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How to optimize the HCP customer experience in the post-lockdown era

Pharma and healthcare companies have traditionally relied on face-to-face networking to engage with healthcare professionals (HCPs). Of course, the global pandemic has seen the usual ways of doing this come to a grinding halt.

During this time, activities that were core to healthcare sector have all been cancelled, postponed or virtualized. Conferences, symposiums, seminars, workshops, and face-to-face meetings have all fallen by the wayside. 

Everyone has shifted to digital interactions for everyday work. Video meetings have become standard. This offers routine efficiency, and ways to collaborate and communicate with colleagues and partners. But trying to create or even maintain engagement levels with your HCP audience can be a huge challenge.

The challenge also presents an opportunity

This also presents an opportunity. Those that can become more sophisticated in their approach can make huge competitive gains. How can you elevate above the new norm, and really achieve the engagement you are looking for?

The key to success lies in smart use of the latest technology. And integrating it where you can with your existing digital platforms. It may well mean exploring new ways to deliver content. And different content formats too. Above all, it means being mindful of attitudinal shifts. In short, being tuned into the information that your HCP audience needs.  And how they like to engage and interact.

Don’t just replicate: innovate

So, is it just about re-creating physical events, online? Not quite. Yes, you can just think about digital events as an executional spin-off. However, the near-identical replication of a physical event in digital media, isn’t the best way forward. It might tick a box, but it won’t necessarily optimize your HCP customer experience. A simple mirroring process can mean things get ‘lost in translation’. You don’t want to lose track of your desired tactical outcomes. Nor to miss out on channel-specific engagement. Above all, you need to be sure your digital efforts will deliver successful HCP engagement.

How then, can you effectively transition from physical to virtual events? How do you do optimize the HCP customer experience? How can you be sure to succeed in these ongoing uncertain times?

Identify the needs of your HCPs – and align your strategy to match

To transition from in-person to virtual environments requires pharma and healthcare brands to really tune in to the motivations and core behaviours of their audience. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your physician audience. What information are they looking for in their daily practice? How can you serve those needs? Also, where are they looking for that information and how are you making your content accessible to them?

Power the virtual experience with engaging content

Today’s HCPs expect relevant content. How will you ensure that you can serve them, anytime, anywhere, across formats and devices? To keep up with expectations, brands must consider how to create an improved, sustainable, and differentiated customer experience.

A useful approach then, is to consider how you can engage HCPs using a variety of content programming, formats and delivery methods. You might create an interactive or impressive educational experience through engaging visuals, data sets or videos. You may even introduce gamification tactics to increase share of mind, attention-time, deepen engagement, and increase the fun factor.

Use available data insights 

The various digital applications in your organization can offer up a huge amount of data insights. You must apply them. For example, look to map rep-enabled interactions captured in CRM tools to actions taken elsewhere by your HCP audience. This could be through portals, professional forums or virtual meetings.

This is because it will allow you to refine your segmentation and targeting tactics. And similarly, to better understand the needs of your audience. In this way, you can determine the best way to deliver optimal experiences.

Deliver a seamless HCP customer experience 

Think beyond individual engagement channels. Focus, instead on delivering a seamless overall customer experience. With HCPs, this will mean regular delivery of valuable content. It can also give access to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). Crucially, it can also offer valuable opportunities to interact and network.

These integrated experiences can be achieved in different ways. These could include, for example, videos, webinars, virtual meetings and conferences, and interactive portals. Ultimately, it’s all about earning and holding attention. Above all. by providing cohesive, immersive experiences for your customers you can create the engagement you want.

The exciting news is that this is all possible using the latest technologies . To summarize: first and foremost they will help you deliver value to your customers. What’s more they will also give you valuable insights and learnings. Using these, you can lean about their ongoing preferences, and further optimize how you engage.

Do contact us to find out how we can help with your digital, online and virtual event requirements.  

About the author

Sherlynn is one of Asia's digital healthcare pioneers in multichannel HCP engagement, having spent over 13 years managing and innovating one of Asia's largest multi-channel healthcare professional platform and network. She’s a believer in metrics that matter, and devising omnichannel HCP engagement strategies on a deeper level beyond campaigns, buzzwords and vanity metrics to develop a sustainable, closed-loop, customer-centric digital engagement framework.

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