What matters most to life scientists during their purchase journey?

In our previous article How to Win Market Share from Your Competitors, we discussed why developing a dedicated customer experience strategy is so critical to success for life science companies. It is important particularly for those looking to increase customer loyalty or steal market share for competitors in maturing markets. As mentioned, key touchpoints during the purchase process can solidify a customer’s loyalty or frustrate them to the point where they not only might switch suppliers but also urge others to avoid your brand.

To uncover what current customers thought about their suppliers, we surveyed over 1,000 life scientists around the globe on 27 of the world’s largest life science companies:

  • Abcam
  • Agilent Technologies
  • ATCC
  • BD Biosciences
  • Beckman Coulter
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories
  • Bio-Techne (R&D Systems, Novus Biologicals)
  • Bruker
  • Cell Signaling Technology
  • Corning Life Sciences
  • Eppendorf
  • GE Healthcare Life Sciences
  • Illumina
  • Integrated DNA Technologies
  • Leica
  • Millipore Sigma
  • New England Biolabs
  • PerkinElmer
  • Promega
  • Roche Molecular Systems
  • Tecan
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • VWR
  • Waters
  • Zeiss

Life scientists scored their supplier(s) on 21 identified customer experience touchpoints, and then our analysts used the Net Promoter Score methodology to determine each supplier’s score and relative ranking for each touchpoint, as well as the industry average.

On a positive note for suppliers, industry averages for the product experience and post-purchase experience were relatively high and presented an increase of the industry averages since our previous 2016 publication. Many of the touchpoints found in these parts of the overall experience are also of great importance to customers. However, several touchpoints of the pre-purchase experience are equally as important to customers, and our data shows life science suppliers on average are failing to satisfy during those crucial touchpoints.

This data suggests that suppliers must continue to invest in resources to fulfill customer’s information needs in the pre-purchase stage of their journey. Specific points of focus could include: user-friendly and intuitive web design (for desktop and mobile), search engine optimization, and the development of comprehensive website content and brochures for products. Product comparison tools can also be very helpful if your company offers several products for the same application or function, with different features and prices.

Boosting product awareness could also be achieved by using highly targeted media campaigns to deliver new product announcements and special offers directly to scientists in charge of buying laboratory products. To aid suppliers in targeting those specific customers, we launched an Announcements Program that uses our internationally recognized Science Advisory Board to deliver your messages to the right people. For more information, click here.

In this recent customer experience study, we also discovered that on average, only 37% of life scientists are highly satisfied and loyal to their current supplier(s), most likely due to dissatisfaction with some part of their customer experience. Each of these scientists presents an opportunity to win them over and turn them into loyal customers with a cohesive and tailored customer experience. Don’t lose them to the competition by letting them become dissatisfied.

Where does your company stand among the rest? What areas of your customer experience are winning repeat business, and what areas may dissuade scientists from repeat purchases? As a market research company dedicated to the life science industry, BioInformatics Inc. has been working with life science suppliers for over two decades. We know your business, and we understand your customers. Our 2018 Customer Experience Benchmark report is an excellent guide for focusing your efforts on areas in need of improvement, and as a comparison tool for your brand versus your competition.

Knowing how you shape up against the competition is only the first step. Our next article in this series will help you with those “Now what?” questions and will help you design a roadmap to create a winning customer experience.