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The Value of Internally Staffed Support vs. Outsourced Support

Customer support employees at their computers

As the healthcare industry transitions away from the traditional fee-for-service model and into value-based care, hospitals and healthcare facilities must find ways to distinguish themselves from their competition to remain viable in the changing marketplace. That’s one reason why customers are demanding more ways to derive value from their electronic health record (EHR) investment.

One feature that is consistently topping hospital wish lists? Stronger customer support. In fact, according to a 2016 report from Black Book Market Research, quality EHR technical support and experience are essential for achieving vendor loyalty and overall customer satisfaction.

The survey of 2,220 healthcare IT (HIT) users found that firms who did not offer either internal or, at the very least, competent partnering IT support were likely to lose existing clients and even potential ones. In fact, 61 percent of respondents said they preferred their EHR vendors to provide direct, comprehensive tech support. Plus, 79 percent said they were “significantly dissatisfied” with the level of response and quality of service from vendors using outsourced support.

Even more so, an incredible 93 percent said they overwhelmingly preferred to work with tech support teams based in the United States, while 100 percent confirmed that a negative outsourced tech-firm experience tarnished their overall opinion of the vendor product and brand.

Although this study underscores the importance of delivering high-quality support and prioritizing the customer experience, it also serves as a reminder that no industry-wide standard of customer support exists. As a result of the lack of standardization, HIT vendors have even more of a responsibility to build accountability into their customer support models. Of course, this level of service first demands a degree of transparency between customer and vendor.

Unfortunately, most vendors do not make their customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores public. The decision to prioritize the customer experience with internally staffed support not only aligns with the evolving demands of the marketplace, but it is also a key differentiator that can dramatically impact the overall efficiency and flexibility of any hospital.

4 Advantages of an Internally Staffed Customer Support Team:

  1. Faster resolve rates. The ability to communicate in real-time with an in-house expert means a faster rate of resolution for the customer. If a case is escalated, a higher-level technician is physically nearby and can work closely with the development and programming team to diagnose and resolve. For instance, MEDHOST’s internally staffed support team has a 82 percent first day resolve rate.
  2. Superior product knowledge. Internally staffed support teams tend to have higher levels of ownership, both to the product and the company. Kim MacTavish, Senior Vice President of Customer Services at MEDHOST, explains that outsourced staff typically support multiple companies, meaning their product knowledge will be more generic than that of an internal support team member.
  3. Personalized service. Internal support teams also tend to build stronger and more personalized relationships with customers compared to outsourced providers. By focusing on the customer service as an experience, rather than a transaction, internal teams can deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction.
  4. Transparent service delivery. Vendors must have accountable practices and standards in place that ensure high-quality support is consistently being delivered. For instance, MEDHOST has built transparency into their controls and processing, making CSAT scores and metrics available for current and prospective customers.

MEDHOST’s highly experienced, internally staffed customer support team includes clinical analysts, high-tech certified professionals, interface experts and financial experts that are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We as a support team and as an organization recognize that hospitals are focused on patient care,” MacTavish says.  “Our goal is to be the trusted partner that empowers healthcare organizations to advance the patient care experience and improve business operations.”

Read on to discover how MEDHOST’s commitment to delivering unparalleled customer support can transform your healthcare enterprise.

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