Hearing loss is one of the world’s most common medical conditions. 360 million people currently suffer from moderate to profound hearing loss. Thanks to remarkable advances in technology from companies like Cochlear, many people now have the opportunity to reconnect with the world using hearing implants. Anyone who has seen the switching on of a hearing implant for the first time has an insight into the level of emotion attached to gaining or regaining the ability to hear – it’s powerful!
Cochlear is the global market leader in implantable hearing solutions. Its technologically advanced hearing devices are used by more than 400,000 people worldwide.
“Hearing implants are not a short-term fix, they are for life. Once you have a device implanted, you have committed to partnering with us for your lifetime hearing journey.” explained Chris Smith, CEO, Cochlear.
In choosing Salesforce, Cochlear set out to overcome a unique challenge: how to match the reality of local healthcare with the needs and aspirations of a global customer base.
Cochlear set out to build and maintain lifetime relationships with the people who use its implants everywhere in the world, by offering them channels to interact with the brand. Salesforce was the perfect fit. Cochlear One, based on a Salesforce platform, is now assisting Cochlear in engaging with its community.
Salesforce takes a role in this journey from the very beginning– right from when people are first researching hearing implants. In today’s always-on, digital world, Google is now an official step in the journey to hearing restoration.
“Today, decisions around medical devices like these aren’t left to the surgeons alone. Patients have a say, too. And they want to go out and research, talk to people who have had similar procedures, talk to friends,” said Vishy Narayanan, Global Head of Marketing Technology, Cochlear.
In addition to its primary website Cochlear.com, the company has also created a hearing awareness website iwanttohear.com. It is aimed at people who suspect they may have hearing difficulties but aren’t yet ready to seek professional help. With the agreement of website visitors, Cochlear One provides opportunities for them to receive targeted advice and support, so they can advance on their journey to better hearing health based on their personal hearing needs.
Cochlear also connects a volunteer community of about 3,000 people in Salesforce. These are people with implants, who are willing to share their experiences with those at the decision-making phase. “You wouldn’t put a parent of a three-year-old with hearing loss in touch with an 80-year-old.– they want to speak to another parent,” Narayanan explained.
In the field, Cochlear reps interact with the professional community of surgeons, audiologists and clinicians over the same centralised data. It’s empowering them to have complete conversations based on a good understanding of each customer’s circumstances. And, it’s shifting the conversations from transactional to strategic.
Even so, the customer experience bar rises far above technology alone. It’s about service that is both informed and compassionate. That’s why Cochlear’s Concierge service specifically aims to recruit people with Cochlear implants and an audiology background, giving them a much deeper ability to identify with people’s individual experiences.
There are a range of channels through which a recipient can interact with Cochlear. For example, Live Chat is available to those who prefer typed to verbal contact. “There’s a deep understanding of device owners being in varying stages of adapting to their new lives. If you are a new recipient, still learning to differentiate sounds, voice calls are not necessarily your first choice,” Kate Obermeyer, Cochlear recipient and employee.
With Cochlear One, Cochlear is committed to connecting the three ends of the triangle: Cochlear, the medical professional and the candidate and recipient community. In doing so the company is charting a path for outstanding customer experience.
“It’s this connected world that we’re striving towards. With technologies such as Salesforce and our professional partners, we really can deliver this connected customer experience,” Narayanan said.