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How to tell if you’re getting the best from your EHR

When considering the most important things that might make an EHR solution or vendor appealing, how high up does great customer support rank? Customer support is generally the department that steps in when something’s wrong, so it might not seem important when evaluating an EHR solution; however, after the initial sales and implementation process, the majority of customer engagement is with support. The outcome of these engagements largely determines the quality of the customer’s experience with the product—be it good or bad.

So how can practices determine if they’re getting great customer support from their EHR vendors? The following is a list of important aspects of a strong, effective customer support team.

Active listening

Great customer support involves active listening skills. Customers are often at the height of their frustration by the time they connect with a support representative, and they need to be heard. A support team that can sympathize with customer dissatisfaction and de-escalate tension is an indication of quality, but it shouldn’t stop there. The best EHR vendors will see this type of interaction as a way to gather feedback and improve. Keeping an open dialogue with the communities they serve will allow EHR technology vendors to address ongoing and evolving provider concerns. It is crucial, particularly in behavioral health, which observes a continuous state of transition.

Create an effective plan of action

The goal of a good support team should never be to simply solve a specific problem then hang up. Great customer support means seeing the whole picture, and that often involves anticipating future, related issues. Discussing how to proactively guard against future problems should always be part of the discussion, and, should the problem be unsolvable for the time being, customer support should come up with an effective workaround and document the issue.

Maintain a single point of contact

The most aggravating thing about poor customer support is getting transferred around everywhere. Customers may already be feeling agitated, and getting passed around and placed on hold will only make things worse. Vendors with great customer support teams will recognize the importance of mitigating customer frustration, and will take great care to avoid undermining the value that interpersonal human interaction provides.

Emphasis on the long-term relationship

The quality of customer support is a pretty reliable gauge of the vendor’s priorities. The good ones will understand that making a special effort to keep existing customers is much better than churning and reselling. Building a positive customer relationship and, in turn, a positive reputation is the sum of several positive interpersonal experiences, which depend on the ongoing provision of great customer support.

Providers that feel they have been consistently dismissed, ignored, passed off, or had their issues handled inadequately by customer support can ascertain their vendors’ overall attitude toward and prioritization of the customer experience. The good news is there are options, and practices that ensure great customer support is an integral part of an EHR system they’re interested in will experience significant returns in both time and efficiency.