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Thought leadership

How to Take Customer Experience From Theory to Practice

Olly Johnston, Evoke Director, StrategyBy Olly Johnston, Director, Strategy

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Pharma’s emerging focus on Customer Experience has changed the rules of the game. McKinsey concluded that when prescribers are fully satisfied with the CX for a particular drug—and with the company’s contribution to it—they are more than twice as likely to prescribe it than dissatisfied ones.

It is clear to see why. The evolution of technology touchpoints that customers are exposed to every day has exploded. They freely exchange personal information and meticulously tinker with preferences to craft relationships with brands on their own terms. Regardless of whether they are PCPs, specialists, or patients, expectations are high.

These elevated expectations mean that product-focused communications and brand-centric storytelling are no longer enough. Instead, clients are seeking to understand how their brand message can be woven throughout these touchpoints, fitting into a larger service experience.

The challenge is that creating solutions to elevate the customer experience can be an uphill battle.

At Evoke, we recently created a customer journey map for a client that illuminated the touchpoints, interactions, and expectations of their core customers. The key challenge wasn’t the insight-mining, instead it hinged on activating against the insights we uncovered. To overcome some of the roadblocks, we concentrated on three areas of focus to take customer experience beyond the journey and into the market.

Forge an Undeniable Link to the Bottom Line

Some members of the client leadership team with whom we partnered were skeptical about how CX could benefit them. The first step we took to dissolve this skepticism was to clearly identify what customer experience was actually worth to the business and quantify how the improvements would generate value.

Using the journey as our backdrop, we layered on moments of Rx drop-off that had plagued the business for years. We mirrored these moments of Rx drop-off against our insights and then created hypotheses for what we believed was happening and why. The next step was validation and testing these hypotheses against a mix of qual and quant research. This research allowed us to calculate the proportions of Rx drop-off against one another, quantifying how CX could be the driving force to attack loss/gain of revenue.

Building this business case was critical for executive leadership buy-in.

Shape a Smarter Content Strategy

As we've previously detailed, generating great content that has a clear business purpose starts with a clear content strategy. Once buy-in had been established, we needed to prove that the existing content at our fingertips was insufficient. We conducted an audit to understand how existing content stretched across the primary moments of influence identified in the journey. This gap analysis enabled us to better understand where we were heavy in content, where we were thin, and ultimately informed a larger content strategy that aptly moved customers from one key moment of influence to the next.

This was critical, as it identified the whitespace in the market where we could step in and create solutions that were unique, grabbing market share.

Align Customer Expectations With Customer Data

To continue to prove the ROI of customer experience across new product and programs, we took steps to identify appropriate streams of macro customer data and created mechanisms to analyze them against known customer expectations.

One of the greatest advantages large pharma companies have today is the abundance of rich customer data at their fingertips. Call center recordings, live chat conversations, rep-triggered surveys, social conversation, search data—all of these sources offer opportunities to learn and improve the customer experience.

Consolidating these streams of data enabled us to align macro sources of customer insight to a new business strategy that was focused around customer expectations.

Customer Experience may not be a new concept for most pharma brands, but integrating CX as a philosophy requires leveraging new strategies. At Evoke, we take an approach to CX that goes beyond the process of building a journey. We help clients overcome both internal and external obstacles, creating a competitive advantage that is enduring. For more information, email us at

Eyeforpharma. Customer Experience: the definitive guide. Published 2018. Accessed March 3, 2020.

McKinsey & Company. From product to customer experience: the new way to launch in pharma. Published August 2018. Accessed March 3, 2020.

McKinsey & Company. Linking the customer experience to value. Published March 2016. Accessed March 3, 2020.