Many people who run a sequencing core lab would prefer to focus on science instead of business, but all core lab managers know that it’s imperative to keep a steady stream of clients and projects filling the pipeline. Here, we offer a handful of tips to help you expand your user base.
- Be fast, high-quality, and easy to understand
To you a queue for sequencing may look like you’re at the top of your game with high demand, but to customers it can be frustrating. Regularly updating processes to improve pipeline efficiency will ensure that your customers are getting the fastest service possible so they can complete their research. And if your lab is consistently backlogged, it may be time to consider expanding your capacity.
Related to efficiency, the quality of the product you put out is one of the surest ways to gain happy customers and repeat business and to prevent customers from expressing negative thoughts about your services. Remember the adage that a happy customer will tell two potential prospects about their experience, but an unhappy customer will tell ten. The PacBio technical support team and your local FAS are available via web or phone to help troubleshoot or train on a particular application.
In addition to having an efficient pipeline producing excellent customer data, it’s important to have a mechanism to report easy-to-digest results. Think about the high-level metrics your customers need to understand their results and provide that in a concise report when you deliver their data.
- Differentiate yourself
Your customers need to know why they should choose you from other service providers. Whether it be by application (de novo assembly, Iso-Seq analysis, targeted sequencing, etc.), by organism type (plant, animal, microbial, etc.), or by additional services (HMW DNA isolation, bioinformatics, etc.), own what you are good at and shout it from the rooftops.
- Focus on solutions, not workflows
You, as a service provider, are intimately aware of workflow details because they are essential to your day-to-day operations. However, your customers care about the solutions your workflows and results make possible. Tell prospects about the cool and meaningful science that your services have enabled. Case studies or publication feeds on your webpage are a great way to distribute this information.
- Don’t be afraid to learn new things
Maybe you’re a seasoned pro at generating large libraries for de novo assembly projects and you’ve been curious about providing a long-read RNA sequencing solution. Contact your local FAS and set up a training session! There’s no better way to show that you keep up with the latest and greatest advancements in sequencing technology than by regularly updating your services to reflect the most up-to-date applications of SMRT Sequencing.
- Marketing, marketing, marketing
It may seem obvious to some, but getting the word out about your services is a surefire way to get more interest — and ultimately more projects — into your pipeline. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a marketing consulting firm or an executive with a decade of experience to get started. From free things like using social media to highlight successful projects and promotional pricing, to low-cost events such as hosting webinars with core facility advocates as guest speakers, and all the way to paid ads and automated email campaigns, there are many ways to get the word out about your services at any budget level.
We hope this list was helpful! We will be posting on each of these tips in more depth throughout the rest of the year. Don’t miss out on any of them by subscribing to our blog.