Defining Proactive Customer Service
Today I looked up the term proactive because I want to make a distinction between "excellent customer service," which the awesome staff at mTuitive have always provided, and "proactive customer service," which is another level.
You hear the word proactive a lot in the technology business, but how often do you think about what it really means? Google's definition is
Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened People overuse and misuse the word often. For example, people say "let's be more proactive" or "we have a proactive stance" without actually controlling a situation or causing something to happen. It just becomes a synonym for try harder.
Audit logs are a requirement for any healthcare application so you can pinpoint changes to data and data access at a very granular level. While this is very helpful for recovering data, troubleshooting, and security, it's also a window into every action your users take in your application. Lately, we at mTuitive have been analyzing our audit logs on a daily basis to look for patterns.
For example, if a user is performing the same action on the same bit of data repeatedly, it probably means something isn't working, is going slowly, or they are using an old web browser. We may also see errors in the log that indicate problems on the back end.
While keeping an eye on errors is common practice, we also look for more subtle issues, like usability issues. This week, we emailed a customer to make sure everything was OK, after noticing that he tried to do something a few times, then logged out. He had feedback for us that was very helpful about a particular location where he uses the product. In another example, we saw some errors that told us we needed more bandwidth available to the app — which was easy to fix.
At mTuitive, we don't just divide techies and customer-facing people into groups and make each one work on their own set of problems. We offer a cohesive product and cohesive user experience. Usability, infrastructure, development, readily available customer support, and now proactive customer support are all key ingredients to making users happy, constantly improving the product, and keeping it running smoothly. Sometimes you find a problem in usability with a traditionally technical approach, such as watching logs, or vice-versa, when a back-end problem surfaces to end users as unusual behavior but isn't raising flags in the infrastructure layer.
In addition to monitoring the application to identify problems early, we are regularly contacting users to find out how they are coming along with OpNote and to get product feedback. Most of our users have already seen their own feedback show up in the product.
So if you get an email from us asking if everything is OK, don't worry — we're just trying to fix problems before they happen!
Diagram showing how Proactive Customer Service prevents user frustration.