Chandresh Shah

How to have a Happy Vendor? You read it right – vendor, not customer!

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Good vendors are hard to find and great vendors are even more so – so when you have a great vendor you do not want to lose them. Following are some tips to help show your vendors you appreciate them.

Tips to Build Relationships with a Vendor

Tip 1 – Keep Your Promises

If you tell a vendor you will do something at a specific time do it. This is the single most important thing you do that keeps your vendors happy. Don’t make a promise to call back before the end of business and not call. Calling the following morning with an apology is lame. Calling, when you promised to, shows that you understand the concept of consideration and respect for your vendor’s time.

Tip 2 – Give Positive Feedback

All of us react when thing do not go well with a vendor. When this happens, hospital executives or medical practice administrators and even physicians will call their electronic health record vendor and rightfully complain. But how many of us take the time to call and thank them when something goes well?

Giving praise to vendors builds their loyalty and makes them eager to help your health care entity succeed.

Tip 3 – Pay Them on Time

The quickest way to see a vendor’s support of your company vanish is not paying your bill. For reasons unknown, some client health care providers think nothing of paying their bills late. Yes, some clients who become chronic late payers do so as a signal that their dissatisfied with vendor services.

Often, payment disputes are nothing more than lack of an understanding of what the payment terms are. Some organizations have a long and bureaucrat payables system. Purchasing folks forget to mention this when working with a new vendor. This information should be clear before placing the first order.

Tip 4 – Remember, You are not Their Only Client

If you are the kind of client who thinks that their EHR vendor’s sole reason for existence is their business. Exercise restraint when you have an emergency. Call and explain the issue, ask how soon they can come to fix it and is there a work around to use until they arrive. Be positive and say thank you.

A good attitude reaps rewards such as expediting your service call.

Tip 5 – View the Relationship with Your EHR Vendor as Long-Term

A great vendor – client relationship includes the following from a buyer.

  • A shared vision of success with a vendor
  • Knowing and sharing what success is now and in the future – critical to the success of the electronic health record
  • Associate the vendor’s consulting, support and engagement practices with their vision of success

Saying Good-bye

Even the best relationships with vendors can go bad. Make sure to tell your EMR vendor what the problems are and give them an opportunity to make things right. But, if management has changed or the firm has merged might change your relationship to a less than perfect partnership. Use your ability to judge the situation and leave the relationship if you must.

You cannot build relationships with vendors when your bid philosophy is to take the lowest bidder. Most reputable vendors offer many benefits that outweigh the amount you save. When you find a vendor that you want to enjoy a great relationship, remember the following,

  • Be extraordinarily honest
  • Communicate often; and
  • Let peers know when a vendor is exceptional

So, go ahead – customers – write a testimonial, write a review, send a thank you note to your vendors, you will be glad you did. You won’t have to worry about the costs of changing the system or the vendor!


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