As we can see, there are many ways in which an HCP can become aware of a product or a life sciences company. The exemplary scenarios described and presented here as well as several other conceivable paths are usually mapped in a campaign management system in marketing. As it is also possible that there are mixed forms or overlaps in the imagined customer journey maps, they are presented next to each other or overlapping each other. This offers the advantage that individual adjustments or entirely new scenarios can be visualized quickly. Finally, omnichannel approaches can also be mapped much more easily in this way, as the following image shows:
The excerpts from customer journey maps shown here, taken on their own, merely represent different entry scenarios within the 1st phase, in which a potential customer first becomes aware of the product or the life sciences company. It is easy to imagine how the level of complexity increases when customer journey maps are conceived for different personas, for multiple products, and across a variety of channels to different customer journeys, such as the
- development of a prospect into a customer,
- development of a customer into a loyal customer,
- development of a customer into a proponent of a product as well as
- the prevention of customer churn and
- the recovery of former customers.
It is certainly possible to reduce complexity. If the customer journey is not depicted from the customer’s point of view, as is the case here, but e.g., from the perspective of the activity planning of a sales representative who only has a limited number of channels at his disposal, such as
- remote meetings,
- rep triggered emails,
- phone calls or
- event attendance by HCPs,
the scope of a customer journey is significantly reduced for different personas.
The same applies from the point of view of marketing, which also only controls some channels, such as
- Corporate emails,
- Website views, registrations, and usage by HCPs,
- chat bots or
- life sciences company app registration and usage.
It is also possible to depict a purely product-oriented perspective. However, such one-sided approaches do not lead to the desired goal of winning and keeping customers on a long-term basis. Today, HCPs expect information and services from life sciences companies to be available to them in a personalized form via a wide variety of channels, with seamless transitions and without time delays. Therefore, emotions should also be described within the customer journey map – positive, neutral, and negative – to identify and counteract weak points in the customer experience – even if this means that the complexity of the customer journey map might increase. For a better understanding of this approach, I will revisit and elaborate on these aspects and some other basic principles in a later post on Customer Experience.
Due to the complexity described, an analysis of the data collected with each touchpoint is necessary, even indispensable. Data collected from HCPs that correspond to the conceived personas must be analyzed to be able to conclude where a customer journey map meets the actual expectations of the customers, but also where it is incorrect and needs to be adjusted. This form of maintenance should take place every 6 months on average as it can reduce the risk of planning past the needs of HCPs. Since the amount of data continues to grow exponentially, life sciences companies are increasingly adopting machine learning and next best action approaches, as we will see in later articles. These concepts help to predict the next steps of the customer’s journey. In this way, recommendations are generated as to which touchpoints are to be expected or integrated into the customer journey. The data obtained in this way is then used with the help of artificial intelligence to optimize the customer journey.
This brings us to the end of the first part. We have gained a first impression of the possible applications for a customer journey in the life sciences environment. In the second part of this article, next week, I will devote myself to the atypical scenarios mentioned at the beginning.