What level of technical support should we expect?

You know better than people who say, “support is support…What’s the big deal?  It’s all pretty much the same.”  You know that reliable, accessible technical support is of the utmost importance as you implement new software into your day-to-day processes.  In the days leading up to implementation and, most especially, during the first month of actual use, technical support will likely be on your speed dial for a variety of reasons. From questions about re-setting your password to a need for additional training, these support teams are your greatest champions for success.

“The Technical Support Department’s mission is to continually improve the experience of our customers through excellence in service, building of quality relationships and efficiency in handling our customers’ requests.” ~Neal Blumberg, LabRetriever Technical Support Manager

Availability

Make sure you have technical support when you need it and that you’re not paying a premium for support when you don’t.  If you have have access to talk to someone in the middle of the night about non-emergencies, you are paying for it.  At LabRetriever, we choose to keep quality high, the hours of support in-line with customer needs and the life cycle of the typical sleep study, and continue to remain based in the U.S.  So, keep these points in mind when evaluating a solution that boasts round-the-clock support:

  • Although 24/7 support may be an option, it may not be cost-effective or necessary.
  • Sleep lab management software issues that may arise overnight don’t prevent technologists from doing their job and don’t interfere with patient care.
  • Issues with equipment failure while recording a study require support from the PSG vendor, not the sleep lab management software team.

Quality

It’s important to build good relationships with your tech support specialists.  The best sleep lab management software solutions offer a lot of flexibility related to customizing workflow, creating forms and questionnaires, integrating with third-party software providers, etc.  Exceptional technical support is key if you plan on making your software specific to your business needs.  The LabRetriever team works closely with customers to develop strong communication and maximum value for the product keeping in line with company founder, the late Wally Carruthers’, vision:

“We will build great products, provide excellent customer support and make SleepEx a good and fun place to work, and then we will be successful.” ~Wally Carruthers, Founder of SleepEx

So, back to the beginning of this blog, quality technical support is especially important as you prepare for implementation and in the weeks that follow.  Sleep lab management software companies build proprietary solutions and as such, each varies in workflow, user interface, and reporting capabilities.  There’s a learning curve for their users and having a knowledgeable person just a phone call away helps ease concerns and facilitates a smooth transition. Our company continually discusses how to improve both the implementation process and tech support quality.  Here are a few things we have in place to ensure our customers experience the best support we have to offer:

  • Each implementation comes with a dedicated team member who works closely with the customer to customize the software, train the users and transition them to the tech support team when they are comfortable with the product.
  • All departments meet once a week to discuss our infrastructure, security measures, customer needs and development projects.
  • Our tech support and development teams are close in proximity.  Whether it’s a third-party software integration, a new feature request or a change in workflow, they meet face-to-face to find solutions. There’s no better way to clearly communicate and get the job done!

Productivity

Sleep lab management software companies provide a valuable service for an industry that has a very specific need. Once recorded, PSG data has to be scored and interpreted.  Doctors then have to determine whether treatment is warranted and if so, they need an efficient way to monitor the process for the best possible patient outcomes.

Do you need sleep-specific software to provide excellent care?  The short answer is ‘no’.  Some labs are still using old-school methods for moving data, scheduling, and follow-up. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to increase productivity and open your business up to the possibility of real growth while still maintaining that level of care, a consolidated solution is the best bet.

The beauty of sleep lab management software lies in your ability to have every piece of patient information in one place and accessible from anywhere. When customized to fit your workflow, it can be a powerful tool in managing your quality of care and business, especially from a reporting standpoint.

This is where the people behind the software can really shine.  Whether you need a form created or request a feature, technical support should have an answer in a timely fashion. At LabRetriever, we track of our tech support calls with a ticketing system. Each new ticket is categorized, prioritized and reviewed closely by both the manager and the chief operating officer. All open tickets are reviewed weekly and metrics created to ensure our productivity is high and close times, speedy.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about technical support statistics during your search.  If the support team is dedicated, productive and personable, you’ll have no problem getting answers.

LabRetriever Tech Support Statistics from 2016

  • Technical support received a 98% customer approval rating
  • Over 75% of tickets were environmental or configuration related
  • 1,000 tickets closed for the year (38% improvement from 2015)
  • Average time to close a ticket was between 1 and 2 days, with the majority resolved on the same day.  Tickets include customization, end-user environment, configuration and bugs.

Regardless of the solution you choose, it’s important to make sure you and your staff won’t be treated like numbers.  The tech support team members shouldn’t just be ‘people on the other end of the phone’. They should be your troubleshooters, gurus, customizers, and ultimate champions when it comes to new features…and yes, if they’re doing their job well, you should come to know them by name.

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