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Hannah Light

Hannah is Digital Marketing Manager at Star OUTiCO.

16 February 2022

According to a recent poll we ran on ‘soft’ skills, most people would like to develop their complex problem-solving ability in their everyday tasks.

In today’s climate, where pharma navigates the fine line between face-to-face and remote engagement with HCPs, being able to see challenges less as barriers, and more as vehicles for improvement should be high on most of our skill set aspirations.

What does complex problem-solving look like in practice?

One of the best examples of complex problem-solving combined with a highly creative approach has to be way that the pharma industry, its providers, and the NHS, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finding innovative solutions to challenges has had to become pharma’s bread and butter since 2020, adapting at pace to the ever-changing environment in which their NHS customers work, with the NHS itself seeing years’ worth of development in a matter of weeks.

As a service provider to the pharma industry and partner to the NHS, we at Star OUTiCO had to mirror this agile adaptation to ensure that our clients were in the best position to continue to make a commercial impact and deliver optimum patient outcomes, utilising digital in combination with in-person promotion.

… being able to see challenges less as barriers, and more as vehicles for improvement should be high on most of our skill set aspirations.

While the pandemic is an unusual example of complex problem-solving due to its unprecedented nature, it allows us to demonstrate the value of these skills if we break it down by looking at one of our more recent case studies, centred around this combination of digital and in-person interaction: Omni-Channel Engagement.


What was the problem?

After a company restructure, our client was looking for a partner to recruit and deploy a team of Engagement Specialists to deliver an Omni-Channel recruitment programme, within Speciality and Primary Care environments.

What was the solution?

The object was to instil a robust recruitment process, onboarding high-quality candidates at speed, and within this, employing a recruitment process that tested those candidates’ digital capability and expertise – essential skills for remote work.

Our team focused on candidate skill sets that would complement the traditional KAM approach – critical thinking, adaptability, teamwork, collaboration, and communication – and developed and provided internal training to the KAMs through an induction programme designed to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the new team in a new world.

Leading on from this, our teams also developed and delivered a continuous change programme, designed to comply with any changing project demands.

What did the new recruits think?

The model will greatly hone the customer experience, giving us great insights into how best to engage and give HCPs tailored content in a format and at a time that suits them best.

Engagement Specialist

What was the outcome?

Six Engagement Specialists with exceptional digital skills were recruited within the agreed timeframes, which created a high level of excitement and anticipation within the established client team of this new approach to customer engagement.

The new team focused on customer touchpoints rather than only in-person visits – an adaptation to the engagement challenges presented by the pandemic. Through this, our digital recruitment model was proven a success, having been developed as a direct response to the shifting environment.


What can we take from this?

Being able to demonstrate understanding of a client’s issues, and how these effect factors in both a broad and personal sense, is how we cross the line from everyday mediocrity to something special, based on a detailed knowledge of that client’s pain points.

Implementing more of a creative approach to challenges – in turn presenting alternative solutions – takes time and never happens by accident, but ultimately pays dividends in this highly competitive environment.

Ultimately, those in pharma who continue to adapt and partner with providers who can help them swiftly navigate the shifting sands of HCP engagement, will continue to make a commercial impact.


Is your company facing challenges when it comes to engaging with customers through their preferred method?

If you’re looking for a partner that combines committed, award-winning teams with cutting-edge technology to deliver the best commercial outcome for your company, then get in touch today.

Read more of our case studies here.