When you think of customer service, what comes to mind? Someone wearing a headset in a call center? Probably. What you should really be asking is: Do they know about your practice? Do they understand your workflow? Have they ever worked in the industry? Are they truly on your team? Dynamics in the eye care industry are always changing. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be helpful if everyone you include in your practice were working to help you reach your goals?
Let’s look at the answers to three questions: What should you expect? Are you getting it? And if you’re not, what can you do about it?
What should you expect?
Is it reasonable to expect that someone answers the phone when you call for help? YES. Your EHR provider should be available to you when you need them. You should never have to wonder if you will get a callback. A customer service team should be reliable and, most importantly, available to support you.
Your customer service team should also be familiar with the way you run your practice. Optometrists spend their entire careers caring for patients and differentiating themselves from their competition. Your EHR’s support team should take the time to understand why you do things the way that you do and why that works for your practice.
When you are working with your EHR provider, you should be able to explain why you need something and because they have worked in the industry, they should be able to understand why that would help you. The technology should always be growing to meet your needs, but if the understanding between the practice and the customer service team isn’t there, the technology won’t match its clients’ needs for long.
There will always come a time when you request something that isn’t built yet, or you ask a question that hasn’t been asked. The optometry EHR solution that you choose to team up with should not only be willing to take your requests, but they should be willing to explore options to help find you a solution. They should truly be on your team and work to help you reach your goals.
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Are you getting it?
You have expectations. Are they being met? Time and time again, complaints surround customer service. “I can’t get anyone to call me back!” said the frustrated office manager as an upset patient stands in front of them. Why is this?
Many EHR companies have sold out to venture capital. The company is bought and sold and each time this happens critical areas of the company suffer. In order to look attractive to a buyer, a company will cut its expenses. They put a stop to research and development or cut back customer service. These are key areas for a successful EHR company. Without R & D, how will your practice be staying current in the industry? With limited to no customer service, how will you get the help you need so you don’t run into workflow stoppages?
As a business owner, it is critical to think about how you are spending your money. Are you getting a return on your investment? Your EHR software partner should be able to provide you with an evolving product and the support to use it to its fullest. If you are not getting these things from your software, it’s time to think about what you can do about it.
What can you do about it?
If you are one of the many practice owners that are realizing that a big change is in your future, don’t be overwhelmed. Understand that the time and money you could be losing with inefficient software or a software partner that doesn’t really have your back is a much higher cost than taking the time to search for a new EHR software partner.
Switching software is a huge task and it affects your entire practice. However, a few weeks of adaptation to something that will help you thrive is a far better use of resources than continuing with an EHR software that is slowing you down or might not be there for you in the future.
If you are considering a search for a better solution, remember to set standards, don’t accept less, and take action.
Start your search by setting standards
Make a wish list of things that must be part of your practice. Is your goal to track sales?, give a thorough exam?, monitor growth?, lower your A/R?, collect more from patients at time of service?, complete everything in one software without logging into multiple platforms? Or is your goal all of the above and more?
Don’t think about price or even about the other software options you have heard of. Just determine what your practice needs to succeed and grow.
Don’t accept less than you deserve
Not only do you want your business to thrive, but you want your patients to enjoy their experience. Don’t compromise. If your patients are happy, your staff will be happy. The key to keeping your patients happy is working within a predetermined amount of time that your patient has set in their mind before they even walk through your door. Your software should not slow down their experience, it should enhance it.
It is important to do some research and it never hurts to ask questions. Talk to your colleagues or schedule some demos. See what type of impression you get from the person giving the demo. They should be knowledgeable and excited to show you what they have to offer, but also have the integrity to answer your questions honestly. It is also important to visit the company’s website. Is it current? Is it modern? If it is not up-to-date, then that might cause you to question whether or not the software is current.
Most importantly, don’t wait. The longer you work in an environment that is not supporting your goals, the longer it will take you to reach them!