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Whether we’re buying something as simple as a toaster or as expensive as a new car, we’ve all come to expect fantastic service at every stage of the customer journey. And as Adam Occleshaw, Ashfield Business Manager, explains, healthcare professionals are no different – they want the red-carpet treatment too.

We live in the age of the customer. Take Amazon: whatever your criticisms of the online behemoth, you can’t fault its seamless customer service. From one-click ordering and super-fast delivery, to no-quibble returns and now the new Alexa Voice Service, it’s easy to take such an effortless experience for granted.

But not everyone gets it right. We’re all familiar with the frustrations of phoning a company, waiting on hold, explaining the same problem several times to different people and being left with a feeling that nobody really understands you – or even cares.

Regardless of the industry, customer relations don’t start with a customer services team, they start with sales. It’s at this point that those crucial first impressions and expectations are formed. The journey may then move onto a customer service department and that transition should be seamless and integrated. So why is it that up to 70% of companies admit a disconnect between sales and service*?

Pharma companies are no exception

Well-connected sales and service campaigns should be the goal of any company. Sales teams need to understand their customers’ experiences, while service teams’ goals should be squarely aligned to sales – after all, service success can also be measured by revenue maintained and increased.

Pharmaceutical companies are no exception to this rule. They, of course, use a variety of methods to sell, inform and educate about their products, including field reps, clinical nurses, PR campaigns, symposia, key opinion leaders and comprehensive digital campaigns.

Healthcare professionals will sit on a sliding scale of involvement across these various tactics, from no awareness to complete immersion. But to bring us back to the age of the customer, it’s a fair expectation for all those touch points to have a clear, integrated and consistent customer journey with aligned communication throughout. They expect it from Amazon, and they expect it from you.

A dedicated customer service resource

At Ashfield, we’ve found that a simple, highly effective way to join all the dots and create a seamless, client-centric service is through the use of a dedicated customer service resource.

A service team fully trained in a brand can underpin all sales tactics, creating a common ground for the customer. They have access and clear sight of all channels, and can diligently map the customer journey wherever they might be in the process.

They can, for example, converse about the customer’s recent visit from the hospital specialist using CRM (customer relationship management) data, check progress of an order using procurement software or even arrange for training devices to be sent out. The possibilities are endless, especially when you consider that the service role consists of both inbound and outbound activities.

A customer calling in to query a speaker-engagement contract can be dealt with swiftly but also be provided with some additional training devices. Another trying to set up a new order may also be invited to an educational event in a neighbouring territory.

All of these service interactions are fed back into the central CRM for everyone else at the company to see, creating a holistic understanding and continuing the process.

Redefining excellent service

Customer service reps can give every customer first-class treatment by simply having access to all the systems and data in play.

We all know that securing new customers can be time-consuming, expensive work. And with competition stronger than ever, it can be just as difficult retaining them and building loyalty.

A remote customer service team can redefine what truly excellent customer service looks like for healthcare professionals, while also building brand engagement and being a genuine revenue generator.

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for healthcare professionals.

To see more information on our multichannel services, follow this link. To find out more about how Ashfield can create a better experience for your customers please get in touch. In the UK, please contact Karen Bell on +44 7823 535956 or email Karen Bell. For the US, Europe and Japan, please call Andy Holgate on +44 1530 562300 or email Andy Holgate.

Source – Nucleus Research, Tying CRM to Customer Service, 2016

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