Learning from Our Customers

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

Customer feedback, positive or negative, whether from a reseller of our products or a consumer, has truly helped make ADC a better company.

Although we all love when a customer heaps praise on our products or services, it is the criticisms that drive change in a company responsive to its customers’ needs.

Customer feedback has helped make ADC a better company.Our dealers’ focus tends to be on service issues: How quickly and accurately did we ship the order? How promptly and efficiently did our Customer Service department handle their questions or difficulties? Were our field sales reps knowledgeable and supportive?

Consumer focus tends to be product driven – about the performance, quality, and durability of an instrument, or the clarity and accuracy of the packaging and the instructions for use. A lot of consumer feedback is provided (in our case almost always positive) on the warranty service we provide.

Even after 30 years I still learn something new every day from our customers and I’d like to relate a few of the better lessons. One is a bit older, the others actually quite recent.

We ship a lot of small items to our dealers, such as replacement lamps or scope parts. These would be packaged in a large clear plastic bag that we thought was easy to spot in a carton full of mostly boxed items. Over the years we received the occasional short-shipment complaints about missing small parts – at a statistically significant higher rate than other shipping complaints. Yet video reviews of these orders (all orders are video logged) showed that the small parts were packed. We concluded, based on that evidence, that the bags of small parts were being inadvertently discarded with the loose fill (the protective packing material used to cushion merchandise) when the recipient received the box. So we added a big green neon sticker to the carton (and another one to the small parts bag) and viola – problem solved. We were also an early adopter of air-bag fill, a solution that saved valuable space and was more user friendly to our distribution partners than the shipping peanuts used by many factories.

In another example, I recently attended a trade show in which we were exhibiting to our student market retailers. They are a great bunch of dealers but with so many non-medical products to sell it can be difficult for some to develop an expertise in our products. By listening to their concerns (and criticisms), we built out new areas of our web-based Learning Center and published tutorials to educate them on our products. We’re also rolling out some future web enhancements that will help all of our dealers more easily select the products most suitable to their markets.

I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of consumer reviews of our products online. I have mixed feelings about these; while most of the criticisms are legitimate and quite constructive, some seem malicious and ill-informed. (But that’s a blog rant for a later time!) We did make two recent changes to our products based on comments provided,though, one a tweak to an existing product and one leading to the launch of a new instrument.

First, the tweak. In the consumer channel we publish the limb ranges of our blood pressure cuffs on the box to better assist laypeople in selecting the home monitor that’s right for them. But we weren’t doing that for the professional market. Product reviews suggested that was an oversight so we redesigned our packaging to include cuff-size information on virtually all of our professional sphygmomanometers, as well.

The new product was also the result of feedback. We consistently get rave reviews on our Adscope 601 cardiology stethoscope. But some customers, while loving the scope, wished it were lighter. We had a hunch there might be a lot of others out there with similar sentiments, so we developed the Adscope 606, the first ultra-lightweight cardiology scope. And it’s become a runaway best seller (well, at least as far as cardiology scopes go – it’s no iPhone).

Our customers teach us every day. I can’t wait for today’s lesson!

Do you have a product or service comment you'd like to share with us? Let us know via our Customer Feedback Form. Thanks!