By Dan Tierney

Tech vendors’ first order of business should be an unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service. With so much at stake for customers, particularly in healthcare, everything from implementation to ongoing support should revolve around building meaningful relationships, providing personalized care, and ensuring a smooth and worry-free client experience.

In my experience at Concord Technologies, a provider of digital fax technology for healthcare organizations, I’ve learned several best practices that contribute to our high retention rate. These five strategies could benefit other companies in the healthcare technology sector:

1. Provide dedicated support during implementation.

After the sale is made, it’s critical to offer the customer a smooth handoff to an experienced implementation team. This establishes a strong foundation for ongoing dialogue, setting the tone for high-quality, positive customer engagement (and the opportunity for increased wallet share) over time. A dedicated project manager is assigned to each implementation, ensuring continuity throughout the deployment.

Our structured approach, supported by Project Management Institute certification, helps our team address customer needs effectively and communicate clearly. This approach is reflected in our steady Net Promoter Score of 84 over the past four years.

2. Offer continuous accessibility.

The digital world never shuts down, or at least it shouldn’t. That means vendors must commit to always-available customer and tech support. Downtime consequences for a healthcare customer are severe and affect all areas of the operation. They can include delays in patient billing, lapses in processing and distributing time-sensitive information, slowed scheduling, intake holdups, order-entry blockage, and a host of other mission-critical functions. The customer service team must be willing to go above and beyond to make that happen.

3. Establish high response time standards.

Concord has established a quick response time for customer service calls, averaging 12 seconds. This is faster compared to other digital fax companies that often use outsourced call centers with potentially undertrained staff, who may only offer callbacks from technicians after a 24-hour delay.

As part of our process, customers immediately connect with a support team that includes platform, engineering, and database experts who can address a wide range of issues in that moment. Concord’s team also operates transparently, involving the right individuals for specific tasks and explaining the process to customers. This approach creates a sense of continuity and reassurance for clients. The maturity of Concord’s suite of services provides another significant benefit: reduced need for service and support.  

4. Cultivate a culture of customer service.

Our customer service culture helps foster a strong connection with clients, making them feel like we are part of their team rather than just a vendor. This approach, combined with consistently good service, enhances client interactions and motivates both clients and our team to strive for excellence.

5. Train for high standards.

Our customer service team member onboarding program is well-structured and formal. It spans several weeks where new hires are introduced to the business, products, and processes of the customers they’ll be supporting. Job shadowing allows new hires to learn from veterans, ensuring that customer service representatives are well-equipped to meet the needs of clients and maintain a high standard of service from the outset. As stated earlier, this distinguishes our company from others in the industry that fully outsource this critical function.

Trust as a Foundation

A commitment to exceptional customer service is not just a business strategy; it’s a blueprint for success. Concord prioritizes client needs from implementation through long-term relationships, adapting as technology evolves. This approach shows the benefits of genuine care and accessibility.

Additionally, the strong rapport between our customer service team and customers contributes to employee retention; satisfied customer service professionals tend to stay longer—I’ve been here 27 years—which benefits everyone involved.

Dan Tierney is vice president of enterprise support at Concord Technologies.