Episode 7: What to Expect in Software Implementation & Support Transcript
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (00:11):
Hello, and welcome back to the MediSked podcast. My name is Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist at MediSked, and today we’ll be chatting with two members of MediSked’s client services team to discuss client experience at MediSked. Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves?
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (00:26):
My name’s George Steffler. I’m the Associate Director of Client Services, been here three years.
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (00:31):
My name is Frank DiMarco. I’m a Senior Implementation Consultant and supervisor of the implementation and consulting team. And I have been at MediSked for four and a half years.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (00:41):
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.
Frank & George (00:44):
Thanks for having us.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (00:45):
How long have each of you been in the industry?
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (00:49):
I’ve been in the industry almost 15 years.
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (00:52):
I’m not quite at 15 yet, but I’ve been in the industry for 13 years.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (00:55):
Great. Very experienced. What are you both responsible for at MediSked?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (01:00):
So my team, the implementation and consulting team, our job is to onboard customers. So when a customer signs on with MediSked post sales, they get transitioned over to my team. From there my team works with them on configuring their environments. We have out-of-the-box products, but everything is configurable, which is great because every customer is gonna be different. Every customer has different needs. So we work with them on identifying what those needs are so we can configure the sites for them. Also, in addition to that, we are industry experts. So we understand not just how the technology works, but we understand how the technology works in relation to the state that the customer’s in and what needs to be done. So we can offer that consulting on their workflows. In addition, we train them also on the functionality of the platform. They need to understand how it works. They need to understand how I add an individual, how I add a medication and how I track an immunization. So we go through all those steps. Typically it’s about a six month process from the beginning of implementation towards the end. Sometimes implementations can go a little longer, depending on the size of the project. And sometimes implementations can go shorter. So it’s really dependent on what the customer’s needs are as well as their availability. So from there, once they are fully, we call it implemented. They’re trained the site’s configured. Everything’s good to go. We then turn them over to George’s team.
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (02:20):
Yeah. And as Frank said, my team gets involved at the very end once they’re post their implementation. And then we support ’em from that perspective. So our teams handle calls, emails, phone, however, a customer puts in a ticket.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (02:36):
Very cool. And how did you both get into customer service?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (02:41):
So I’m the old dog here with that 15 years. And I started pretty much right outta college. I was always fascinated by teaching people how to do stuff. I’ve always been a nerd. So give me technology, give me video games and all of that fun stuff, and I can show people how to use it. I always appreciated when you get to see that light bulb moment from someone of like, oh my gosh, I can finally take a screenshot on my iPhone. Those are always the moments that I gravitated to and, and really found a joy in, uh, in helping people.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (03:09):
That’s really unique. I like that. What about you Frank?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (03:12):
Believe it or not. It wasn’t an interest of mine before I got into it. It was something that I ended up enjoying, not even realizing I would enjoy it. I was young. I was simply looking for a job. I took an entry level customer support position. I assumed it would be a transitional experience for me. I just assumed, all right, I’ll just do this till I find something better or something else I wanna do and just turned out I enjoyed it. And, uh, you know, 13 years later here, I am.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (03:41):
Very cool. What do you two think are some of the top things in your experience that make for a great partner in support?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (03:48):
You know, really it’s just listening. Like we, we like to listen to our customers. So I think in terms of customer service, the biggest key is to listen and ask questions as well. The reason for that is a lot of times a customer’s asking you for something and it’s not really what they’re asking for. They’re asking to really solve a problem. So asking those additional follow up questions, like, you know, why do you need it to do this? What are you trying to, to gain here? What’s the end goal? And nine times outta 10, when they tell us what that goal is, we actually have a solution for them. And then we can provide them with a workflow. So it’s not the way they thought they wanted to get there. It’s really, here’s another way to get to that destination. And typically it’s usually a better way. You know, definitely building relationships throughout the implementation is important as well. It’s really important that the customer is confident in your team. They’re confident in the organization you work for. Uh, it’s also important that you’re following up with customers as well. So that’s, that’s very important in terms of having a great partnership during the implementation consulting process. George, what about support?
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (04:56):
Yeah, I mean, for me, it echos very similarly to what you were mentioning, Frank, you know, our support team, we need to be consultants, right? We have to listen, understand exactly what the problem is. And it may be a follow up conversation with that client who’s putting in that ticket. Uh, and then the key of support is to try and be able to solve problems. We do a lot of investment on our internal team. If there’s something we don’t know, we reach out to our own development team, our own Frank’s team from an implementation standpoint, to help us understand a feature of the product. And then I think the third key is really about being open and honest. Uh, if we don’t know if we don’t have a solution, it’s that follow through you just talked about Frank. Those are the three keys to me of what matters most with a great partner.
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (05:38):
And transparency too. Like we don’t, we don’t like the smoke beers game. We don’t do that here. It’s, we’re very transparent. If we don’t have the solution, we will get them the solution, but we’re very, uh, open and upfront about that. We invest too, not just in teaching our staff about the product, but also teaching our staff about the industry. We put a huge investment in attending different conferences throughout the year. And we send our customer support people there. We send our implementation consultants. We send our developers and engineers. We send — every org gets sent to these conferences. Not unwillingly. Obviously they all wanna go to the conference. It’s fun, but it’s a great learning experience to understand, the industry. And that helps us understand the best way to configure the product for them. Also, it really helps understand like exactly what that customer needs and exactly what’s going on, not just from a software perspective, but from a human services industry perspective.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (06:37):
Yeah. I mean, another reason I think that’s so important. So let’s talk about like the development team. They might not always be communicating right with the client because people like implementation and support are talking to the client directly. So our engineers might not necessarily get to see what they’re doing and how it affects the client directly. Whereas if they’re going to these conferences and they’re learning about our industry, they get to see the impact that their work makes, which I think is really cool.
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (07:10):
<affirmative> yeah. I mean, a couple weeks ago, I was at this applied self-direction conference in Baltimore and to learn how self-direction is working and where the future’s headed. It was just an eye opening experience, you know, on top of what Frank described, right. We meet with the client, we consult with them from a support side. When we do a transition to support, when a customer finishes their implementation, we do meet before they come into support, we update our, our CRM, our customer relationship management tool, that tickets get created from, we try to understand what the workflows that Frank and the customer created. So that way our team is truly trying to walk in their shoes. So it’s, if someone talks about, Hey, we’re doing X, uh, Frank, help us understand what X was, what did we talk about during implementation? And what’s really special is we meet every day and we review every open ticket that we have. If there’s an update we can go easily provide one. If there isn’t one and we need to necessarily escalate, we’ll escalate as, as necessary. But also another piece as to why customers would want to continue to partner with us is we have a dedicated development team for just professional services. So if a customer oh, asks, “Hey, we wanna make a change to a report,” we don’t have to go through the regular product cycle. It’s we have a development team that actually can just create the reports on adhoc. We can create a ticket, and then my team is responsible for getting that to completion.
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (08:41):
We also do a lot of onsite visits as well to the different agencies. I think that that’s helpful because it allows us to put ourselves in the customer shoes, as well as the individual shoes as well. We haven’t done, obviously since the pandemic started, we haven’t really been going onsite, but pre pandemic times, we did probably, I would say once a month, at least we were doing a site visit. And also part of when you go through implementation, we do offer up onsite days so we could actually come and meet with your staff. And that’s usually a pretty effective way too, to get some training done. And in a faster pace, obviously in person’s always gonna be better than remote. Luckily with hopefully the pandemic coming to an end, we’re gonna be making those onsite visits a regular occurrence again. Yeah, I think that’s been very, that’s always beneficial to do that.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (09:35):
Well, that all sounds perfect and makes MediSked sound absolutely flawless, but every company strives to improve. So what are some potential future initiatives our customers can look forward to?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (09:46):
What we’re really looking to do is, from an implementation and consulting approach, you know, we really want to look at improving the educational experience post implementation. And what I mean by that is, you know, obviously everyone is aware of the staffing crisis regarding the human services industry. There’s a lot of turnover. Every agency goes through it, you know, every service provider’s going through it, every location goes through it. So we identify, you know, probably a big challenge for our customers and potential customers in the future is there’s a lot of turnover, which means there’s a lot of having to train new staff. You have to bring new staff in the door and they have to be trained. And, you know, it’s, it’s not just the MediSked product you have to train them on, you have to, they have to go through a whole new hire orientation process. So, you know, what we’re looking to do in the future is add a video library that our customers can access. We’re looking at offering up a possible LMS solution to our customers—which LMS stands for learning management system—and so that could help make the onboarding more efficient for our customers in terms of the MediSked platforms.
George Steffler, Assoc. Dir., Client Services (10:55):
The other piece add to the future is the continued investment in our professional development for staff. So looking at more certifications and then also reinvesting in additional product training too. And then we’re also piloting some concepts for user groups to help with the staffing prices instead of paying for supplemental training we may offer, “all right, here’s a one-day MediSked 101, you know, invite your staff who need to get trained. This is an opportunity for them to learn about the product.”
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (11:27):
Couldn’t have said it better myself, George, we definitely have a very collaborative internal process as well. So George mentioned the daily meetings—support, implementation, we’re always communicating. We also are able to communicate with the different orgs. I know a lot of, you know, tech companies it’s, you know, “don’t email this person. You have to go through these channels,” but like, if we ever need to get on a call with a developer, we need to get on a call with reporting engineer, it’s very easy to get those scheduled and to collaborate and solve problems quicker and more efficiently.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (12:01):
Great, well, any final thoughts for our listeners before we sign off?
Frank DiMarco, Sr. Implementation Consultant (12:06):
Just thanks for being tremendous customers. And if you’re not customers yet, we are looking forward to it.
Abby Rose Esposito, Marketing Specialist (12:13):
All right. Well, thank you both for being on the podcast and our listeners, we look forward to talking to you soon.