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Health Care Services and Customer References

Posted by Bill Lee on October 21, 2009 at 08:11 AM

Day 2 at the Summit on Customer Engagement.  What are health care services providers doing to cultivate customer references and other customer engagement opportunities?  VP of Market Development Vicki Cooney is telling us what AmerisourceBergen - a $70 billion pharmaceutical services provider - is doing. Vicki took a relatively new customer reference program and led the implementation of its "Refernces 2.0" program strategically. Many reference programs that have been around for years have grown stale, hidebound by traditions that no longer make sense. It's enlightening to see how a bright executive approaches customer references from a fresh point of view. 

Her approach: decidedly holistic. She started by securing senior executive support, including sales. She worked with them to establish clear goals. Performed gap analysis. Mapped out their existing reference customers. And proceeded with a clear implemntation plan. Make use of new technologies such as uploadable video to capture testimonials in ways most likely to be seen.

Her advise to firms wanting to build - or rebuild - a customer reference program.

- Understand corporate goals: be strategic, don't focus on program tools, focus on business goals. Recruit thought-leading customers into the program

- Develop a program roadmap

- Involve all stakeholders: understand their "pains" when it comes to customer references (are they getting the right ones? Do they get the reference materials they need? etc)

- Communicate early and often

- Listen to your customers

- Define the value

- Leverage the technology

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