Over the course of the past few years, new technology has been introduced into the pharmaceutical sector, meaning that companies have had to adapt in order to keep pace with existing and new competitors. In particular, digital technology has completely changed aspects of the sales and customer service process.
In this post, we take a more in-depth look at the way this digital transformation has altered previously established practices within the sector and improved the overall customer experience.
One of the most obvious ways in which digital technology has changed the customer experience is during the diagnostic phase. Today, it is not uncommon for patients to check their symptoms, carry out a basic self-assessment and book an appointment with a doctor, all either on the internet, or via a mobile app.
“The typical patient journey is ripe for digital disruption,”Â says Ben Davis, writing for Econsultancy. “Patient portals, apps and online communities are increasingly commonplace. The second and third generations of this technology should help improve customer experience.”
These new customer touch points mean that advances in this field will drive many pharmaceutical companies to invest in training, so that staff develop the relevant customer service skills to help customers benefit fully from this digital technology and its new opportunities.
Sales and Marketing
In addition to improving the diagnostic process, digital technology can have a big impact upon both sales and marketing. Indeed, digital communication channels can be used to make sales, digital software can be used to manage accounts, and social networking sites can be used to introduce a full-scale social selling strategy.
Guerbet, a research-centred pharmaceutical business, turned to Miller Heiman Group for sales consulting, with a view to developing a more value-based approach. They benefited from the company’s Strategic Selling® workshop, which supports integration with CRM systems, resulting in a win rates increase from 49 percent to 67 percent.
“We delivered our core methodologies, which included Strategic Selling and Conceptual Selling, for all their sales force and the Coaching Programs to empower their sales managers,” Miller Heiman Group sales consulting experts Carle Lopez and Frans Coenen explained. “We also provided consulting and implementation support.”
Communication and Feedback
Finally, communication between pharmaceutical companies and their customers or clients has also undergone a digital transformation. Mobile video calling, social media and live chat functions all provide additional means for customers to get in touch, ask questions, make recommendations and share online content.
Of course, the use of digital technology to communicate with customers and clients means that new customer service skills will be required in order to meet expectations, remain competitive and above all provide a seamless customer experience.
Moreover, feedback is absolutely critical within the sector, as it enables companies to monitor the usage of medication and learn about any side effects or limitations. Digital technology and software can be successfully applied to this area, allowing businesses to monitor the number of occurrences and spot any relevant patterns.
In recent times, both existing and new companies within the pharmaceutical sector have embraced modern digital technology, recognising that it has the potential to positively transform their sales processes, and improve the quality of service they deliver to customers. Moving forwards, it is clear that technology will have an increasingly important role to play in the diagnosis of health conditions, the marketing and selling of pharmaceutical products and medication, and in helping companies to maintain an open dialogue with their clients and customers.