Philadelphia, PA — Over time, UCB developed three silos for answering customer questions: drug safety, customer service and medical information. Each had its own training and script.

Before they could launch a program in social media, UCB had to bring those teams together and cross train them. In just under a year, they created a single center for customer support: UCBCares. It’s actually one of the first departments you see when you walk into UCB’s headquarters: right inside the front door to keep those customers and patient needs top of mind for the entire company.

The associates are empowered to create this own ideas to move people from that first call to being satisfied with the resolution. Also, once a patient meets a specific associate, they can always talk to that person again. When a repeat callers reaches out, the team is trained to say, “you talked to Tom last time, would you like to talk to him again?”

Greg Cohen, Associate Director, Global Multichannel Marketing at UCB reminded us of the Oreo example from 2014 Super Bowl. When the lights went out, Oreo quickly tweeted:

Everyone was delighted with the tweet. But what they might not have thought about is Oreo was only able to do this because they had the right people in the right room at the right time to make it happen. UCB can’t always have that full decision team in the room; so, they’ve created a large matrix of scenarios and responses by brand that are appropriate for specific scenarios.

UCB is constantly updating those responses. The worst case to Cohen: sounding like a robot. They want to have the right language and range of responses that will help their UCB Cares reps come across as a real people (even when the content is pre approved).

Cohen explained the value proposition this way, “If customer service isn’t part of our marketing plan, you’ve failed as a marketer. Especially in pharma, where you need your consumer to not just buy your product once, but to keep buying it an taking it.” That loyalty dimension is part of every high-level strategy meeting at UCB. UCBCares teams always have a seat at the table.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.