CROs Overstate Sponsor Satisfaction Levels

Anne-Marie Hess, Senior Strategic Advisor, SCORR Marketing

Anne-Marie Hess, Senior Strategic Advisor, SCORR Marketing

Contract research organizations (CROs) might be patting themselves on the back a bit too hard, according to a survey from SCORR Marketing, produced in partnership with Applied Clinical Trials.

“We discovered that in some respects, CROs have an inaccurate perception of sponsor satisfaction,” says Anne-Marie Hess, senior strategic advisor at SCORR Marketing. “This is important because CROs must first understand sponsors’ needs in order to improve and expand these relationships and, ultimately, help to advance clinical research.”

The report also identifies key differences in the perceptions of North American vs. European respondents and pharmaceutical vs. biopharmaceutical and biotechnology respondents.

“In general, we expected service providers to have some inherent bias that could result in the overestimation of the level of client satisfaction,” Hess says. “However, the gap in perception was greater than expected, with more than twice the percentage of service providers believing that sponsors were very satisfied with the relationship compared to the rating provided by sponsors.” The disconnect was consistent across a variety of dimensions of satisfaction.

It’s nothing new to say that there is a shortage of CRO personnel and high levels of burnout and turnover. However, employee turnover was significantly more problematic for sponsors than what service providers perceived, Hess says. Employee turnover was considered more challenging for sponsors in North America than those located Europe, she adds.

The bottom line is that, “These findings reinforce the importance of communications and the need for periodic client satisfaction surveys to help bridge the client satisfaction perception gap,” Hess says.

The survey was conducted between May 15 and June 6, 2017, and captured 238 responses, of which 146 were deemed valid and included in this analysis. Sixty-seven percent of the valid respondents represented sponsor companies and 33% were from clinical research service providers. Geographically, 75% percent were from North America, 20% from Europe, and 5% from the rest of the world.

Visit SCORR Marketing’s website for more information.

Author: Michael Causey