Ascensia empowers more diabetes patients to get smart about managing their health with Salesforce

Living with diabetes can be tough, but Ascensia is helping millions of patients manage their condition to help take control of their lives. The Trailblazing company combines state-of-the-art technology with a wealth of online resources to empower patients with a digital support community.

And thanks to Salesforce, it’s giving patients round-the-clock access to self-service capabilities to help them manage diabetes. “By empowering patients to help themselves, we can make their lives so much easier,” said Anton Ishmael, Business Application Manager at Ascensia.

Ascensia develops life-changing products to help diabetes patients improve their health.

As a specialist in the condition, Ascensia Diabetes Care helps patients with diabetes improve their health with its blood glucose monitoring systems and other life-changing products. And since 2011, it’s been using Salesforce to help both its patients and its staff stay connected and in control. “We used to have seven core systems underpinning our business, but now that everything is on Salesforce – and we have 100% user adoption in Canada – the business runs a lot smoother, and we have a 360-degree view of our customers,” said Ishmael.

With the Salesforce community, we have the foundations and support we need to help our patients and achieve our goals.”

Anton Ishmael, Business Application Manager, Ascensia

Self-service empowers patients while freeing up service staff.

Ascensia has built an online patient community on Community Cloud, which patients can use to access information faster. “Our products, influencers, and campaigns all drive patients to our website, where they can log onto our online community to ask questions about our products by raising a ticket, as well as accessing a wealth of advice,” explained Ishmael.

If a patient wants to speak to a member of the service team directly, call center staff can view their full history via Service Cloud to ensure a rapid, accurate, and personalized response. “Our company ethos is to do things in as few clicks as possible, but to give those clicks more impact. We’re using Salesforce to make the customer experience as smooth as possible – when they call in our rep has all the information they need in front of them instantly,” explained Ishmael.

With Salesforce it’s able to log cases and customer information more quickly. Agents can also spend more time on the phone with customers – nine minutes on average – which results in service levels of 99%-100%. However, now that patients can use Communities to help themselves, it’s seeing more patients move away from the phone and using more online tools.

The sales team can work smarter with more digitalized processes

But working with patients is only half of Ascensia’s story. It also has a B2B business focused on working with clinical customers and pharmacists who stock and sell its meters. The company’s sales reps have replaced pen and paper notes with tablets running Sales Cloud. They also use a number of solutions from the Salesforce App Exchange to help plan their day. For example, a mapping app helps to plan routes when they’re visiting customers in the field, to make the best use of their time.

“Salesforce helps us work smarter. With better visibility we can see if we’re due to visit a customer who we haven’t spoken to a while, and have all the information to hand so we can have a great conversation with that individual,” Ishmael added.

Integrated systems make processes smoother for customers.

As Sales Cloud integrates seamlessly with the company’s ERP system, sales reps can submit orders while sitting in front of a customer. “We’re making it as easy as possible for reps wherever we can. To create an order, they simply select the product, add a quantity, and submit it. It also makes it easy to manage any reimbursements due,” said Ishmael. Once orders have been placed, the sales reps can provide their customers with real-time updates on shipments.

Information captured in Salesforce doesn’t just help the team on the ground to do their jobs, it also helps the senior management team to keep track of performance, targets and KPIs. “With costs and expenses logged in Salesforce, we can see an accurate ROI on every order to make sure we’re making smart investments,” said Ishmael.

Better communications lead to better customer relationships.

To help automate patient marketing campaigns Ascensia looked towards Pardot. Registered users are segmented based on criteria such as which web pages they’re visiting or the content they’re downloading, so the marketing team can ensure they only receive communications relating to their interests. “With Pardot, we can provide new users with more information on how to use their meters and apps, and also keep them up-to-date on the latest releases.”

It has a 70% open rate from all its patient engagement emails and a click through rate of 5.89%. (The market average is 21% and 2.25% respectively.) Marketing now wants to expand this to other product lines and create a plan to implement more personalized engagement for patients with a long-term goal to expand to its Health Care Professionals.

Getting more predictive about user needs improves customer satisfaction.

With marketing communications reaching more patients, the company is also getting more valuable feedback to help it develop new products or services in line with what customers actually need.

“In the future we’d like to be able to support patients even more with eCommerce channels selling a bigger range of products specifically tailored to helping them live better lives,” said Ishmael. “And Salesforce will help us make this happen. We really love how adaptable the platform is – we can make changes really quickly to stay ahead of the game.”

As the company edges closer to its goal of becoming the market-leader in Canada, it has Salesforce as its side as a partner in innovation. “Salesforce is always at the cutting edge of technology, and that’s where we want to be as well,” said Ishmael. “With the Salesforce community, we have the foundations and support we need to help our patients and achieve our goals.”

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