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Creating a customer loyalty strategy that targets doctors

Building a physician's loyalty is no easy task. Martha Rogers gives tips for things to think about when trying to create a customer loyalty strategy

I work in the pharmaceutical industry, so our customers are the doctors who write prescriptions for their patients. What is a good way to establish customer worth? Do you have any suggestions for building a doctor's loyalty?
Doctors are important customers for the pharmaceutical industry, and the patients, payers, employers and insurance companies are important as well. When we think about building loyalty amongst doctors, we have to ask ourselves, what is it that we're doing for those doctors that nobody else can do? We are offering a particular pill or vaccine or medical device that is available from us and no one else, but are we offering anything additional to this particular doctor that isn't being offered by everybody else?

For example, say you have sales reps going into doctors' offices all day every day, and if I'm not mistaken, the chances are pretty good that when the sales reps get there they are doing things that benefit the pharmaceutical business much more than the doctor or the patient under the doctor's care. They are there trying to detail the products and show why those products should be prescribed. Does that sound familiar? If it does, it's probably time for you to think of a different role for yourself. Try thinking about what the physician's life is like and try to take his point of view. How busy is she? What needs to be accomplished in his office? What might it be like to deal with patients and try to make an appropriate diagnosis and prescription that will help that patient's outcome? So my suggestion for building doctors' loyalty is to take his or her point of view and try to help them solve their problems.


Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.
This was last published in August 2008

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