Improving the Specialist HCP experience: CX in RX research and insights

July 4, 2023
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A study conducted among 600 immunologists (McKinsey 2018) indicates that when prescribers are fully satisfied (with their journey for a particular drug and with the pharma company’s contribution to it), they are more than twice as likely to prescribe a product compared to dissatisfied prescribers. By paying more attention to the customer experience, companies can not only increase satisfaction but also boost sales and market share.

The specialist’s experience is one that’s under immense time and performance pressure. Products, services, processes and communication flows from multiple sources - patients, nurses, hospitals, insurers, medico-legal, government, pharma companies, journals, peers and experts - and the specialist must find an effective way to manage all of these.

Our research objective was to identify ways in which pharma companies could improve the specialist’s experience, helping them function more effectively in their high-pressure environment.

At the start of our research, we set 5 hypotheses. Find out below which of these were confirmed or busted.

#1: Emotion works more effectively in a rational pharma world.

Doctors are educated, trained and practised on making fact-based decisions. And whilst we’re not advocating for emotional biases to cloud their better judgement, emotion is an often overlooked tool when it comes to communicating a product’s features and benefits. Our research has shown that talking about how a product leads to better outcomes for patients in an emotionally resonant way can often be a more powerful approach. Here it’s important to note that it’s not just how we say it, it’s how we present it too.


#2: The new generation of HCPs doesn't look to pharma reps as their main source of truth.

There is a generational shift occurring within the medical industry. Baby boomers who on average retire at the age of 65 will be retiring in droves over the next 5 years. This is the generation who experienced ‘pharma’ of the golden era, had longstanding relationships with their pharma reps and were once described as ‘conference junkies’. With this ‘old guard’ retiring, what does this mean for the way we engage with the ‘new guard’? What are their perceptions, expectations and current experience of pharma? How are they engaging, learning and developing thoughts and opinions? And how must we adjust to accommodate all those differences?


#3: Clinical data is king, but there are a significant number of other influences we must be aware of.

Whilst clinical data is the guiding force behind treatment approaches and behaviour, there are other factors that contribute to a decision: uninterrupted supply, early access programs, compassionate access, quality of patient support and the standard and quality of education offered to doctors and other stakeholders critical to treatment.


#4: There are factors that create re-consideration in entrenched prescribing behaviour.

When behaviour is entrenched into a certain style, approach or action, it’s very difficult to shift. But there are still things we can provide that can trigger changes to prescribing behaviours:

  • New data
  • New indication
  • New patient service
  • New experiences


#5: Brand experiences influence behaviour as much as clinical data.

While clinical data obviously influences behaviour, excellence in patient experience implicitly makes doctors feel better about one company over another. And this positive association affects a doctor’s willingness to hear from, see or engage with a pharma company and their product, so shouldn’t be overlooked. Here we can draw parallels to the consumer world - doctors are humans too.

Outcome: BUSTED - contact us to hear why.

The outputs of our research have allowed us to better understand the Specialist HCP experience in terms of their perceptions, desires and needs when interacting with pharmaceutical companies and products. This has allowed us to develop a model that we call The Pharma Filter — a method of ensuring that anything we develop for our clients has the maximum possibility of reaching their customers, and influencing their beliefs and behaviours.

Want to find out the detail of our research and The Pharma Filter? Contact us to arrange a discussion, today.

Tagged: healthcare

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