Design the Ideal Customer Experience

Pratap Khedkar, Managing Principal

So as companies think about how to be customer centric, the focus isn’t on this solution or that solution. Yes, of course, they should create those. But how do work like you are customer centric all the time?

What are you focusing on? Focus on the customer as the play, not the player. And the idea, of course, in today’s complex health care environment is, it’s no longer just the physician or just the patient. It’s the provider, it’s the practice, it’s the payer. So it’s not just putting yourself in the shoes of your customer—which may be multiple roles—but walk in those shoes, in this journey, of interacting with all these other stakeholders.

Now, the experience is very different from the product. It’s not the pill, it’s not the brand, it’s not even the service. The experience is what the customer feels in their shoes, meaning, “Are you easy to deal with as a company? Are you providing all the things that are valuable? Are you anticipating some of their needs and fulfilling them to the best that you can?”

We work with companies to talk about what is the different experience that a patient or the position goes through in their interaction, in their interaction with the company before the therapy, after the therapy, during the therapy, and good companies, especially outside pharma, focus very heavily on creating this feeling, because it resonates with the way the customer looks at the world.

And this can be done through qualitative research, but it also can actually be simulated, and using those approaches, you can make sure that the experience is something you willfully design—because make no mistake, the customer’s going to have an experience, whether you design one or not.

It’s not one thing or two things that are going to work in the future that you haven’t stumbled upon. Customers have truly become fragmented in how they like to interact. So there is no one simple bullet, you have to unfortunately learn to work with 10 or 20 of them.

I need to get better at creating the right orchestra, as opposed to looking for the next new instrument. That mentality, I think, is something you can definitely change. And the way you change it is by changing your organization—by putting someone in charge of the customer, by putting someone in charge of making sure that you’re accountable for that customer’s needs being met.