Since 2020, remote patient and physician engagement has been the new normal in pharma. Many patient visits have moved to the digital sphere. This has pushed the sector to consider a variety of strategies in that sense. How have customer engagement trends evolved since then? Let’s find out.
When we’re talking about “customer engagement,” we’re referring to interactions with patients and HCP. These last stakeholders, in particular, have restrictive rules that condition pharma reps’ in-person interactions with them.
Customer engagement in pharma
How to create engagement with customers
The changing interactions with HCP
In a post-pandemic reality, HCP expect to be busier. This is due to several patients returning to in-person visits.
Yet many of them have already started to prefer virtual engagement with reps. There are two main options: either email or videoconference.
In the coming years, pharma customers will interact with companies through a remote strategy. More than that, their interactions will not only be digital but also informative.
Relationships as a whole may have benefits if both parties know how to manage them. This does not mean that they might suffer. But, for them to hold up, pharma reps will need to shift their focus to a more scientific approach. More than managing good relationships, the interactions need to add value to HCP.
Healthcare professionals right now have more free time on their hands. Yet it doesn’t mean that their time is not valuable to them. What they need from pharma companies is content that informs them. They don’t trust the content that tries to sell them a product or treatment.
Many of them appreciate content that can be helpful for them and their patients. Informative videos, for example, are becoming a trend among them. Through these contents, they can learn about a certain medical subject faster. They can learn about its main topics in a matter of minutes.
The patients also want more from pharma
This subject also extends to the patients. Nowadays they have access to more information than ever online. This means that they will make different choices and present distinct needs.
Patient engagement has indeed been a topic of conversation in healthcare. This started even before the pandemic came into the picture. COVID-19 only accelerated the coming future for virtual support to patients.
Many of them, like HCP, are preferring remote options for treatment. The growth of the usage of health apps will influence the handling of many procedures in health.
For this interaction to succeed, even from a B2C perspective, the content of value needs to be provided to the consumer. Patients tend to look up certain medical conditions online before visiting a doctor for their doubts.
Content provided by healthcare organizations needs to be as informative as possible. It needs to provide stakeholders with accurate information. Here the format of the content will also influence the patient’s experience.
Video content is also gaining popularity for many patients. Because the average attention span is lower, online users who look up complex information need it to be as “simple” as possible.
This is why explainer videos are also remarkable to them. They can learn about a certain medical topic by watching a video, rather than reading about it.
Did you know that BlueNovius can help your patients know more about a certain medical condition? Using our MedExplainer videos, you can create an animated sequence that will clarify all your patient’s doubts in 90 seconds (or less). Contact us to know more.
What are the main steps?
To be successful with all the stakeholders that influence the profits of pharmaceutical companies, there are areas to take into account. Pharma needs to have a deeper understanding of new models of customer engagement throughout its entire organization.
Exploring distinct channels, and types of engagement and working with a data-based method are some of the aspects that pharma has to grasp. To achieve an omnichannel strategy all this information needs combination and application.
Fortunately, many companies are aware of this need. There are three main areas to tackle to make this impact happen faster.
#1: Create an orchestrated HCP engagement flow
In this spectrum not only will automated interactions come into play but also the pharma reps’ posture even in a remote environment. Being in a remote environment helps to optimize a variety of interactions. All by using several channels. Yet in the end, there’s always the need for a “human touch”.
Pharma reps need to know the interpersonal aspects of customer engagement. They must also be aware of the logistics surrounding the HCP they interact with. They need to know details such as when to speak, listen, follow up and manage a good professional relationship.
In short, an alliance between many automated communication processes and the reps’ understanding of HCP needs will be key for this to be successful.
#2: Team up with medical experts and thought leaders
Even in healthcare, some voices influence customer trends. These key opinion leaders (KOLs) exist at several levels of the market. They play distinct roles in the public’s perception of a product or service. They can influence elements such as awareness, or advocacy towards a certain brand.
Nowadays, it’s to note that digital opinion leaders (DOLs) coexist with KOLs. DOLs correspond to opinion leaders who are specialists in certain medical areas. They use their online communication channels to share their knowledge with their audiences. They are alike influencers in that last detail. Except that DOLs are experts in a particular field.
The need to go to these thought leaders will still be a relevant move for pharmaceutical companies. Many of them establish beneficial partnerships to promote each other’s services or ideas. One important detail for this team up to succeed is to make sure that the interests and values of both parties are aligned.
Many local opinion leaders, in particular, are responsible for the change of behaviors more than those who address a wider audience. There are cases in which their interventions have proven to benefit the adoption of new brands. Not only that but also the improvement of HCP compliance through evidence-based practices.
#3: Use patient communities to their advantage
Taking into consideration what we’ve mentioned about patients, it’s a fact that many of them end up forming communities. People online like to interact with others who’ve had a similar experience as theirs. This is why the conversations they have online can be very revealing of their true health needs.
Pharmaceutical companies can gain a better understanding of their patients from an emotional perspective, rather than a clinical one. It’s possible when given direct, anonymous access to patient conversations. They gain an understanding of the reasons patients choose certain treatments, why they stick to them (or don’t), and the opinions they share about brands.
It might not seem so at first, but the digital patient has a lot more influence than it might seem at first. Their needs will influence their patient journey while interacting with pharma brands. This is why engaging with communities will be crucial for them to gain insight into what they need. No doubt that they will have a direct impact on the success of their interactions, and in their treatment success.
Want to start providing real value to your customers regardless of their medical background? BlueNovius has two solutions fit for either HCP or patients. Discover more about PubExplainer and MedExplainer, our two main customized video marketing solutions for pharma brands.