MARCH 2011
Lessons Learned: Focus on Quality and Support

Urgent Calls Down 25% as Enhanced VEST 6.8 Software & Proactive Team Keep Users Up and Running

Key Points
  • Commitment to be industry’s best in user support
  • Every problem recorded, helps guide product & software refinements
  • Users encouraged to give feedback, allowing us be to proactive in support
  • Urgent calls down 25%

A few weeks ago, Rich Mosovsky received a phone call from an audiologist in Florida.  She had a patient in her Barany chair, part of the I-Portal® NOTC system she had purchased from us, ready to be tested.  Another patient was in the waiting room.

But there was a problem: the chair would not move.

Mosovsky, part of the Neuro Kinetics’ customer support team, determined that the problem was a blown fuse, apparently the result of a power surge in the audiologist’s office.  Mosovsky was able to talk the audiologist through removing the bad fuse and replacing it with another one from the NOTC system.  The audiologist, with only minimal delay, was able to test her patients and keep her clinic fully operational for the full day. Mosovsky, meanwhile, dispatched a replacement fuse via overnight delivery and the next morning guided the audiologist through its installation.

The fast action reflects our commitment to respond quickly to user support queries, and then to incorporate any lessons learned into ongoing product and software refinements.  We keep a database of user feedback and rely on it during product review and strategy meetings.

Most of our users around the world have a maintenance agreement with us, enabling them to reach our user support team when they require help. We provide normal phone coverage from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern U.S. Time and on-call coverage from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday.  Most issues that prompt a call are relatively minor (such as the blown fuse) but occasionally the problem is serious enough to justify an on-site visit.

The customer support team also handles installation of new equipment, training and periodic calibrations and other preventive maintenance.

“We’re all about listening to our users and asking for feedback.  When issues arise, we respond as quickly as possible,” said Leonard Skultety, manager of the support team. “We are keenly aware that our users need our equipment to be functioning properly so they can deliver the service their patients expect from them. Supporting our users is a top priority for us.”

While the medical equipment industry overall sometimes is chastised for lack of post-sale support, Skultety says Neuro Kinetics is working to be the most responsive company in the field.

“Service is ingrained throughout the company,” he says. “We take each occurrence very seriously both in terms of rolling up our sleeves and getting problems fixed and also in incorporating information learned in ongoing product and software refinements.”

In recent months, performance of Neuro Kinetics equipment has improved dramatically as measured by urgent calls to his team, Skultety says, because of the emphasis on preventive maintenance and as a result of enhancements in the most recent version of our VEST™ control and analysis software.

Urgent calls to the support team so far this year, in fact, are 25% percent lower than the same period in 2010, and Skultety expects the improved performance to continue.
One initiative Skultety – who recently returned from training sessions in Korea – has taken is to identify bioengineers and others at hospitals that can be called upon to act as frontline help.

“Now, when we make an installation at a hospital, we will identify individuals there who have the technical expertise to work on our equipment,” he says. “If need be, we can reach out to them for immediate help.” Individual clinicians working in a small practice usually do not have those in-house resources, which makes the customer support all the more crucial. “Our relationship with our users doesn’t end with a sale or installation,” Skultety says. “We view our commitment to our users as a partnership. We will be there when they need us.”

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© 2011 Neuro Kinetics, Inc.

Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
128 Gamma Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238 U.S.
Phone: +1 412.963.6649
Fax: +1 412.963.6722