Flynnsights // May 2, 2023

Pharma CX Keys to Success: Winning in Owned Channels

Lessons in building CX excellence from this year’s Pharma CX Summit

Michelle Furibondo

Michelle Furibondo

Associate Director of CX

According to a recent survey from, zero percent of pharma executives believe that customer experience (CX) is one of the top three priorities for their customers.

At the 2023 Pharma CX Summit, everyone, regardless of employer or role, agreed on two things:

  1. CX is critically important for both HCPs and patients
  2. Pharma is behind other industries when it comes to measuring and managing CX

It’s true. The pharma industry is a CX laggard compared to other industries, which is understandable considering its high levels of regulations and restrictions that may limit typical CX activities such as voice of the customer (VOC) data collection. But if all pharma companies are on an even playing field, that shouldn’t make a difference, right?

Wrong. Consumers don’t compare pharma experiences to other pharma experiences—they compare pharma experiences to all other experiences in their lives, whether in a grocery store, placing an order online, or visiting a restaurant.

Summit speakers emphasized one approach that may give pharma companies a boost to keep pace with other industries in CX: focusing on the channels that they own. Here are four ways you can start leveling up CX at your pharma organization:

Keep a customer-centric mindset: It’s important to understand the patient’s end-to-end journey to identify the touchpoint interactions and channels you can influence. At Flynn, we frequently partner with clients to help them map their end-to-end customer journeys before they invest in any updates to their customer-facing touchpoints, such as websites or apps.

Don’t be everything to everyone: Prioritize improving the most impactful moments in the channels that you own to maximize efficiency of your CXM efforts. Review existing operational data, experience data, and customer journey maps to identify the owned channels that cause the most friction or have the most volume and start there. Once those are addressed, come back and work on the next set of touchpoints.

Focus on pharmacy relationships: The stakeholders that play a role early in the journey will have an outsized effect on the total experience. In particular, improving your relationship with specialty pharmacies will ultimately improve the experience of all stakeholders in the patient’s treatment journey: the specialty pharmacies, the HCP, the HCP staff, and the patient.

See CX from the patient perspective: Looking at things from the patient’s point of view can shed light on new opportunities to improve the overall customer experience. A couple ways to do this include primary research, such as surveys or in-depth interviews, and secondary research, such as benchmarking and competitive audits. We often counsel new clients to invest in customer research as due diligence to ensure they understand customers’ expectations and behaviors and pinpoint all opportunities to meet them where they are.

You may be sitting there thinking, “thanks Michelle, I know all this—but it’s easier said than done.” The good news is that if you have the right partner, CX excellence is attainable. Flynn has spent years in the trenches helping healthcare and pharma clients face their toughest CX challenges head on. We map complex journeys across diverse audiences, develop thoughtful strategies for CX measurement and management, and field custom research studies designed to reveal actionable insights so you can improve your patient, HCP, and employee experience.

Remember: your customers don’t care who is delivering the experience—they expect an easy, satisfying experience regardless of the industry, and non-pharma companies (like Amazon) are using their existing infrastructure to their advantage. Keeping pace with CX leaders outside of pharma isn’t just in your customers’ best interest—it’s in your company’s best interest, too.

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