Good customer service starts with a great product. Without that foundation—a product that is reliable and meets client needs precisely—it doesn’t matter how well and quickly customer service can address problems. In other words, a product with a bug count of zero and the capacity for customization to meet each client’s individual needs are the two blocks on which ideal customer service is built.
Reliability is, in fact, the primary customer expectation for any product. From the customer’s perspective, the most important aspect of any tool, including training programs, is that it is well-constructed and consistently works as intended, with minimal—if any—glitches. That means that the first goal for the design and dissemination of any product should be a bug count as near to zero as possible.
With reliability in place as the solid foundation, the second critical building block is the ability to customize the product, fine-tuning it to each clients’ specific needs. If a training product is designed in a way that allows easy changes and modifications responsive to any specific protocol, then it is more likely that customers will be happy with the end product and consider excellent customer service to have been delivered.
Pro-ficiency’s simulation-based training product, for instance, can not only be customized to a given protocol, but can also take into account any potential downstream modifications that might be needed. The platform allows for such changes to be handled seamlessly and quickly distributed to investigators at all sites. This makes it easy for the customer to handle any additional training associated with protocol modifications without delays in clinical research operations.
For our new customers, this begins with a careful review of their protocol, including feedback on any areas that might be difficult to implement, such as internal inconsistencies. The experts at Pro-ficiency, with many protocol reviews under their belts, have developed a rigorous system of protocol review that helps design not only a targeted and effective training approach, but also helps to bulletproof each protocol as much as possible.
This review is important, as it avoids “putting wheels on problems” by enabling training in weak or challenging areas of a protocol that run the risk of generating deviations. This careful review adds value to the customer experience by identifying areas where improvements may speed the training process and ensure successful patient enrollment.
While the ideal customer experience begins with a highly reliable product that prevents the need for a customer to call for assistance, in the rare instances where aid is needed, the amount of time required to render it is critical. Responses to customer problems must be made in a timely basis, even for a product like Pro-ficiency’s that is used by investigators around the world. Monitoring product defects that spur customer service calls allows for anticipation of areas that may need improvement to prevent future issues.
Tracking turnaround time on a monthly or other regular basis for responses to customer service calls is also useful; in addition, tracking the frequency with which calls go to technical support with problems that require help from a software engineer. In this way, top-quality customer service can be assured from initial purchase throughout the training’s use life cycle.
Michael Raymer, CEO of Pro-ficiency, is an adept leader, critical strategist and ambitious executive who is here to drive Pro-ficiency’s strategic objectives and fuel growth. With his extensive experience in startups, turnarounds and Fortune 100 companies, Michael naturally cultivates world-class management teams, resulting in smarter, faster, and more effective organizations. While Michael currently hails from Colorado, a piece of his heart will always be in Kansas with his alma mater, the University of Kansas Jayhawks.