Your medtech company doesn’t have to be one of the “giants” in the industry, constantly rolling out new products and services, in order to continue providing value to your customers. Even if your company is focused on a single product or service, there are ways to add value without having to develop something big and costly.
In Episode 69 of our Paradigm Shift of Healthcare podcast, Jennifer Armstrong, VP of Marketing at Stratus, shared some of the ways her company has added value for customers without having to add to their product line. Here, we’ll share some of the key lessons we learned from that episode.
Understand Your Customers’ Changing Needs
The needs of medical practices are constantly changing, sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in really significant ways. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, forced a lot of rapid change upon practices. If your company can find a way to solve some of those problems through your existing technology or provide additional support during transition periods, it could be a big win.
Jennifer’s company, Stratus, is focused on devices that enable remote testing for certain conditions, making their product a great fit for the COVID-19 era. However, your company’s product does not necessarily have to solve the problem for you to provide support during times of change.
One major way that the pandemic changed processes for both medtech companies and providers was the ability for the medtech reps to go to the practice’s office or operating room to provide in-person demonstrations and support. When in-person meetings are not possible, your company can win by finding ways to provide the same, if not better, support remotely. This may mean hosting virtual sessions with practices, as Jennifer’s company did, as well as enhancing your educational resources to ensure your customers have what they need.
Provide Continuing Education Options for Medical Devices
If your company offers medical devices, often those devices need to be set up and operated by trained professionals. That includes initial training, but your customers could likely also benefit from continuing education to make sure they are up to date on the latest information about your device.
Additionally, many accredited healthcare professionals are required to get continuing education or CEU credits to continue to do their jobs. However, as Jennifer pointed out in the podcast, it can sometimes be difficult for techs in certain specialties to find easily accessible and cost-effective educational courses. Her company’s solution was to not only develop continuing education programs, but also to offer them at no charge to customers. The courses are also offered via Zoom and recorded so that customers can go back and rewatch after the session is complete.
Even if it isn’t feasible at the moment for your company to offer free continuing education courses, you can look for ways to make them more accessible to your customers. That might mean offering courses in a virtual format if possible, or looking for ways to offer it more frequently. If you aren’t sure what would work best for your customers, you can always ask for feedback on what options would be most useful to them.
Look for Ways to Improve Your Existing Platform
While this isn’t true for all medical devices, many devices in the medtech space collect data for physicians to review, either after a procedure or as part of ongoing patient care. How your company presents and makes that data available to physicians can be a huge factor in their overall satisfaction with the device. On the other hand, if your company specializes in products that don’t collect data, like joint replacement implants, you might think about how you are presenting your catalogue of products to your customers. Have you made it easy for hospitals to figure out what products they need and how to order them?
In both cases, the way you present the information matters. Your customers are busy, so convenience and ease of use are of utmost importance. At Health Connective, we’ve helped several medtech companies present their information to customers in a way that is useful, from online product catalogues to post-surgical data. Companies that recognize the need to revisit and streamline data presentation can continue to provide value for their customers because they are ultimately making it easier for their customers to engage. In our experience, medtech companies that really listen to their customers about common pain points and solicit feedback through beta tests can really improve the value of their offering.
Jennifer also provided an example of how her company is improving their platform, moving from an app-based platform that had to be installed on the physician’s work computer to a web application that physicians can access from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. This provides added value to their customers because the physicians are able to review patient data wherever they are, meaning they can spend fewer hours in their offices.
At the end of the day, the most effective way to continue providing value to your customers is to be in tune with their needs and regularly solicit their feedback. You might just find that the things your customers would value most are easier to provide than you think.