Field Service Medical 2021


Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA

Customer Centricity Is Changing the Medical Device Industry

Brought to you by WBR Insights

Customer centricity is a big deal in business today.

Massive brands such as Amazon and Apple are all putting the customer experience at the forefront of their business strategies and wooing consumers with personalized experiences, individual recommendations, and engagement on a deeper level than would have previously been expected.

Social media has played a major role in the change in focus from product and price to the customer. With word able to spread like wildfire across the internet, poor customer experiences simply cannot be countenanced any longer, and all tech-savvy companies are searching for new ways to improve their offering in this regard.

The medical device industry is one which has traditionally been very opaque and product-focused. However, the time has come for the sector to get with the times and turn its attention to customer centricity instead.

Customer Centricity

The concept of customer centricity can be defined as allowing the wants and needs of the customer - a healthcare provider or patient in this case - to drive the product offering. By putting the needs of the patient first, brands can experience higher levels of customer satisfaction and have an easier time retaining them in the face of competing products.

Customer centricity isn't restricted to product development either. Customers want to feel like their experience is still of importance to the brands they do business with, even post-sale. This can take the form of a caring and accessible customer service provision, as well as ongoing service and maintenance from the moment the sale is completed right through the entire lifespan of the medical device.

This level of engagement is something the medical device industry has historically struggled with, existing, as it does, somewhat outside of the usual company/consumer dichotomy. However, engagement begins with understanding, and, as is often the case in an Industry 4.0 world, data can help to bridge the gap.

"Other industries, and companies like Amazon, illustrate how harnessing this type of data delivers enhanced customer experience, increased loyalty and measurable lifts on ROI," said McCann Health Consultant, Carlos Casanova. "Within the healthcare and life sciences industry, while it is necessary to obey stricter privacy regulations, gathering real-world customer behavioral data becomes fundamental to more meaningful and personalized digital engagement."

Data will allow your brand to create more detailed buyer personas, which are essential if you truly want to get under the skin of your customers. They can then help you understand their wants, needs, challenges, and behaviors better than ever before. This, in turn, will give you all the knowledge you need to meet those requirements, whether it's through personalized content designed to draw them into the top of your sales funnel, or anticipating what issues they may run into further down the line and pre-empting those problems.

"By providing personalized information using real-world, data-driven strategies, healthcare and life science companies will allow customers to see their needs addressed in a hyper-specific manner and become more customer-centric," continued Casanova. "Healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers and payers will be able to support appropriate decision-making, which will position healthcare companies as their partner in care. In parallel, companies will see improved product performance and investments in communications maximized, ultimately leading to increased ROI."

Medical Device Centricity

Customer centricity can also be achieved at the product level.

For example, 3D printing is leading to new developments in personalized medical devices such as prosthetics and is used to build working prototypes in next to no time. Whereas in the past it may have taken weeks or even months for a part to arrive for a field service application, 3D printing will allow providers to build that part in a few moments and get the device back up and running faster than has ever been possible.

Other medical device companies are becoming more customer centric by cutting out the middlemen and selling their products directly to consumers. Obviously, this model won't be appropriate for complex medical devices such as MRIs, but for smaller personal devices such as hearing aids or continuous blood glucose monitors, it is a far more viable proposition.

Final Thoughts

This strategy will allow medical device manufacturers to connect more directly with the end users of their products while maintaining close ties with healthcare providers as well.

"Patients and customers are feeling more empowered than ever," says Medical Product Outsourcing. "From custom-printed prosthetics to IoT-powered precision medical devices, customer expectations are at an all-time high. Further, with non-medical industries dictating change, and consumer subscription services booming to the likes of Netflix, Blue Apron, and other 'custom box' services, customers from all types of industries are expecting their other purchasing experiences to operate the same, from their car dealership to grocery stores to even healthcare."

Customer centricity is set to be a hot topic at Field Service Medical 2020, taking place in February at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.