Consensual Deception and Other Lies About Operational Metrics
Episode

Richard Schwartz, Life Sciences Industry Practice Lead at Medallia

Consensual Deception and Other Lies About Operational Metrics

Pharma is looking to understand and embrace customer experience by the minute.

In this episode, Richard Schwartz, Life Sciences, Medical Device, and Digital Health Practice Lead at Medallia, talks about the value of customer insights in life sciences. Many companies in different industries have realized that organizing themselves around their customers can be a very productive decision, and pharma companies are catching on. Richard speaks of the importance of listening to customers’ voices, how call centers and customer support are starting points for this data collection, and why leaders should be aware of it. Throughout his conversation with host Natanya Wachtel, they discuss how making decisions with insights into customers’ needs, sentiments, and emotions can impact a company’s financial profit, employee experience, and research outcomes.

Tune in to this episode to learn about Richard Schwartz’s knowledge of how customer insights are the future of many healthcare companies!

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Consensual Deception and Other Lies About Operational Metrics

About Richard Schwartz:

Richard Schwartz has been focused on optimizing healthcare experiences for patients, and clinicians, and supporting them for over 30 years. He has worked within life sciences organizations, WebMD/Medscape, consultancies, agencies, digital health, and technology solutions that support our journeys through illness and wellness. He has served as an advisor to TEDMED, DreamIT Ventures, Thomas Jefferson University’s Health Design Lab, the NYC Media Lab, and NYC’s Combine Accelerator. He often speaks and writes about his passion, EaaM – Experience as a Medicine. 

Rich is currently the Life Sciences, Medical Device, and Digital Health Practice Lead at Medallia where he is helping the industry understand, adopt, implement and deliver value through customer feedback and resolution operating systems.

 

InsightsOut_RichardSchwartz: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

InsightsOut_RichardSchwartz: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Natanya Wachtel:
Brands that can connect with their audiences more viscerally and more authentically will always be successful. With the Insights Out podcast, you will get access to deep and detailed conversations with the heads of leading organizations to understand how they are making their customer relationships work best and how we can all become more aligned to deliver strong value exchanges and better realize the benefits. I’m your host, Dr. Natanya Wachtel. Welcome.

Natanya Wachtel:
Welcome to Insights Out, a spotlight on modern solutions to put customer data to work. We unearth game-changing intelligence, predict customer needs, and seamlessly connect insights into measurable action everywhere your brand touches your customer. Today, I am very fortunate to have Richard Schwartz joining me. He’s been focused on optimizing healthcare experiences for patients, clinicians, and the people surrounding and supporting them for over 30 years. He has worked within life sciences organizations, WebMD/Medscape, consultancies, agencies, digital health, and technology solutions that support our journey through illness to wellness. He has served as an advisor to TEDMED, DreamIt Ventures, Thomas Jefferson University’s Health Design Lab, the New York City Media Lab, and New York City’s Combine Accelerator. He often speaks and writes about his passion, EaaM, Experience as a Medicine. Rich is currently Life Sciences, Medical Device, and Digital Health Practice Lead at Medallia, where he’s helping the industry understand, adopt, implement, and deliver value through customer feedback and resolution operating systems. Welcome, Richard.

Richard Schwartz:
Hey, Natanya, how are you?

Natanya Wachtel:
I’m good, thank you so much for being here with me.

Richard Schwartz:
Oh, I’m thrilled to be here.

Natanya Wachtel:
On a personal note, full disclosure, we have a 20-plus almost-year history, went from when we first met, when you were at WebMD, when I was at Sanofi, and it’s been amazing to know you, learn from you, ever since, and I’m so, so grateful that you’re here today with me.

Richard Schwartz:
Same, same, wow, 20 years, is it? Goodness, I remember first meeting in Bridgewater, that’s a long time ago.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, it was, but it also feels like not too long ago in some ways, that’s what COVID taught us, that time is present.

Richard Schwartz:
Change.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, right, but speaking of change, I was really hoping to get some of your thoughts for our listeners about the evolution of what is a customer and customer insights and how the life sciences approach them. And we were just chatting before we recorded about some of this, and what you’ve really seen in terms of best practices, what you’ve seen in terms of, well, let’s say epic fails, if we can, without naming any names, but I would love for you to talk a little bit about your background and then we can get into maybe some key highlights around trends and things you’re seeing.

Richard Schwartz:
Sure, so when you think about the industry that we serve, life sciences, and you think about customer experience, it is, we’ve always talked about patient centricity and we’ve always talked about physician centricity and physician support, but oftentimes, if you ask somebody, can you draw that for me? Can you draw? Can you go pull the way … and draw what that looks like for me? The brand sits in the center and when you look outside of industry and iconic brands like Lego and Harley and Delta, who are just incredibly good at the customer experience, at understanding and orchestrating and solving for it, that chart would look very different. That visual would look very different. The customer and what the customer is doing and needing and feeling are at the very, very center and they’re also organized around taking actions on that. And pharma’s got a great appetite for understanding and embracing customer experience, and it’s growing and growing, but actioning it is a little bit behind right now. The great news is appetite is high and the headroom for innovation is pretty expansive.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what you’re doing right now? And then we can work backwards.

Richard Schwartz:
Sure, I’m, I was so thrilled to meet and join Medallia. And so Medallia is a software platform that helps companies better understand and take action on customer experiences by collecting signals at scale. And by signals, I don’t mean just surveying customers. Surveys are important, but they will get you the vocal minority. In order to get the silent majority, you have to look at the broader signals on how people are behaving in digital and how people are behaving on call centers and being in, even telemetry signals, and being able to gather and orchestrate those signals and then democratize them across an organization so you can take actions is a really, really powerful business tool.

Natanya Wachtel:
Absolutely, absolutely, I was going to say, you know, I feel like it was only just a couple of years ago where we were bandying about the word omnichannel across, let’s say, conference tables. And, you know, oftentimes things like the call center were not even a consideration set in terms of the customer loop, right, and experience. And for the data that is there, even though those are direct touches with all different kinds of customers, whether it’s a field medical call center with physicians, or customer service around something in a hub for a patient, whether it’s a packaging thing, a adverse event thing, whatever, there’s tons of data, these are recorded calls, and it was sort of pooh-poohed, and/or like that’s, we don’t have time for that or we don’t have a system for that or, so I remember that quite well. And being a part of like pushing for that and making even IVR call flows thinking about, right? So it’s really incredible and awesome to me. I can really appreciate from a personal perspective and I’m sure many listeners can as well that finally thinking about a 360 approach to what that interaction looks like and understanding it and optimizing it, it’s something we really need in industry, for sure.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, it is, and that voice of the customer becomes so important. You mentioned, you mentioned omnichannel and so we went through the multichannel and then we somehow got to the omnichannel because it sounds super cool. There’s a bit of a myth there though, when you think about where the experience breaks down because it may not break down in one of our owned and operated channels as a pharmaceutical brand, it’s more likely to break down at the system, at the payer, at the pharmacy level. And we don’t know, the invisible hand comes in and sweeps that patient away and sweeps that prescription away, and we don’t ever really know why that happened. We have our suspicions and we have data on prior authorization or just basically being a human and not wanting to be on a prescription, what have you just been frustrated, confusing, etc., but without being able to get the voice of the customer and understand where things broke and then being able to go back out to those constituents that surround a prescription on the path to a prescription and say, hey, we’re getting feedback from patients-payer-pharmacy system that is breaking down here. How do we work better together? Because we all know that when people take their medicines and they take them the right way, they tend to do a lot better.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, it’s sort of a win-win, but it’s not always the clearest point path between the two points.

Richard Schwartz:
No, no.

Natanya Wachtel:
The easiest, the clearest, or the simplest, you know, there may be sort of, it seems like there are often ignored or hidden obstacles around things like, let’s say price. I know this is a big topic, so I’m going to overgeneralize here, but I’m curious about how you guys handle things like this. So I recently had an experience where there was a high abandonment rate, right? And they were like, well, we have a copay card, so that’s not it, the end. Like that was the end of discussion, it shut down, and you’re laughing. So, you know, I’m curious also about how you’re getting, is it sort of the empiricism of the data that’s getting people to listen, stop and shift? I mean, do you know what I mean? Because it’s one thing to identify those things, which is already in itself a hurdle, and it’s another thing to get people to do things differently because they’re going to have to maybe do different resource allocation. The structure of the departments are so siloed so that they’re not working as one unit, as a brand, right, and we have to for some things like medical versus promotional and that kind of stuff. But I was just curious about like what your experience is in terms of, once you identify things, what the receptivity is like, and again, not naming names, but just to give us some.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, I mean, there’s epiphanies inside of the voice of the customer so many times, just simply being able to understand, oh my gosh, people with this condition aren’t supposed to lift any more weight, and we’re shipping this product that weighs more than they’re able to lift, like really simple things.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, that’s a great example.

Richard Schwartz:
The packaging, the understanding, the, your everyday person doesn’t understand prior authorization and benefits verification. And even those people that do when that moves on to the physician side, pair-off causes a tremendous burden on the practice and it causes a tremendous burden in the pharmacy, and then it gets rejected and we’ve got a person sitting there just wanting their medication and they’re not able to get it and they’re not able to prescribe it. And so, you know, we’ve looked at things like the Veteran’s Administration, for example, which is all public data, but we looked at understanding the experience there, which has been a tremendous body of work over the past six years to understand, is it … or is it easy? Is it effective and was it empathetic? And that’s just tremendous guidance for any brand to think about. Am I making this easy for people? Is it what they expected? Is it as effective? Of course, it’s safe and efficacious, it’s supposed to be. But was the experience to get started and stay effective and easy? And then finally, you know, is it empathetic? Are we truly showing them love? And you talked about, co-pay cards and patient service platforms are a current topic of fascination, they have been for a long time, and if we really look at our industry and we’re really super, super honest about it, most of those, kind of boil down to, and I’m probably going to upset some people by saying this, a co-pay card, an 800 number in a sharps container. And so what else is there, right? Is it built by patients and for patients? Are we taking their feedback to say, gosh, this could be better, right?

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah! And do they even know? I think there’s another thing around, is the card, virtual card, whatever you want to call it, the discount program, is that even known to the patient? Because that’s another layer, like there’s just a assumption that because we signed a contract with this vendor and they said they’re going to stick these in the pharmacy or in the waiting room, or however, unless it’s sort of tied to something where you can be sure it’s 1 to 1, most, a lot of the time they don’t even know these benefits you supposedly think cover your stopgap, right? I mean, I was curious about those kinds of things, too, if you’re seeing that, it’s just, you know, it’s mind-boggling that, you know, that show Undercover Boss, it feels like a lot of leadership might benefit, right, from actually trying to put themselves like the way sales role plays their sales scenarios, we’ll play the customer service experience from every customer stakeholder, right? And then that’s there where that honest look at yourself comes into play, I think.

Richard Schwartz:
We’ve actually done that with some of our customers at Medallia.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, you were laughing, so I can tell.

Richard Schwartz:
We’ll put leaders on the front line, we’ll put them in the call center, say, here’s what it’s like, because, I’m fascinated by the call center also because when you think about the notion of picking up my phone and calling a human, well, don’t want to do that for some other, probably because the experience has been historically bad and it often means that something broke somewhere else. Omnichannel experience, something broke, and my last resort is okay, I’ve got to call somebody and have a discussion with somebody. Well, the opportunity there is for those to be resolution centers that evolve. And that’s such a wonderful thing to think about because attrition in those call centers is really high, and when you lose an agent to replace and retrain somebody, it’s about 20,000 dollars to do the.

Natanya Wachtel:
At least, and this could be even whether we’re talking about, now I don’t mean bot chat, but I mean either whether it’s virtual chat or telephony. Yeah, I mean, I was just curious because I’ve, you know, do probably few, work with fewer clients per year than your firm. I won’t even say how many years ago, but it was probably ten. I worked on a diabetes product and it was so small and they were very open and sort of an upstart that they were very willing to collaborate as we build our CRM, as you know, I worked in CRM for a long time, patient and physician, right? So it was amazing. That was probably the one and only program I was ever sort of given the permission and resources to really focus on the call center as an experience point where we were, like I said, we examined the IVR, how many layers is it? What does it feel like? What happens if this? Use case scenario planning to the umpteenth degree of patients, care partners, and providers around making that experience, doing training, going onsite with the brand team and the representatives, having a mix of nurses and customer service reps depending on what was going on, right, and what we needed for what kinds of calls they were, but making sure that we like really knew that they knew and everybody walked the walk and talk the talk and what were the sort of inclusion and exclusion criteria, and also proactively made database variants that we were going to look at so that we could analyze it and do, understand how things were going. And honestly, it was one program out of maybe several hundred that I’ve done in my career. And we, you know, and we got all this incredible, sorry, obviously, the results were not just winning awards for its design and that kind of stuff, but on many levels, it really served its purpose well. And I feel like that was so rare, and I was just curious if you see, maybe because of cost shifts in the industry from the tech changing, do you still see resistance, I guess, to focusing there, or does it kind of come more naturally because now you have a way to represent the need?

Richard Schwartz:
It’s starting to become more natural, and there’s a really kind of, when you think about the adequate provision inside of DTC, right? At the end of a DTC ad, the call to action or talk to your doctor, visit our website or call our number. Okay, so you’re telling them to call, what’s going to happen when they do? Are we prepared for that? And so I was just reading data the other day that in the first half of this year, in 2022, Pharma has spent 5.5 billion dollars in DTC television, in the first half of this year. So there’s a good side and a bad side to that. I’ll start, the good side is we know that direct-to-consumer does some good things in terms of awareness and understanding of medication and disease, takes away some of the shame of these diseases, and the bad side is it’s insanely expensive, right? Where else could that money go? And the problem with it is it works, like look at the numbers, it works exceedingly well. Why would they spend more? If it didn’t work, but everything works until it doesn’t, or could it work better? What if that experience on that website were better orchestrated, right? What if that journey could adapt in real-time based on the other things that I’ve done and who I am? That’s pretty amazing. What if that call center was connected? So now suddenly the patient’s not feeling like there’s a silo. The physician in their office aren’t feeling like there’s a silo. And you look at all the silos within a pharma organization, if everything is built around that, those two customers, the physician, the intermediary, and the patient customer. And we find problems that are real, that are captured that we can see then suddenly it’s not a departmental issue, right? It’s a silo buster in a lot of ways.

Natanya Wachtel:
It’s enterprise-wide and that’s, exactly, that’s really important.

Richard Schwartz:
Organizations that do this really well understand that some people are like, oh yeah, we’re going to do this customer experience, we’re going to get all this data and we’re going to find that one big problem and we’re going to fix it, and then everything will be okay, and … rainbows, it’s not about finding that one.

Natanya Wachtel:
Singular break in the chain, right?

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, you know, you’re not going to improve one thing by 1,000%, you should be focused on a thousand things by 1%.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, no, absolutely. That’s a really, really great point there. In terms of what you’re seeing on, let’s say, the leaders of the pack, which we know are, we were talking about a little before we recorded in terms of how life sciences, especially the larger organizations, the more entrenched, established, you know, heavy lift organizations may or may not say they want to emulate sort of household brands and the way they do things, but it’s a tough road and people are, for legitimate reasons, cautious because we have a highly regulated industry, right? So sometimes there’s an intent, but they can’t find a way to execute it within the legal parameters. However, there’s a lot of room in there. And so there are some companies that are pushing those envelopes and taking that risk or shifting the way we do business in the industry, and I was curious if you could tell us some of the highlights from maybe some of the first movers that you’re seeing and that you kind of hope others would try to do, what do you say, a quick follow?

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, well, biopharma follows fast and we know that. So this is one of my favorite topics, and one of the cool things about where I am now is, I’m in an organization that touches all industries. So there’s 25 of me across the organization that kind of do what I do, and most of us have come out of industry. So my colleague that runs Powersports came from running customer experience at Harley. My customer, my colleague that runs automotive came from running this at Ford. One of my colleagues came from 7/11, one came from the VA, one came from Fannie Mae, and from big banks. So it’s really, really cool because people are people at the end of the day, and I got caught up reading, I go to the JP Morgan Conference every year, but I was looking at JP Morgan’s retail roundup, and I notice a year before last the CFO, not the CEO, not the CMO, not the chief experience officer, the CFO of Home Depot, Richard McPhail, said something in his address and he said, everything has changed because of our focus on the customer experience. Nobody is going to care about this more than us. Nobody is going to be better at it than us. I’m like, wow, that’s the CFO talking about it. So then I.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, if you can tie it to the money, then maybe people will listen. Is that the message? Just make sure you’re tied to the financial because we’re talking about lifetime annual value, lifetime value, operational efficiency. Like there is a financial modeling that can support if you do this, and we tried to show that right, in early days anyway, if you do this, it’s a win-win, but you have to take a moment. And I think it leads to the other thing we were talking about earlier in terms of another shift that might need to happen is that the pharma companies I noticed as an independent contractor, from my agencies, that COVID had a shift in the contracting process dramatically and a lot of vendors, so this is not a plug for me, I’m just saying that like I noticed this first hand, we had to wind up subcontracting under larger organizations to keep relationships that we had had for ten and 20 years because now there’s this idea that somehow they’re saving money in procurement, which is this farce if, I’m probably going to be blacklisted for this, but they basically it’s like the oldest story in retail, right? They say we’re going to have these preferred vendors, so we’re going to save money and have the best pricing. But it’s a game because what they do is they just raise the price and hold fast and say, you’ve gotten this discount, and then ultimately you’re stuck without discernible, you don’t have people truly trying to keep their job or their contract because of the best job that they do. They’re doing it because of either pricing and margins and that kind of stuff and the relationships that might be personal, but you have the same talent working on the same drugs and the same projects over and over again. Maybe they shift agencies, maybe they shift companies, and so you have the same perspective and the same lens over and over again in a vacuum. And it just kind of circulates on itself, and then everyone thinks, but we’ve got the best. And actually, if they would maybe look at a little bit, be a little more open to taking a little risk like you have within your organization, with your colleagues, where you get different perspectives on what success looks like. Everyone can learn those other things that they think are so needed, right? So I was wondering about that and how that is reflected in your client base and what you’re seeing.

Richard Schwartz:
Oh, gosh, I could go on about the billable hour versus … hour.

Natanya Wachtel:
I just meant more like the expertise and the voice and the people who are guiding these decisions around how we should launch a brand from a customer perspective. Are the same, so there’s no new voices that kind of bring up these things.

Richard Schwartz:
What I am seeing increasingly with some of the more mature organizations is, there’s all kinds of adages about Amazon that there’s always an empty chair in every conference room representing the customer, but why is it empty?

Natanya Wachtel:
Right.

Richard Schwartz:
Why aren’t they actually there? So what I am seeing increasingly with pharma, it just warms my heart is that the customer voice is embedded in decisions with companies that are doing this really well. It is the physician voice on where this breaks down, where this complicated where, where there’s, where the things are broken inside of the machine, the customer, and where this is hard, where it’s less than empathetic, when that voice of the customer is embedded in it. And we are designed around not just collecting that data, but around a default action and relentless resolution. Things change and the way, you know, an organization is designed for this, one of the ways, I mentioned …, the quote from Home Depot earlier, what that sparked to me is I figured out a way to go into financial statements, into 10Ks, into quarterly reports, into investor meetings for the top pharma companies, and look at keywords. Who’s actually talking about customer experience? I’m talking about patient experience, physician experience, satisfaction, customer effort scores, net promoter scores. And guess what? The organizations whose leaders are talking about it more, not that it shows up in some fluff piece, not that it shows up.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, right. I know what you mean.

Richard Schwartz:
You’re talking about a tie to dollars, tie to impact, tie to employee experience, like our retention is better because we’re connecting employees. The customer are the ones that are leading.

Natanya Wachtel:
Yeah, I mean, it’s sort of like the obvious thing that is, what is it the thing that’s in front of your face all along. They say that in love, right? I didn’t realize it was in front of me all along, but it makes so much sense and that’s genius. And at the end of the day, then that’s again, that’s the win-win story. But I, really, so many things you said there, I’m hoping to transcribe. That’s fantastic.

Richard Schwartz:
Well, if you pick up Fred Reichheld, who is a Bain fellow, he invented the net promoter system, and if you pick up his most recent book, Winning on Purpose, there’s a section in there where he compares the good to great companies. Collins’s book, Good to Great to high-net promoter score companies. And guess who’s more sustainable? If you invested in the high-net promoter score companies over the good to great companies, your portfolio would look a lot better over the last 20 years than if you just looked at good to great. Why? Because voice of the customer is embedded in the actions that they take and the evolutions that they make. And that’s kind of a beautiful thing. And when we look at, we’re a company is struggling in pharma and in med device and digital health to pull in, customer experience, I have my dirty dozen that I can’t go through all of them, but a lot of them are, are you connecting to return on experience and return on investment from the onset? Is this good for the customer and good for our business because we are in business, right? Do you have leadership commitment? Not leadership, here’s some budget, but this is how we’re going to market, this is part of our culture, this is a part of our evolution, that’s a big deal, that’s a big change where it is customer obsession. And we have an app called Voices and leaders can see feedback from their customers and swipe on it and forward it on and compliment people for jobs well done, right on their phone first thing in the morning.

Natanya Wachtel:
That’s incredible.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, it’s really cool, I love it. I look at it, I wake up in the morning because we get it on ourselves as an organization and the work we’re doing. And I look at it first thing in the morning and trust me, my leadership does too.

Natanya Wachtel:
And coming from a background of, you know, heavy tied to primary and secondary research, I say this with respect for the entire approach. In fact, in my last episode, we talked a lot about some of the disconnects in the traditional ways that research is done with customers as well, which kind of fuels a false narrative potentially, especially in life sciences, around what people really care about, but I think because we’re not talking about like consumer packaged goods, things like, clinicians are going to be careful in a formal research situation about how they respond to something. Patients in a former Schlesinger, if I’m allowed to say their name or whatever, conference room or even in a mobile panel may be more formal about what they’re saying, but when you’re opening it up to what’s your opinion here in a general way, that sort of level of informality probably breeds so much more authenticity in what you’re reading, so what you get is so much more raw, I’m assuming, with that kind of thing, because I’ve seen it in the consumer packaged goods industry, right, and that’s incredible. And that’s often what we were showing a lot of companies. And I think, you know, there’s always a concern, well, what about adverse events? We can’t monitor that. That’s scary, you know, that kind of thing. So, you know, it’s really incredible that you’re having success here, and I can only imagine most companies would benefit from having something like that. That’s incredible.

Richard Schwartz:
You know what, thank you. And you know what? You know what it reminds me of? We share friends in ViVe and Fabio and Beth and Sunny and that whole team.

Natanya Wachtel:
Absolutely.

Richard Schwartz:
And just the brilliant work that they’ve done in voice, right? Being able to collect customer data through their voice so that you don’t, all of these valuable and rich data isn’t lost in transcription.

Natanya Wachtel:
Exactly.

Richard Schwartz:
It’s real and tangible, their lexical choices in their tonality and just brilliant working.

Natanya Wachtel:
All the sentiment you can glean that flat text cannot.

Richard Schwartz:
And it’s so inspiring and a lot of the data that we see when you look at it, you start to understand customer sentiment and customer emotions, and an angry patient, it’s very different than a frightened one.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, and I would argue that as a predictive analyst myself, right, that that would be the secret sauce in the percent of accuracy in my predictive model, right? Because if I’m normalizing all patients or all clinicians as the same motivation, you know, maybe there was some segmentation done, but you really don’t even often, right, see those applied to their actual population. So you really don’t know how to predict behavior when you have such potentially polarizing views, right? But when you have it, then you can understand, you can make maybe tools, whether they be AI, power, typing tools, whatever, to kind of better understand on the fly from really, really small things, really, really small impulses or signals, as you said. So it’s absolutely fascinating the level of sophistication we could be applying, and some companies are. And I just would hope that our listeners, whether, whoever they represent, you know, are open-minded to this kind of thing, because I think it helps us all. It serves us all. It serves your mother, your brother, your sister, your father, your uncle, your child, whoever is a patient, whoever is a provider, everybody wins. And the company, like you said, at the end of the day, the business wins because efficiency and optimization is better for all.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, and when we talk about the next best action you’re not going to build next best action in physician engagement based on deciles and operational metrics.

Natanya Wachtel:
But that’s still, we’re made to start the majority of the time. Yeah, right? So that’s, right, so I mean, we’re seeing quite a few controversial things today and we don’t want to bite the hand that feeds us, we’re just urging a true commitment to change, and change is scary for a lot of folks. And a lot of people driving this ship are veterans like us, and it’s hard, but I think the aging and shifts in our population, in COVID, in terms of the way we work, the way we relate, the way we get care, it’s just, it’s time.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, and it is controversial, so you can edit it out. But, you know, even when we look at operational metrics and, you know, the attention merchants come back and they say to the brand, oh, here’s all your operational metrics on clicks and views and visits and streams, and oh, here over here is the financial metrics on an uptick in prescribing. Didn’t we do a good job? There is a degree of consensual deception in that yeah, they told us that data, and this all looks good, so that must have done it. But we don’t really know, without between the layers that connective tissue of the experiential data, how is that scalable and repeatable without spending more money, I guess.

Natanya Wachtel:
Right, because then they don’t think about also other things, like the drug itself might be a first in class or only, you know, like all the things that might not be an easy analog for another product in the company or portfolio.

Richard Schwartz:
I love, I love this industry because when you think about it, this industry changes the course of disease in the human body. Like just wrap your brain around that for one second. If that’s not a miracle, it’s magical, right? That is absolutely insane. So why aren’t the experiences that are wrapped around that medicine as beautiful as the medicine itself? Thinking about something as, Oh, my gosh, … therapy. When you think about the concept of that, right, and RNA and all of these great advancements that this industry that I’ve been tied to for 30 plus years are doing. Wow, let’s honor these compounds in the work of these brilliant scientists and these brilliant people by wrapping the experiences around them that are commensurate with the medications themselves. So you start to think about, oh, next best action. The next best action that we’re going to take needs to take into consideration not just what they’re doing and what they did, but what they care about. …. I did some research years ago, a pharma company had come to me and said, hey, we want to understand what physicians are doing online and stuff. I go, Great, here’s a couple of reports you should buy. Don’t pay me to do that. But you know, it would be really awesome to understand what makes them afraid, what gives them joy, what makes them angry, what do they wish they had that they don’t have today? And we did that research and unbelievable. … changed for how we were approached.

Natanya Wachtel:
That is quite powerful but it is, that is definitely off the beaten path in terms of the playbook for approach.

Richard Schwartz:
I’m a little bit off the beaten path.

Natanya Wachtel:
Well, obviously, well we both are kindred spirits.

Richard Schwartz:
… 20 years ago.

Natanya Wachtel:
That’s what feels this long of a connection. No, that’s incredible. I see we’re coming up on time. So I just wanted to thank you so much for all of these gems, so many things in between what you said. I’m definitely going to, so many phrases were just so powerful. So I encourage anyone listening and myself included to kind of go back and relisten to a lot of what you said, even just in terms of the approach, some of the insights around what’s where and how, and I would also just like to say, if there’s any message that you have in closing to the listeners, and/or if you’d like to tell people the best way to find you and get in contact with you, this would be a great time to do that.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah, well, you can find me on LinkedIn or wherever, call Natanya. But, you know, I have again fallen in love again with what I do. Like, I don’t have to set my alarm to get up in the morning, I’m out of bed, and I am at my desk or I’m actually getting ready to get on a train and go to New York City for the first time in three years. I’m just so excited about the opportunity for industry to truly look at the customer experience, the physician, the patient, the caregiver, and your colleagues, the employee experience, and embrace it, and let it change the way that you operate and do business. You will be pleasantly surprised about the impact that it can have.

Natanya Wachtel:
That is awesome. Thank you so very much for your time.

Richard Schwartz:
Yeah.

Natanya Wachtel:
Really appreciate it.

Natanya Wachtel:
Thank you for listening to Insights Out. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you have a specific topic in mind and you want us to discuss, please reach out to us by visiting NewSolutionsNetwork.com. See you next time!

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Things You’ll Learn:

  • Medallia is a software platform that helps companies understand better and take action on customer experiences by collecting signals at scale.
  • There are tons of valuable behavioral data in call center recorded calls that can help track customers’ needs, sentiments, and emotions.
  • In the first half of 2022, Pharma spent $5.5 billion on direct-to-customer television ads.
  • Pharma companies are increasingly embedding customer voices in their decisions.
  • Medallia uses an app called Voices where leaders can see feedback from their customers.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Richard Schwartz on LinkedIn.
  • Follow Medallia on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the Medallia Website.