Medical imaging equipment is, by nature, very technical. Each modality has its own set of maintenance concerns, unique parts, and even language. This is why, when your equipment is having problems, you want to talk to someone who knows you, your system, and your history. Getting all three of these things, however, can be a tall order.
Below are three things you should look for from a provider to get you this "service trifecta". If you're in the market for a service provider, ask anyone you're considering about these:
Equipment downtime is already frustrating, but especially so when you find yourself connecting with a call center. Working with a service provider that assigns a single representative to manage your account helps solve this. Over time, your rep begins to know you and your system and develops a log of insightful notes about your cases. This knowledge saves time, eases scheduling for routine maintenance, and simplifies communication. It also provides the pleasant perk of a more personal touch.
While it's true that your rep might not be available every single time you call (even service providers take vacations), a close-knit team, keeping detailed notes, can still keep your service experience smooth, even when your specific rep isn't available.
In a "perfect" service scenario, anyone experiencing an imaging equipment problem could place a call and speak to their field service engineer directly about a resolution. Unfortunately, engineers are busy people, with in-demand skills, that simply cannot be everywhere at once. This is why a proactive service provider should provide the next best thing: service reps that have at least a basic knowledge of the systems their customers use.
Basic training is most attainable for service providers with in-house engineers. Block service reps, for example, have the opportunity to undergo some basic training, under the supervisions of our engineers. on major modalities and popular models. These reps are certainly no substitute for a thoroughly trained, experienced engineer, but awareness of common problems, first steps for diagnosis, and even the lingo/jargon within each modality save time and money, eliminate confusion/miscommunication, and add value to initial contact.
A prime example is table errors. A rep with basic training will know that the caller should check that their e-stop button(s) are not depressed. Simple fixes like these can completely eliminate the need to dispatch an engineer. In essence, a rep who can "speak your language" and pass valuable information on to the field engineer does a lot more than simply taking a message.
Availability of Records
The most effective service conversations happen when both the end user and the provider are looking at the same information. Providers who make access to this information simple and reciprocal nurture these kinds of conversations.
An imaging system's service history is full of clues about potential future issues, parts needs, and the overall condition of the equipment. Proactive service providers should, at least, send service reports and maintenance schedules electronically so that end users can find them quickly with a search of their email inbox. Some providers do even more (ex. Block's ServiceWindow), storing all service records for a facility online, just a username and password away.
Another dimension of record keeping we use at Block Imaging is our solutions database. This archive holds records of every service call we've taken since 2009. It lists every problem and the parts or steps it took to correct it. When you call us with a problem, our reps can turn to this database first to see if troubleshooting can begin right then or if parts necessary to the repair can be identified in advance.
For those of you searching for the best provider to take your equipment under their wing- ask your prospects what they're doing to grow well-informed reps who are more than a "middle man" between you and the engineer.
For those of you already in a service agreement, consider the effort and methods your provider has used to get to know you, your system, and your service history. Are they working out for you? Or are you leaving messages, repeating yourself, and talking to strangers?
If you're ready to discuss a new service solution, use the button below to tell us what you're looking for, or email our Service Account Executive, Chris Kinnas.