A product launch represents a major investment in revenue and potential profit for a company. A successful product launch can yield new markets, provide access to new customers, and increase business with existing customers.
As we mentioned in our previous blog, Medical Device Product Launch: 4 Critical Planning Steps, the top four challenges faced by a new medical device product launch team include planning, communications, implementation, and follow-up. In this post, we'll focus on the implementation and follow-up aspects associated with a new medical device product launch from a customer support perspective.
Steps to Medical Device Product Launch: Implementation Stage
- Set measurable objectives for achieving product adoption by customers during and after the product launch. Appoint a senior member of your technical documentation and marketing teams to work with the product launch team to coordinate all customer awareness, adoption, and support activities associated with the launch. Prepare a comprehensive launch plan that includes all marketing communications, product documentation, training, and a budget to cover expenditures. Prioritize all critical tasks.
- Create a communication plan that allows everyone associated with the product launch to stay informed. Having a successful launch means having an internal communication plan. Too little communication causes confusion; too much communication dilutes the overall message. Plan communications well, initiate them early in the process, and communicate with team members regularly.
- Omnichannel engagement. Create a personalized and seamless customer journey to ensure you offer a seamless experience - blending live human support, automation, and self-serve for every step.
- Produce essential customer documentation. Make sure the project team has evaluated product performance in line with market requirements and in compliance with all relevant FDA regulations. Complete the development of product documentation, and make sure it is easily accessible. Operate a test market before the launch. Ask selected distributors to stock the product and run a sample promotional campaign. Evaluate test market results and feedback, and make any necessary adjustments to the launch program.
- Conduct training for sales representatives, installers, service technicians, and customer support personnel. For easy and efficient product adoption, thoroughly prepare your company to assist customers at all points of interaction. Provide comprehensive training and sales guides, service manuals, troubleshooting guides, and quick-reference guides to follow up on the training. Hold an internal launch event to build enthusiasm and commitment to the launch within the company.
- Brief the distribution network on the timing and scope of the launch. Hold training programs for your extended network of medical device dealers and distributors. Supply promotional and support materials that emphasize the benefits of the new medical device.
- Confirm that a support infrastructure is in place and that spare parts are available. When the sales start flowing, it can make or break your company. To ensure you’re prepared, check that spare parts are available and train service personnel to install and maintain the new device. Verify a help desk to handle support requests and queries during the initial launch phase. Monitor incoming calls and questions and publish Frequently Asked Questions.
- Set up a technical documentation monitoring/revision program for producing and delivering updates to customers when necessary. Monitor and manage all electronic customer documentation for your new medical device, to stay in compliance with the FDA’s Title 21 CFR Part 11.
Wondering what to include in a product launch Documentation Plan?
Download the Free Guide: Creating a Documentation Plan
Launching a medical device product? Read below and click through to our other resources for medical product launch: