KLAS: Kept Promises Key for Health IT Vendor Customer Satisfaction

According to KLAS research, health IT customer satisfaction hinges on fulfilled vendor promises and aligned expectations during the sales process.

Keeping promises related to product integration capabilities is key for health IT vendors to drive customer satisfaction, according to a KLAS report.

The report is based on data collected in the last 12 months across all provider-focused software market segments that KLAS measures.

One in four healthcare organizations reported that their health IT vendor did not keep all promises in the last year. Customers most frequently mentioned their health IT vendor broke promises of support, citing that problem resolution was not what they expected or that they lacked support the vendor promised during the sales process.

Some customers acknowledged this is because they did not purchase the level of support required for success. Others reported that the support tiers they bought were not yielding results.

“Additionally, some of the customers most dissatisfied with their vendor keeping promises say the support personnel they work with are unwilling or unable to escalate issues to the right levels to achieve a quick, effective resolution,” the KLAS authors wrote.

The report found that the most common support challenges are first-call resolution, vendor staffing turnover, and a lack of knowledge from resources.

Customers who reported broken promises about their solution often noted integration as a significant challenge. Dissatisfied respondents indicated that their vendor sometimes said its solution could integrate with tools with which the firm did not have experience. Healthcare organizations noted that when they experienced integration issues, the vendor would sometimes become unresponsive.

The report found that interviewed customers also frequently cited integration timelines as an area of frustration. Many said that while the health IT vendor eventually delivered the integration, it was not within the promised time frame. An additional challenge is support for integration during the upgrade process.

“Provider organizations want vendors to earmark more resources to reduce the burden on organizations’ IT staff and prevent potential loss of data flow that could impact end users,” the KLAS authors wrote.

The report found that aligned expectations during the sales process and clear communication about barriers and delays go a long way for customers.

Most customers reported that their vendors can effectively manage expectations during the sales process. However, when the vendor does not keep promises, the sales process is often when the vendor set those expectations.

Missed expectations can significantly influence a customer’s loyalty and willingness to recommend the health IT tool.

Examples of mismatched expectations include the health IT vendor unintentionally misrepresenting integration capabilities or promoting customer outcomes that may not be possible for other types of healthcare organizations.

“Lack of proactive communication also affects customer retention and evangelism, including insufficient communication around upgrades, a failure to understand the customer organization (slowing down support and future sales), and a lack of follow-up to see how well customers are tracking against outcome targets,” the report authors noted.

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