A global life sciences company with a multi-billion-dollar consumer healthcare business
Life sciences and consumer products
Deliver uniform customer experiences worldwide and across channels. Harness analytics insights to enhance brand experience
Reimagined customer engagement Data-to-Insight-to-Action process through focused analytics and technology interventions tightly aligned to business objectives
A globally uniform experience across multiple channels and throughout the customer lifecycle, as well as a richer flow of information that helps the product development organization
The need to increasingly engage directly with customers is forcing business-to-consumer companies to change their front-end interaction with their market. The challenge is particularly complex in the healthcare products space since the interaction deals with sensitive health information. Intelligent OperationsSM for customer contact and marketing helped this pharma giant’s consumer healthcare division engage customers across multiple channels worldwide by converting data to insights and insights to customer-facing action, at scale. The impact is more consistent customer delight throughout the lifecycle of the customer experience as well as feeding insight in a more timely and actionable manner into the product development organization. The experience in life sciences presents many portable lessons for other industries in the quest to reclaim relevance in customers’ lives.
This life sciences and healthcare company, like many business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, is continuously being pushed by cut-throat competition for share of the wallet of demanding customers whose loyalty to a brand or product can no longer be taken for granted. The proliferation of channels and ubiquitous access on mobile devices have multiplied choices and communication from competition as well as advice from experts and peers at customers’ fingertips.
As a traditionally product-centric company, this industry leader has undertaken the arduous transformation to being customer centric—and client interaction points have a significant value in that journey. While product innovation is increasingly costly, time-consuming, and often prone to risk of failure and lookalikes, customer service is a powerful means of differentiation and builds a favorable image for a company and its brand. The life sciences industry is a good example of leading-edge customer engagement practices from B2C companies being rapidly adopted as consumer health and over-the-counter (OTC) products gain importance in their portfolio. The end of patent protection, generic substitution and easy online access to medical information, research, and peer feedback are helping patients play a larger role in their healthcare decisions. Customers expect greater innovation in multi-channel customer experiences and benchmark these companies with the best interactions they experience from market disruptors—from technology (e.g., Apple) to transportation (e.g., Uber) and from retail (e.g., Amazon) to financial services (e.g., PayPal).
This transition is not easy. With so many channels and technologies to integrate, proactively delivering the level of engagement and ease of interaction that consumers expect is complex. The following chart highlights the gaps between ideal and actual experience across the customer experience lifecycle.
This leader understood that they would connect best with customers when the company truly understood customers’ concerns and responded timely and effectively, at scale, and consistently across touch points and geographies. However, this was complicated to achieve.
For instance, since consumers prefer to converse in multiple channels beyond the call center (the web, interactive voice response, email, apps, chat, and social media), the company must be an adept listener there, too.
Intelligent (able to sense, act, and learn from those actions) customer service processes were required to consolidate and refine data from every materially important communications channel—and generate insights for personalized responses to customers with diverse needs such as convey proper usage information to customers, caregivers, insurers, and medical professionals; capture and report adverse drug events; manage product recalls; manage common consumer relations queries; and discuss order status and logistics matters with distributors.
To ensure efficiency and effectiveness, the company aims to deliver a uniform customer experience across global markets, create a single brand voice, and infuse insights and intelligence in marketing and communications. As a result, the company urgently needed to operationalize a strategy able to delight customers and, as part of the exercise of setting key metrics, specified an initial goal to resolve customer queries within 48 hours.
Our solution’s core design principle is to tightly align with business outcomes in order to drastically cut unnecessary interventions. We then took a holistic approach to the end-to-end process that, powered by clear Data-to-Action AnalyticsSM processes, drive the key business outcomes, customer engagement, increase brand “love,” and improve customer satisfaction. The advantage of designing and optimizing the full Data-to-Insight-to-Action arc, as opposed to deeply optimizing only parts of the process, is significant especially when considering that no best and immutable solutions may exist and the best strategy is to “build to adapt” thanks to the continuous analytical learning from the feedback loop that can be crystallized by technology and process design and scaled through the appropriate organizational models. The resulting ability to collect and use more meaningful data leads to powerful insights into customer lifetime value, needs, and preferences at each lifecycle stage.
The Data-to-Insight and Insight-to-Action arc was enabled by looking at the three clusters of analytical and related operational processes that exist in virtually all business processes, as described in the following chart.
Intelligent OperationsSM propelled by analytics drives customer engagement, increases brand “love,” and improves customer satisfaction.
I. Provide visibility (Data-to-Insight)
Key indicators for tracking brand performance at each stage of a customer’s journey were defined. Real-time visibility into these critical performance metrics, such as turnaround time (TAT), customer satisfaction (C-sat), first-call resolution (FCR), and social media sentiment, required timely and accurate data capture from systems within and outside the company. Implementation of a global customer relationship management (CRM) system ensured that data from all channels—voice, email, web, and social media—was captured. The Intelligent Process Insights Engine (IPIE) then consolidated only the relevant data from the contact center and CRM data, social media, and brand research for applications that were purpose-built to perform specialized analytics to understand brand performance in the context of the consumer journey and identify improvement areas. An analytics center of excellence (ACoE) composed of analysts with granular, operator-level understanding of the underlying processes leveraged advanced analytical tools and algorithms to perform contact center analytics, social media analytics, customer experience studies, and brand/advertising research.
The insights generated will allow senior leaders to set more effective target strategies for defined audiences, fine-tune goals for desired outcomes for each audience, and course-correct as new data continually arrives.
II. Steer effectiveness and execute at scale (Insight-to-Action)
To improve execution, an operational command center directed nine consumer hubs covering 140 countries and responding to customers in more than 35 languages. The command center planned and implemented many improvement opportunities in the customer service process, enhancements to the interactive voice response (IVR) interface, and changes in standard operating procedures to ensure customers receive accurate and timely responses to requests. A social media engagement playbook helped agents establish meaningful conversations with consumers across multiple platforms and communities. Effective technology enablement and automation not only enhanced Data-to-Action AnalyticsSM but also made the analytical processes much more efficient. This added diverse data sources, and more sophisticated models were built to utilize the data to understand customers better and measure brands’ performance. With granular understanding of the customers’ brand perception, the company designed and ran more effective marketing campaigns.
This holistic view across Data-to-Insight and Insight-to-Action helped the operations sense and respond to changes in operating conditions such as changes in customer preferences, competitor product launches or promotions, or customer shift to the newest channels. As described in the chart below, this continuous learning capability helps the company optimize self-help for customers to provide information on a channel of their preference without the need for unnecessary contact center requests. The analytical approach is continuously refined with new primary and secondary research using new data sources such as social media to understand customer needs and preferences and brand perception.
The company now has a 360-degree view of the customer lifecycle, obtained by analyzing social media and contact center data with separate advertising and brand research. The company can now monitor and analyze social media data, contact center data, and KPIs in real time to find actionable insights for brands and markets. Senior executive leaders see these statistics monthly and intervene when necessary to upgrade execution and performance, and in turn raise customer satisfaction, loyalty, sales, and engagement.
The company far surpassed its initial goal to reply to consumers within 48 hours. The company has achieved 90% resolution of customer issues within the first 24 hours. This has raised positive chatter and customer engagement on social media, boosted satisfaction levels, and notched better ROI on marketing campaigns.
The ability to harness intelligence from customer service operations and brand/advertising research at scale provides vital inputs to innovate the product portfolio to make it relevant to the market. Brand and channel strategies, and the resulting marketing and promotions, are also more effective.
The resulting customer operations are clearly different from traditional ones. We call these processes intelligent because they leverage analytics as an integral component of the business process and embed that insight in process operations at scale. As a result, they better sense and respond to changes in operating conditions and learn from those data sets, which leads to continuously more effective running of those important business processes.