The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront many vulnerabilities in the way that we communicate, move around, access healthcare, and conduct business. The year-long distance and resulting loss of connection has caused personal and professional strain for almost everyone. And while companies have done their best to adapt, many have suffered negative impacts.
A Spotlight on Partnership
The diagnostic laboratory market has seen some dramatic examples of strained vendor-customer relationships over the last year, much of which can be attributed to the unique situation created by the pandemic.
We have seen shortages of key supplies (nasopharyngeal swabs, pipette tips, etc.), and strain on vendors to accommodate the massive spike in testing volume (instrument manufacturers, LIMS vendors, etc.). We have also seen staffing shortages and burn-out (lab directors, techs, etc.). Ultimately, the consequences of these issues are felt most severely by patients.
However, in our view, the pandemic amplifies one truth of business: maintaining the partnership between vendor and customer requires constant focus and a willingness to adapt. And this translates into an unwavering commitment to the concept of customer success. With the authorized vaccines beginning to bring a return to normal, it’s critical to learn from the challenges of the last year and identify and retain the aspects of pandemic life that made our businesses stronger.
Here at Apollo, we entered the COVID-19 pandemic with a commitment to maintain tight relationships with our customers. And, while it’s true we were faced with challenges, we have used them as an opportunity to improve, specifically, the support of our customers’ businesses.
Enduring Changes at Apollo
Our team recognized the need to start asking more questions across all customer activities and focusing more than ever on timely, thoughtful responses to our customers.
We sought to fully understand customer goals and their desired outcomes versus simply having transactional interactions. By having a real-time pulse on both short- and long-term customer needs, we took steps to not only drive results related to immediate problems, but also to develop deeper relationships. There is a natural tendency for vendor-customer relationships to drift apart over time. This severely limits a vendor’s ability to support customers effectively in times of extreme need (e.g., a pandemic).
At Apollo, our goal is to protect against this natural drift, and maintain what we believe is a true differentiator in the market – a commitment to professional, timely service and support that results in strong partnerships with both new and existing customers.
The Future at Apollo
As a result of the unique events of the last year, Apollo has launched several initiatives to ensure enduring relationships with our customers, including:
- Investment in new customer service technologies. We are creating a self-service portal on our website, and ultimately, chat functionality, so customers can receive immediate service when they need it.
- Faster issue resolution. We are focused on driving higher rates of first-day resolution for support issues in 2021. We understand that timely support helps our customers succeed on a daily basis.
- Amplified focus on the concept of “customer success” versus “customer support.” In our view, customer support is too narrow. Customer success, on the other hand, builds long-term trust between our team and our customers. Customer success helps our customers get the most out of our product on an ongoing basis. We want to help optimize our customers’ businesses, rather than just fix issues in the moment, and help them get closer to their customers.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are an existing customer, we are excited to continue to help you grow your business. We remain committed to your success and are excited about the future in diagnostics.
If you are in the market for a new LIMS and are interested in learning more about Apollo and, specifically, the Apollo Alliance, please contact our team. We look forward to speaking with you and learning how we can help your lab be the best business it can be – regardless of what is thrown our way.