Post market surveillance systems, such as Complaint Handling, almost always work in tandem with other business tools such as Customer Service applications, ERP systems and Manufacturing systems. Complaint Handling, as a process, is an extension of Customer Service which, most of the time, is the source of initial complaint information.
Our experience with medical device companies of all sizes has shown that a modern complaint handling system needs to be well integrated with Customer Service functions and it needs to provide the ability for Customer Self Service. This means that a Complaint/Customer Service Portal needs to be available so that these functions can be performed without the customer needing to make a phone call:
- Customer Follow Up
- Credit Requests
- Status Checks
- Device Tracking
- Recall Management
- Other customer facing functions
The reality for some medical device companies, especially ones that have customers with high staff turnover, is that managing portals and user access is more cumbersome. Also, customer self-service tends to have higher uptake rates when financial transactions, such as free product replacement or credit requests, are involved.
At Smarteeva, one of our R&D priorities is to invest in integration capabilities and customer facing technologies; we know that Complaint Handling is an extension of Customer Service, that customer information and follow-up, product shipment, install base, field actions, credit memos—just to name a few—naturally intersect with more than one department, and should be shared easily. Most recently, Smarteeva successfully integrated the systems of a global medical device company who uses Zendesk as their customer service system portal, but has integrated with other ERP systems such as SAP, Dynamics and Oracle.