Your customers have bigger priorities. - Impatient Health
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Your customers have bigger priorities.

March 6, 2022

Paul Simms

Allegedly, customer experience (CX) is the absolute priority for almost all of pharma’s commercial departments.

Yeah, right. Our efforts are more akin to the 1990s internet.

If you were running a hotel back in the late 90s, you might have set up a website. Suddenly you’re able to reach customers with zero marginal cost. Woohoo! You can circumvent those pesky travel agents and spend less on taking telephone bookings. An exciting future lies ahead.

Today, though, we have evolved. As a customer, you no longer have time to traverse every hotel website. You go to a portal, like Tripadvisor or Expedia, if you want to sort out your trip in anything less than five hours.

So the fact that we in pharma think that setting up closed, company-specific sites (such as branded portals) is our intelligent answer to post-pandemic communications to me seems, at best, misguided… at worst, completely arrogant. Doctors are already voting with their feet, and are migrating towards independent portals just as you already do in your own life. (If you’ve not already seen last year’s report from EPG Health on the huge disparity between pharma and HCP’s trusted sources, you need to get there pronto –

The internet has evolved because people have evolved. Websites, in general, are antiquated relics – 90% of today’s traffic is on platforms (like LinkedIn – hello!) for a good reason. Many companies outside pharma don’t even have a site anymore. So if we think providing a great customer experience is done by curating content on a beautifully designed portal, in a perfectly crafted webinar, in a cleverly designed app, we deserve to suffer.

​​80% of HCPs rate independent medical websites highly, whereas the number drops to 33% for pharma sites. Yet 24% of pharma executives expect a budget rise for their own sites in 2022, vs just 3% for investing in independents. I’m not making this stuff up. Please fall out of love with your corporate colors as quickly as possible.

Your customers have bigger priorities.

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