Gone are the days of superficial customer support. Within the ever-changing healthcare industry, hospitals, and healthcare facilities aren’t just buying healthcare technology software, they’re also investing in support and maintenance of those pricey yet vital tools.
In reality, customers looking to preserve the integrity of their long-term investment and also see a ROI can’t afford to not consider the profound impact customer support services can have on troubleshooting and resolving critical enterprise issues.
For instance, customer support must be service-centric to ensure that customers receive an optimal support experience. However, when healthcare facilities are beginning to shop for new vendors, customer support might not be a demand at the top of their must-have list.
According to Kim MacTavish, the Senior Vice President of Customer Services at MEDHOST, there are some essential questions about customer support that need to be asked before any health enterprise can make a truly informed decision about a potential healthcare IT (HIT) partner. Because the healthcare industry doesn’t have a standardized set of rules in place, MacTavish says that’s even more reason to pose specific questions to any prospective vendor.
It’s not uncommon to see some customer support systems where support is only provided during business hours or, perhaps, on an on-call basis at night and on the weekends. Depending on your facility or the health population you serve, this could be a deal breaker and a feature of customer support you realize is non-negotiable for your enterprise.
A vendor might have clinical, financial or ancillary systems, therefore, it’s important to know the type of resources available to address each possible pain point. For instance, MacTavish says, “Imagine I’m a clinician treating a patient, and I have an issue with the clinical functionality of the system I am using. If I cannot speak with someone who has a clinical understanding, background, or available clinical resources, I might be somewhat concerned with the level of support I receive.”
In many instances, customer support is outsourced and the support and experience you can expect to receive oftentimes does not align with the customer’s expectations. Challenges could include a lack of knowledge about a specific product or service in question, slower diagnoses, and resolution times.
Asking questions like, what type of key performance indicators (KPIs) a vendor uses to measure performance, customer satisfaction, rate of resolve and first-day resolve is crucial to understanding the impact of customer support. Depending on your needs, it might also be useful to ask the vendor if they can breakdown specific metrics by hospital or facility.
Specifically, ask vendors what internal mechanisms they have in place to ensure that effective and efficient customer support is being provided. Also, directly address what would happen if a customer experienced a negative customer support experience. What sort of leadership team is in place, if any, to discuss feedback with customers directly? What would those avenues for feedback look like?
MacTavish says customer support has evolved substantially in the past 10 years. Customers now expect a certain level of support to be provided, with ease and in real-time, she explains, customers want much more than just a transactional relationship—they also want a satisfying experience.
MEDHOST offers support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With an 82 percent first-day resolve rate and a 96 percent customer satisfaction score, MEDHOST is a proven expert in bringing exceptional support to more than 1,000 healthcare facilities nationwide.
Learn more about MEDHOST’s unparalleled customer support team that’s comprised of a highly experienced, internally staffed team of clinical analysts, interface experts, high-tech certified professionals and financial specialist.