Power Of Customer Loyalty !

<p style="text-align: justify;">Richard Branson once said, &ldquo;A company&rsquo;s employees are its greatest asset, and your people are your product.&rdquo; I would say, &ldquo;A company&rsquo;s customers are its greatest asset, and your customers are your product.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Especially in the medical device industry, a close relationship with the customers that benefits both the company and its customers are paramount. As customers use products and services that enable them to treat patients and save lives, their trust in and willingness to use a product and to communicate its value to patients and the medical community are important success factors for a medical device company when building confidence in their products and services. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Simultaneously, a loyal and passionate client can also thrive and become a pioneer and thought leader in their specialties by educating others in the medical community about the value of a medical device, with mutual gains for both parties.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Customer care in Medical Device Industry&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Although it is common sense that it is easier, cheaper, and more profitable to retain customers than to acquire new ones, many companies spend most of their time and money attracting new customers and do not prioritize taking care of existing customers, especially at the start of a business. It is understandable to create growth in a company, albeit a very short-term strategy. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A Harward Business Review report shows that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. This report also refers to research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain &amp; Company, who shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to delivering high-quality and reliable products or services, customer relations and customer care are crucial for the long-term success of any company. Happy and loyal customers are the backbone of a business as they keep coming back for more, refer new customers, and leave positive reviews, which can all contribute to the growth and&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">profitability of the company. Customers in the medical device industry who feel valued and listened to tend to stay loyal throughout their medical careers.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">How to Build Happy and Loyal Customers?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">In the medical field, the users of a product or service are often the greatest marketers, making them an important asset of a company. By involving the users in marketing programs such as clinical workshops, seminars, and training courses, the values of a product can be marketed in a trustworthy and scientific way while at the same time showing the customers that they are valuable to the company.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Another successful way to involve customers and gain from their expertise and experience is to establish a special customer consortium or society. It brings customers closer to the company and gives them a sense of belonging, being part of a family, and having a safe place to speak up and learn from others. It has shown to be a successful way to help the company and customers thrive together, learn best practices, collaborate, and educate each other.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Important when creating this "safe place" is to keep it at arm&rsquo;s distance from the commercial organization. A customer consortium or society should be focused on the clinical aspects and scientific outcomes. In addition to a dedicated website for members and regular communication through newsletters etc., in-person or digital meetings should be organized to allow the members to meet and share experiences. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">For other users, presentations should be made by the users to allow open and honest discussions about advantages and pitfalls to learn from each other. It should not be led by a company&rsquo;s commercial organization but by Medical Affairs or similar roles.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The commercial organization may participate to get the chance to share product news and the company&rsquo;s product road map as the customers like to be trusted with these types of developments. Primarily, however, the commercial organization should listen and learn from the customers and take the opportunity to create closer relationships in a more relaxed,&nbsp;non-commercial forum.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Customer Loyalty Outcome</span>&nbsp;</h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The outcome of such customer engagement forums is, for example, valuable insights into the customers' daily situations and challenges, which are invaluable input to future product enhancements and development, a means to encourage customers to initiate clinical studies and publish clinical results, encourage collaboration between the users, and create a feeling among customers of belonging to a family or a group of friends, all working towards the same goals.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The investment to facilitate annual or bi-annual meetings of such forums, to create and maintain a member-based webpage focusing only on the clinical aspect, organize educational programs such as webinars, mentorship, and training courses, etc. with the customers is well-invested money to create long-term relationships with happy and loyal customers.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lena H&ouml;glund</a></em></span><br />&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Lena H&ouml;glund</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What are some effective ways to involve customers in marketing initiatives and leverage their expertise and experience to build customer loyalty? &nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Leveraging customers&rsquo; expertise and experience in marketing activities strengthens the customer relationship and builds valuable clinical proof to support marketing messages. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Customers&rsquo; clinical and scientific testimonials reinforce a company's commercial message by demonstrating proof of use. Such collaboration strengthens the relationship and a customer&rsquo;s loyalty to your brand. Testimonials, or user-generated content, can be featured in seminars, webinars, videos, training courses, customer perspective leaflets, case studies, books, white papers, and scientific publications. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How can data analytics and customer insights be leveraged in marketing strategies to improve customer retention in the MedTech field?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">By analyzing data, companies can make more targeted and personalized marketing strategies. It helps to understand customer behaviors and segment customer groups based on demography, buying patterns, and preferences. It also helps identify trends and predict new patterns and demands among customers. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This knowledge enables companies to create targeted marketing activities and campaigns that meet a specific customer or segment&rsquo;s needs. More accurate and successful marketing strategies increase the chances of attracting new customers and keeping existing customers. Customer insights are also an important input to the product development process. By incorporating their ideas and preferences, the rate of satisfaction increases as the customers acknowledge that their views have been valued and taken into consideration. It gives them a sense of ownership and respect as a valued collaborating partner, not just a customer. Feeling listened to, understood, and valued strengthens a customer&rsquo;s loyalty to a company and increases retention. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the key factors contributing to customer retention in the MedTech industry, and how can marketing strategies support this goal?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">I believe the key factors are trust, innovation, and collaboration. In the MedTech industry, and primarily in the medical device business, you sell products and solutions to healthcare providers whose oath is &ldquo;First, do no harm.&rdquo; This means they must trust blindly in the products they use to treat their patients and that they are of the highest quality, safe, reliable, and work as intended. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">To gain trust, understanding the customers&rsquo; needs and demands must be reflected in the marketing strategies, where the focus should be on developing and delivering products and solutions of the highest quality, meeting regulatory compliance, being supported by proof of evidence, and delivering the intended clinical outcome. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Consistently delivering superior quality and performance builds trust and loyalty among customers. As mentioned in the article, good customer support and care are also important factors in building trust in a company and its staff. Customers who trust a company and its products, who feel respected, listened to and attended to swiftly and professionally, contribute significantly to customer retention. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Staying at the forefront of innovation is essential in the MedTech industry. Stretching boundaries and developing new, advanced solutions that solve emerging challenges and deliver state-of-the-art technologies is important to show new and existing customers that the company is constantly developing and is a leader in its area. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Having an ear on the ground, with cutting-edge thinking to understand future challenges that help the customers advance their care, must be a key part of a company&rsquo;s strategic plan. Customer relations are not just good customer support and service. In the MedTech industry, collaboration and partnerships with customers are becoming increasingly common. It&rsquo;s about working together strategically, transferring knowledge, and solving problems together by developing new techniques and solutions. &nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Collaboration with customers enables a deeper understanding of a customer&rsquo;s day-to-day practice and future needs and gives important input to a company&rsquo;s strategic R&amp;D plan to develop user-friendly, workflow optimization, and cost-efficient solutions. Collaboration builds stronger relationships, increases customer satisfaction, and improves retention rates.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Lena Höglund

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