INTERVIEW – ENGAGING CUSTOMERS WITH OMNI-CHANNEL DIGITAL PROGRAMS – GE HEALTHCARE’S JEROME CHEVILLOTTE
Leading up to NextLevel Life Science’s 6th Edition MedTech Commercial Leaders Forum 2018, we are conducting interviews with selected members of our prestigious speaker panel to learn more about their thoughts on this vital issue.
*Opinions below are those only of the individual and do not reflect upon corporate strategy or positioning.
For more information regarding NextLevel Life Science’s 6th Edition MedTech Commercial Leaders Forum 2018 click here!
Jerome Chevillotte, Marketing Director, GE Healthcare Western Europe
NextLevel: How would you describe the work that you do at GE Healthcare?
JC: GE Healthcare is a branch of the General Electric Company. We do two things. On one side, we make, sell, and serve healthcare systems, imaging equipment, ultrasonic equipment, and other equipment. On the other hand, we take part in the life sciences market by producing OEM drugs manufacturing equipment. So, we make equipment for the biotech companies that are producing biomedicals. I am taking part in the healthcare systems division and I am in charge there of marketing activities for the Western European region which encompasses France and Benelux.
The aim of GE Healthcare is to develop solutions for the sake of precision medicine including precision diagnostics, precision therapeutics and precision monitoring. We are developing solutions that are complementary to each other in our portfolio.
NextLevel: What is the main challenge to utilizing omni-channel digital programs?
JC: The main challenge is that we operate in a complex world in which the customer is not one, single person. We are dealing with complex profiles of customers where the challenge revolves around how to influence different personas. We have moved now from a traditional sales process of influencing and dealing with our customers in congresses, that is, in physical touchpoints, to digital touchpoints. It’s what I call our “physital” strategy which is a mix of physical presence and digital touchpoints. This is enlarging our customer touchbase and helping to maximize customer engagement.
NextLevel: How can we use loyalty programs to enhance the customer experience and incorporate those into an omni-channel digital program?
JC: Very concretely, we have created a customer social network within our customer base. We have a very large customer base and we have identified that there is a big demand from our customers to be able to share about their practices. Congresses are one way to get insights and to share, but there is no common platform which you can access 24/7 and where you can exchange with your peers. We have created the gecares.com platform which is a unique platform with more than 12,000 members from our customer base. It is built as a social network, especially around imaging which is one of our focus areas. Our customers post clinical cases, presentations, videos, and all sorts of clinical images. We see a great demand and appetite from customers to access the platform when they want and to exchange with their peers. The platform and all its content are exclusive to our customers. We give them access, free of charge. That’s very important in our mindset. We make sure that this platform is set to address the clinical and technical needs of our customers.
NextLevel: What are some key metrics to measure ROI on the digital platform?
JC: We are measuring return through the retention rate that we are getting from the customers that are engaged on the platform. We see a higher retention rate with customers engaging on the platform than with the other customers. That is the primary metric. We want to make sure that when the customer renews, it is with GE and we believe that the platform is creating a valuable role into the decision of the customers to stay.
We are also working to understand if the customers that are engaged on the platform buy at a higher value than the other ones because they hear about the options, or because they see the different applications that we are selling, or if they are influenced by their peers. In other words, is there a correlation? We are also tracking customer engagement on the platform in order to work on higher engagement which will improve the metrics which I have just mentioned, retention and upsell. Customer engagement is about how many connections, the frequency of the connections, how many content posts we have, views, etc. We want to make sure that the platform is leveraged by the customers. Interestingly, customers are seeing that they are able to interact with GE, not through the sales representative like they used to, but on a different scale and for the better.
NextLevel: How are you using analytics on this platform?
JC: We are using more descriptive analytics than predictive ones. It’s not yet at the level that we are able to analyze full trends, for example, that customers are looking more at this kind of content than that. Yet we do have 12,000 members on the platform with a growth of about 10-20%. We believe that there is probably an 80,000 potential customer reach in Europe. Today, we are reaching 12,000 so we have a big opportunity looking forward. That said, we can still work towards a better understanding of customer behaviour and experience on this platform.
NextLevel: What are you looking forward to most at our event in London?
JC: It’s a great opportunity for sharing practices, especially innovative ones, for sharing our points of view, and for networking. It can also let us challenge ourselves because we need to be working on this and learning from each other.