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5 ways pharma can ensure omnichannel success

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Words by Davidek Herron

In his latest column for GOLD, Roche’s Davidek Herron, with input from his colleagues, offers top tips for pharma teams striving for omnichannel excellence

Omnichannel excellence in customer service is personalised, attuned to customer needs and highly coordinated to deliver a seamless experience. This approach is nothing new, yet uptake within the pharmaceutical industry has been slower than in other industries. In collaboration with Roche’s Marco Giannitrapani, Vice President of Global Data and Analytics, and Lanre Ibitoye, Head of Channel Excellence and Innovation, I have collated our top five recommendations for the pharma industry when implementing omnichannel strategies.

1. Targeting is out, servicing is in

The key insight that underpins our omnichannel approach is simple – healthcare providers have little time and are reliant on the ability to access information quickly. At Roche, we apply omnichannel strategies by assessing the needs of the customer using data and analytics to tailor content, which helps to enable more personalisation. It is also fundamental when moving to omnichannel engagements to change your mindset from ‘how we target the customer’ to ‘how we better serve the customer’. The long-term value of omnichannel engagement is that healthcare professionals receive the right content via the right channel at the right time to make more informed decisions with the goal to improve outcomes for patients.

2. Secure buy-in across the business

Reflecting on learnings from our adoption of omnichannel engagement, it’s important to note that we can’t achieve omnichannel excellence by simply implementing a technological tool. Technology, people and processes need to adapt and work in unison to achieve a high standard of customer experience. And, to truly succeed, there needs to be buy-in across the business, especially at a senior level. It’s important to collaborate and gain alignment from all colleagues to successfully and synergistically execute business strategies in a digital world.

To truly succeed, there needs to be buy-in across the business, especially at a senior level

3. Drive seamless customer experience

Seamless customer experience is essential, particularly as the pharma value chain is one of the longest and most complex compared with other industries. Therefore, at Roche, we aim to address this complexity by connecting the different divisions, functions and geographies of the business to consolidate the customer experience. Data, in all forms, are key enablers for this and play a pivotal role in connecting the dots. Integration of solid data platforms and robust data governance practices are one approach to ensure the business operates in a uniform way across all departments.

4. Be bold

It’s important to look beyond pharma for inspiration. For example, Apple doesn’t create a new website every time it launches a new product – an outdated tactic favoured by pharma. Regardless of industry, customers need a central point of information that is easy to find and navigate. Therefore, it’s important to apply lived experiences and don’t do what’s always been done. Look further afield and be bold in the approach.

5. Continue to evaluate success

While it may be too soon to decipher if patients are benefitting from enhanced customer experience, what we do know is that customer engagement is high, yielding positive feedback and improved satisfaction. Now our goal is to continuously evaluate how patients are impacted so we can always exceed expectations.

This column appears in GOLD 26 – read the full issue here.

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