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Adding a Human Touch to CRM for Increasing Client Engagement and Retention – Madalina Resteman Azzam, CRM Manager (Europe), Top Doctors


Reading time: 8 minutes approximately

There cannot be anything more challenging than taking up a new role in a healthcare business during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was challenging but not daunting for someone like Madalina Resteman Azzam (Madalina) who loves taking up challenges. She started working with Top Doctors, a globally recognised market leader in private healthcare, during the pandemic, in a client relations role.  

Top Doctors, a company with a team of 415 people, is a leader in the digital transformation of the healthcare sector and provides easy access to the best medical specialists in the world. Over 250 million patients have trusted Top Doctors to find the right doctor for them, and in 2022 alone, 3 million patients requested consultations or medical appointments through the platform.

In this article, Madalina, CRM Manager – Europe, at Top Doctors, explains the importance of client relations and CRM for digital healthcare businesses and how CRM professionals need to find ways to use technology while not forgetting the human touch in client relations.

What’s Inside?

  1. Client Engagement and Retention at Top Doctors
  2. Nurturing Client Relationships with a Human Touch
  3. Madalina’s Career Experiences
  4. Final Thoughts

Client Engagement and Retention

Madalina joined Top Doctors’ client relations team in the UK when they were struggling with a low renewal rate. Despite offering an exceptional product, their ability to retain clients was below average. After some analysis, it was evident that the problem stemmed from their client relations.


For Top Doctors, the member doctors are the main clients but they were not being given enough attention. There was inadequate follow-up with the doctors after the signing of the contract. Madalina observed that by signing the contract, the doctors were committing themselves to the platform for a year.

However, Top Doctors was not taking the same commitment towards the member doctors. And this was the moment when they realised the importance of client relations and CRM. The team then undertook the following initiatives to improve client relations and CRM:

  1. Giving the clients individual attention as each doctor is different and the doctors needed guidance
  2. Keeping the doctors interested in the platform by interacting with them throughout the year
  3. Automating certain processes using CRM tools developed in-house, to ensure Top Doctors was interacting with all the doctors throughout the year even with a small client relations team
  4. Using the internally developed CRM tools to create a clear roadmap of what was needed for a successful interaction with the doctors over the 12 months of membership
  5. Collating and showcasing doctor reviews done by patients so that new patients seek consultations
  6. Improving the user interface to make it easier for doctors to use the platform
  7. Not saying no to a client by acknowledging that there is always a way to do something for the client, even if you cannot do exactly what they are requesting

Due to these outcomes, the retention rates of Top Doctors experienced a significant boost by the conclusion of the previous year, and the UK team attained a standard of excellence in their client relations. Upon being promoted to Client Manager – Europe, handling Spain and Italy alongside the UK, Madalina was given the responsibility of replicating the UK model in those markets.


Madalina expressed that what they achieved in the UK wasn’t only because they leveraged the technology but because they could maintain the human touch.

She shared that client relations was on the map of the company but the success in the UK highlighted the importance of the client relations department for business and the need for CRM, Sales & Account Management, Marketing, Product and Technology teams to work in close coordination with the client relations team. 

Nurturing Client Relationships with a Human Touch

Madalina explained that nurturing client relationships requires human touch as every doctor is different. The client relations personnel are the first line of contact with the clients and understand their problems and grievances. So, while CRM technology can help automate communications, it’s the observations and learnings of the client relations team that are instrumental in designing the right product to fulfil the needs and address the challenges of the customers.  

Madalina and her team at Top Doctors achieved this synergy by consciously and continuously working closely with the CRM, Sales & Account Management, Marketing, Technology and Product teams to create outcomes that favoured the clients and the business alike.


She jovially exclaimed – Teams should have more lunches together where they converse without using the business or technical jargon, explaining to each other what they do and finding a common ground.

Madalina says that she continues to learn every day and her work at Top Doctors has added immensely to her career experience.

Madalina’s Career Experiences

Madalina has fond memories of her work at IronFX, a Cyprus-based Online Trading firm, where she started out as a 22-year-old in the back-office department. By the time she left the company after five years, she was heading the department with a team of 70 employees. She considers her role at IronFX the school of life as it shaped her as a professional.  

Being a person who loves taking up challenges, Madalina took her next assignment at Valmax Realty, a real estate project in Mexico City and Rio-de-Janeiro. She adapted to a completely new product i.e., real estate and helped the business with transaction coordination and setting up the office in Brazil. Madalina calls it an adventurous venture which enriched her experience in the back office, and real estate and helped her start in CRM.

Later, she briefly worked at Airbnb in Barcelona in a client relationship role, learning the nuances of client servicing and client relations.


She experienced her most transformative career profile when she joined Top Doctors. First, it gave her the opportunity to be a part of the healthcare sector during the pandemic when healthcare services were needed the most. Second, she had to find her own way as she had to learn how to deal with the doctors, working from home in a new role, in a new industry.

In her current capacity as the CRM Manager for Europe, she is focused on developing and implementing the overall CRM strategy for Top Doctors in Europe, in line with the company’s objectives. She is quite passionate about her work at Top Doctors as she believes in the product that is helping people with their health in their hour of need.

Final Thoughts 

Madalina’s biggest learning has been to work with full dedication and to have passion for one’s work. She said – if you are genuinely passionate about your work then you will surely be successful.

It’s her passion for work and belief in her values that has made her a successful CRM professional. She believes that if one is passionate and is able to hold on to their values then it reflects in their relationship with the clients. She concluded by saying that – We need to listen to the clients if we want to retain them.

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