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Patient Insights Trends: Why They’re Calling, Why They’re Staying, and Why They’re Leaving Life Sciences Brands

Over the past year, Authenticx has surfaced 50,000+ unique customer insights generated from unsolicited feedback across the healthcare space to identify patient insight trends. By tapping into this unsolicited feedback, enterprise healthcare companies have been able to reduce preventable calls, increase agent empathy scores, and decrease compliance error rates. More specifically, life sciences organizations have learned first-hand the effectiveness of the patient support services journey.

How? By listening to the unfiltered unbiased voice of their consumers, these life sciences enterprises were able to uncover rich actionable insights that their patient surveys were missing.

In their own words, here are the top reasons patients are calling, staying, and leaving life sciences brands:

Top Reasons Patients are Calling

You already know that patients call your contact centers all day, every day. But do you know what’s prompting them to take time out of their day to have a conversation with one of your agents? In 2020, these were the top call drivers:

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance under any circumstance is a core offering that life science tries to deliver to the patient population. Now, more than ever, this is a need because we’ve seen such an increase in patients on a therapeutic regimen facing challenges due to job layoffs and loss of insurance. We’re seeing life sciences play a critical role in the financial safety net for patients who need medications to maintain their health but have now hit a really rocky path.

Product and Therapy Questions

Consumer engagement in their own healthcare is exploding and contact center calls are evidence of this. In these calls, patients are taking a very proactive approach and asking important questions about the product. They’re asking questions around how the product works, drug-to-drug interactions, and product storage. And certainly this year, there have been a ton of questions around the relationship between the illness they’re being treated for and COVID-19, and whether changes should be made to their maintenance or care plan due to the presence of COVID.

Delivery and Supply Questions

Since the pandemic hit, there’s been a greater awareness of the critical importance of supply chains for all goods – and this certainly includes pharmaceuticals. As a result, life sciences saw an influx of calls from patients wanting to ensure they wouldn’t have a gap in care due to COVID-related pressures on the supply chain.

Top Brand Values – Why Patients are Staying

While patient calls are typically triggered by a question or problem, throughout the course of the conversation, your patients will organically share what they appreciate about you. This type of unsolicited feedback is called a brand value. Understanding what your patients consider to be brand values can unlock tremendous opportunities.

In 2020, these were the top brand values expressed by patients:

Flexible Problem-Solving

Patients organically shared how much they appreciated agents going above and beyond to help them navigate a complex healthcare system.

Empathy

Patients need to be heard and they need to be understood. We saw consumer engagement increase when agents were listening and responding with empathy.

Affordability

The patient population expressed that patient support programs designed to provide an affordable pathway to getting on needed medications provided a tremendous source of value this year.

Top Brand Detractors – Why Patients are Leaving

Call center conversations are chock-full of reasons your patients are unhappy. We call these negative perceptions brand detractors. Having a tight pulse on what’s frustrating your consumers empowers you to correct course and improve your patient experience. With that in mind, here were the year’s top brand detractors for life sciences consumers:

Complicated Processes

Due to the complexity of the healthcare system, there are numerous touchpoints patients have to engage with including providers, retail pharmacies, and specialty pharmacies. As a result, there are many programmatic complexities that make it really challenging for the patient population to know how to get the help they need.

The Eddy Effect

There are so many stops along the patient journey that it’s primed for problems to arise. For example, when you book a flight with three connections, you are three times more likely to miss your flight or have delays than with a direct flight. It’s the same with the patient journey. With numerous handoffs and complicated processes, there are more opportunities for people to fall through the cracks. We call this the Eddy Effect and it’s a huge problem for healthcare.

Cost

Consumers who are not eligible for some financial support programs still have unmet needs that they are freely expressing when they engage with contact center agents.

For more insight into what was top of mind for healthcare consumers in 2020, be sure to download the 2020 Customer Voices Report: Unsolicited Feedback in Healthcare.

About Authenticx

Authenticx was founded to analyze and activate customer interaction data at scale. Why? We wanted to reveal transformational opportunities in healthcare. We are on a mission to help humans understand humans. With a combined 100+ years of leadership experience in pharma, payer, and healthcare organizations, we know first-hand the challenges and opportunities that our clients face because we’ve been in your shoes.

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