  

And in the end, all we need is a human touch—that is, nurturing genuine connections by making the communications feel HCP-centric and providing customer-facing teams with the tools they need to provide better customer experiences.

about the author
Dr. Deepika Salwankar
Community & Content Manager at Tact.ai
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