The Pharmaceutical Marketer’s Forecast for 2017: Pharma Customer Service goes Digital

Social Customer Service
Gregg Turek post by: Gregg Turek

Pharmaceutical Customer Service is going Digital

Social media has definitely matured. Not only has it become embedded in many people’s daily routine, customers expect their interactions with brands and companies to actually be social. We’re finally at a point that most consumer brands recognize that it’s crucial to provide customer service on social channels. Pharma brands need to understand that this expectation applies to them too. When a pharmaceutical brand is active on social media, their patients demand conversational response and engagement.

Pharma Customers Expect a Response

Social media gives your customers the ability to reach out directly to your brand. When they reach out, they expect customer service and response. And, directing them to call centers is not the answer. While you may have an 800 number or entrenched escalation routes for consumers that don’t involve social media, your customers don’t care. When a patient is in need of a response, they want a response on the channel or platform that that they’re on. If their mobile device or phone is within reach, their go-to platform might be Twitter or Facebook.

66% of consumers prefer to reach brands through messaging apps

At LiveWorld, we recommend that pharmaceutical brands accept the challenge and start offering customer service in all their social media channels in 2017.

Smart Brands are Taking Advantage of Social Media Platforms’ Customer Service Capabilities

It’s now easier than ever for pharmaceutical companies to provide social customer service and remain compliant thanks to an increased number of solutions that enable one-to-one conversational management. These social customer service solutions enable brands to provide human interaction at scale. Social media platforms themselves, such as Facebook, Twitter and others, are also offering more tools for businesses to enable customer service directly in their own channels.

Facebook Messenger in Action

Facebook Messenger for pharma social media

Facebook’s Messenger app was re-introduced in April 2016 to businesses with more customer service capabilities. It’s been a success because numerous industries have found innovative ways to offer customer service through the platform. Airlines offer flight statuses, hoteliers provide virtual concierges, and retailers are capable of providing one-on-one in-store experiences.

Pharmaceutical businesses can offer unique services as well. Brands can use a human and human-chatbot hybrid experience in Messenger to give healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers responses on a variety of subjects, including regimen and treatment lapse questions, drug handling inquiries, queries about off-label usage, and more.

In addition, Messenger enables health care providers and patients to ask medical questions safely and privately in an encrypted environment. Due to HIPAA requirements, these kinds of questions would normally be out of the realm of possibility in an open social media space. Plus, solutions like LiveWorld’s adverse events management solution ensure brands are able to remain compliant by monitoring, detecting, and reporting adverse events in the channel.

Twitter in Action

Twitter for pharma social media

Twitter has improved its offering as well, with automated Welcome Messages and Quick Replies as part of its direct messaging capabilities. This helps businesses set expectations with customers as they begin direct messaging.

Twitter’s new tools enable brands to more quickly resolve patient inquiries by helping customers provide information right up front. They also simplify Q&A and data collection that was previously so difficult that brands often had to refer a consumer to another channel, such as a call center, for resolution.

The Internet of Things and Remote Medical Monitoring Demands Social Customer Service

Demand for social customer service will continue to grow. The Internet of Things (IoT) will become a greater part of our day-to-day lives and the use of remote care and patient monitoring connected medical devices will become more commonplace. As such, all of these devices will require customer service – and social channels are the ideal and optimized platform for the support that IoT appliances, remote patient monitoring devices, and digital health trackers require. We foresee the users of these devices reaching for their iPad or iPhone and opening Messenger or an app to look for support instead of calling your 800 number to request support.

46% of consumers are now digital health adopters

Software Tools and Services for Social Customer Service are Better than Ever

Today, brands can choose from a number of software tools that they can immediately use to improve their social customer service. These software solutions have become more scalable and easier for large pharma brands to implement. Forrester Research noted that the social media customer service landscape is now crowded, providing abundant choices for a pharmaceutical company.

At LiveWorld, we recommend a combination of social customer service software and services to enable your brand to provide the exceptional service your customers’ demand – while ensuring your company remains compliant and protected.

LiveWorld’s integrated solution makes it easier for companies to identify, route, prioritize, respond to, and resolve customer issues and complaints on social media. We use a highly configurable collaborative framework, case management, escalation workflows, and SLA automations. Our conversation management software and human agents are seamlessly integrated. This empowers pharma brands to handle the volume and complexity of social media inquiries, backed by the ability of tracking and reporting on adverse events.

82% of consumers have stopped doing business due to poor customer serviceA key part of LiveWorld’s solution is our combination of leading-edge software and the crucial human element. This has proven to be a powerful first line of defense in customer support for our pharmaceutical clients. While software can often answer quick inquiries or point customers to FAQs, the combination of software and human agents accomplishes what automated software can’t do as well or at all, such as:

  • Identifying and routing more complex, nuanced questions to on-staff healthcare providers who can answer questions about regimen and treatment lapses.
  • Recognizing, escalating and archiving adverse events typically not found by automated software. This includes “me too’s” in comment streams, false positives due to sarcasm and inflection, and more.

In short, the mandate for social customer service is happening now. We predict that 2017 is the year that pharmaceutical brands will start meeting that demand. The tools and partners are out there, so the time to get started is now.

LiveWorld Takes the Fear out of Pharmaceutical Social Customer Service.

Social customer service can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Our pharmaceutical marketing and social media experts can show you how easy it is to get started in social customer service, and other upcoming trends affecting pharmaceutical marketers in our video, The Pharmaceutical Marketer’s Forecast for 2017. Learn from our Experts.

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