Ever wonder how physicians would rate your oncology pharmaceutical company? One survey endeavored to find out.
The oncology industry severely lags behind other industries in the customer experience that manufacturers deliver, a recent survey of doctors, nurses, and administrators found. Eighty percent of the oncology manufacturers studied earned negative “net promoter scores” from physicians.
ZS Associates, a global sales and marketing firm, surveyed nearly 260 oncologists, oncology nurses, and administrators about their experiences with 20 of the most prominent oncology therapy manufacturers, and analyzed their responses in its first oncology-focused Customer Experience Tracker. ZS also reviewed claims data from Symphony Health Solutions.
The key findings of ZS Associates’ survey are as follows:
- The oncology customer experience typically is negative and lags behind the experience that many other industries create for their customers.
- Most oncology companies stand to add $50 million to $75 million in incremental sales for every $1 billion in current sales if they can deliver a better customer experience.
- Reps, patient services and other factors that oncology companies can proactively manage to enhance the customer experience account for about two-thirds of the experience. Products—which traditionally have been manufacturers’ emphasis—account for only about one-third of the experience.
- A positive customer experience goes hand in hand with greater in-person accessibility and higher engagement across online and virtual channels.
Targeting 13,000 oncologists with more than 70 new products during the next five years, manufacturers create products for the same niche patient populations, which results in greater competition and clinical evidence is no longer a guarantee of sales.
According to the report:
Oncology companies have typically underinvested in the customer experience either because they lack the business case for making the necessary investments, or because they don’t believe that they can meaningfully improve the experience beyond the product. . . . To cut through the noise and reestablish strong ties with oncologists, manufacturers need to devote more resources to enhancing the customer experience, rather than just selling products.
“The first instinct is to assume that the products drive both the physician’s perception of the company and the degree to which the doctor will engage. The study demonstrates that products only drive one-third of the customer experience. Other factors that companies can proactively manage—such as sales force effectiveness and online engagement—account for about two-thirds of the customer experience,” said ZS Managing Principal Maria Whitman. “For oncology manufacturers with multibillion-dollar portfolios, an evolved customer experience that meets the needs of providers and patients can create incremental opportunity equivalent to the launch of a small new product.”
One press release reported that:
The firm concluded that by enhancing customer experience, oncology companies can significantly boost impact in today’s highly competitive oncology market. In fact, ZS estimates oncology companies could add $50 million to $75 million in incremental sales for every $1 billion in current sales. Most importantly, a better provider experience creates more opportunities to engage in discussions on these life-saving therapies for patients who need them most.
The factors most important to the customer experience, according to ZS Associates’ Customer Experience Tracker, are customer service and support, easily accessible and knowledgeable sales reps, and a focus on patient needs.
“A world-class customer experience is increasingly important in today’s crowded oncology market, and we believe it will be absolutely critical to differentiate oncology companies in the future. Driving this customer experience often requires manufacturers to shift their mindsets from an internal product focus to an external customer focus,” said ZS Oncology Manager Pranav Srivastava, who co-led the study.
To view the full results of ZS Associate’s survey, click here.