Most businesses in the MedTech industry experienced intense stress during the height of the pandemic as the shift to remote work, new safety requirements, and supply chain disruption shook up day-to-day operations. While we’re all recovering and adapting to those changes, the reality is that our increasingly connected world requires doing business differently. The pandemic didn’t cause the shift to digital, but it confirmed and accelerated it, especially in the healthcare industry. Today, digital transformation isn’t just nice to have—it’s a survival requirement.
Siloed systems and manual processes slow down work and impede scale. For example, do your field service technicians have to call support to verify their daily caseload? What about checking stock and ordering new parts? From safety checklists and case assignments to supply chain management, operating on a single platform and introducing digital collaboration and automation can truly revolutionize MedTech business operations — and transform the customer experience.
Salesforce can become the central, unifying platform for MedTech business operations. With the right mix of cloud products and applications, Salesforce can increase efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, strengthen safety and adherence, and deliver more value to patients, providers, and channel distributors.
But picking the right Salesforce solutions for your business is a bit like picking out the right color paint. Paint is a versatile, customizable resource with thousands of options. Even if you pick a single color, the shades and variations alone are dizzying. Salesforce also has seemingly endless possibilities with its multiple clouds and thousands of applications that integrate with the platform. It’s exciting but also overwhelming—where do you begin?
Based on our experience designing and implementing solutions for MedTech companies, the smartest place to start with Salesforce is your post-sale service. This encompasses customer onboarding and adoption, support, adherence, compliance, and maintenance. These areas require a high degree of communication, documentation, process, and regulation to ensure patient safety and satisfaction.
When it comes to digital transformation, post-sale service is the area that provides the most opportunity for cost savings, retention, productivity, and expansion. Streamlining these efforts and getting your customer support and field service teams on the same page via a single digital platform can revolutionize both your customer and employee experience. Let’s explore the top pain points and areas for improvement across the MedTech industry and examine how Salesforce can be applied to solve these issues.
When it comes to medical devices, customer adoption is critical for a few reasons. From an adherence perspective, are providers and patients using the device or service correctly to stay safe? And from an ROI perspective—which impacts retention and renewals—are users getting the maximum value? Effective training and communication are essential to successful adoption and value creation. Digital channels, portals, and knowledge libraries can help provide this training and support at scale.
MedTech compliance regulations are strict, and for good reason. Malfunctioning or out-of-service equipment has real consequences. Without comprehensive safety controls and processes built into your installation, training, and service maintenance tasks, the risks for patients, providers, and your business skyrocket. The challenge is designing these checks and balances in an efficient, transparent, and collaborative way. MedTech businesses must ensure that service and support have 24/7 visibility into the health and performance of their technology, and the best way to manage those complex, multifaceted healthcare operations is in the cloud.
Responsiveness is a key indicator of success. Apart from the benefits of delivering high-quality support to ensure customers experience value, preventing service delays will decrease risk for you, for patients, and providers. When a patient or provider has a question about operating their medical device, or a machine goes offline, response time can be critical. People are connected to the digital world in a way that was unimaginable even five years ago. This increased connection and participation have heightened people’s expectations for excellent, reliable experiences while expanding and improving rapid response and support capabilities.
The increase of available digital channels—SMS, web chat, social, email, etc.—means MedTech providers can customize their post-sale support functions to match how their customers want to engage. It’s not about using every channel but about listening, observing, and understanding what patients and providers want to use for fast and effective communication and resolution.
MedTech Use Cases for Salesforce
We’ve explored a few of the top MedTech pain points, now let’s look at how Salesforce can help solve them.
First response time and resolution time are the two most common ways people evaluate the quality of the support they receive. For years, businesses have had multiple channels for customer support: email, phone, online support tickets, social media, etc. A key advantage of Service Cloud is that all of those channels are connected. Whether a customer reaches out via phone, webchat, an online form, etc., Service Cloud can track each point of engagement, share the customer profile and history, and route them to the right agent to solve their problem quickly and efficiently. Agents don’t need to work across separate systems and databases to find the right answer. Shared histories and knowledge libraries empower employees to resolve the issue during the first interaction or initiate the right process to fix the problem (such as creating a field service case and scheduling a technician).
Customer onboarding is critical for adoption and delivering value. If you don’t make it simple for a provider or patient to begin using your device or service, they won’t remain a customer for long. Marketing Cloud can help you design an onboarding experience across multiple channels to ensure new customers learn how to use your product or service properly.
For example, a customer orders a new insulin pump online. The order can be tracked via Salesforce and upon delivery, trigger a welcome email that explains how to set up and begin using the pump. The box could also include instructions with a QR code that directs them to a video tutorial or knowledge library for more information. Each interaction is captured in their CRM profile, which will help you customize future messaging and provide data to learn more about your customers’ overall communication and engagement preferences. With this insight, you can tweak your messaging strategy to increase adoption and value.
It’s also easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer. Marketing Cloud is a powerful solution for cross-selling and upselling after the first purchase. You can send targeted messages to customers that promote relevant products and services based on their purchase history, no matter your channel. A provider’s or patient’s engagement with these promotional materials can lead to direct sales or give your sales reps insight into creating an effective cross-selling or upselling strategy.
Providing a curated, accessible digital experience can set you apart from competitors. Self-service via authenticated portals is a huge value add for your customers and your business. People like to feel informed and in control. When patients or providers can log into their account to see their history, review device performance, place an order, log a request, or explore your knowledge library, it empowers them to own their experience. Not only can Experience Cloud create a custom online environment for each customer, but it can help reduce support requests, speed up time to first value, and be used as a marketing avenue to cross-sell and upsell. It can also create a community of informed users who can help provide advice and support to other customers via online forums. The forums themselves are also incredibly valuable data sources for your entire team—especially product owners and service agents.
Field Service Lightning
We saved the most powerful for last: Field Service Lightning. Field Service Lightning is essential if your MedTech operations require a team of field technicians for device installation, repair, and maintenance. Why? Two words: utilization and compliance.
Utilization is a critical metric for field technicians. Are they as productive and efficient as possible? How do you know? Field Service Lightning provides the ability to assign technicians based on their skill set, location, and caseload. Not only that, but it will create the optimal route and share the right customer information and context for the visit. Field Service Lightning cuts down on the number of site visits (due to missing information, materials, etc.), improving resolution time, efficiency, and productivity. It also reduces employee and customer frustration by removing unnecessary steps and decreasing travel time and late appointments. Thanks to the connection between Field Service Lightning and Service Cloud, much of this work is automated, making these improvements scalable.
From a compliance perspective, the Field Service Lightning app helps technicians log their activities and complete their safety checklists, track the assets being maintained, and update replacement part serial numbers. Enabling field technicians to immediately input data increases transparency into materials, regulatory guidelines, and safety standards. The digital component also reduces their offsite workload and allows every relevant team member to access work order information to support the team and customers.
For real value, define the business case
Salesforce is a powerful platform for digital transformation, but it should be the vehicle for your vision and desired outcomes and not the primary driver. The first step in any effective transformation project is defining your specific goals, impact, and how you’ll measure success.
Start by asking, “What does success mean? What do my employees and customers need to be successful? What are our top pain points and opportunities for improvement?” Finding the right workstreams that deliver the highest value to customers and fit in with time and cost constraints is tough. Still, once you unlock and define that roadmap, digital transformation isn’t just a possibility—it’s inevitable.
Trust is the most powerful, valuable bond to form with patients and providers in healthcare and MedTech. Help them feel known, understood, and cared for by investing in the right platform to meet their needs and deliver value at scale.
If you’re interested in exploring how Salesforce can support your growth in the MedTech industry, schedule a call with our team of experts.