Taming the Beast

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Recently we lost a client to a competitor. This is rare but it’s something which inevitably happens from time to time and we are generally quite philosophical about it. After all, we’ve taken hundreds of clients over the years from our competitors and the ratio is massively in our favour. This time, however, it hurt.

Why, you might ask? The assumption you’ll probably be making is that this was a large client and that it will be costly to us financially, but you’d be wrong. It was a very small clinic with just two users. Despite that, it really did hurt, and for two reasons. Firstly, the client in question had first enquired about e-clinic in March 2003 and became a client in July 2004. That’s a long relationship to have ended and that’s a hard thing to take. Secondly, it was the reason they gave: they’d been really happy with e-clinic throughout but felt, with the upgrade to Pro, that the software had become just too big, too powerful and too complex for them. In their words, it had become  ‘a beast’. And the reason that it hurt was because I knew it was true.

As a creator of software products I have a tendency to want to make our software do more all the time. That restless drive to constantly grow the feature set, to take advantage of new technology and to just do more is an inherent trait which applies to much of my life away from e-clinic too. Many of our clients constantly ask for new features and make suggestions and, along with all developers, we take delight in rising to the challenge and solving the problem. It’s in our DNA and in many ways it’s a good thing. We take pride in the fact that we have been leading innovators in the field for approaching two decades with many of the core features you now see in our competitors’ applications having arrived first in e-clinic.

But there is a downside to our enthusiasm for innovation. We sometimes lose sight of the fact that not everyone needs a piece of software of the magnitude of e-clinic Pro, just as very few of us need even 5% of the feature set of Microsoft Word (another great beast). That is why we have now added a new product to our growing portfolio: e-clinic Standard.

e-clinic Standard is designed to specifically meet the needs of those clients who just don’t use all the features of e-clinic Pro. Instead, it focuses on the basics, the critical stuff like booking appointments and managing treatment courses; billing patients; sending letters, emails and text messages; generating appointment reminders; attaching documents such as digital photographs and scanned files. It’s still a feature rich product with all of the great marketing and reporting features which really help you to understand and grow your business, but without the more specialised features such as variable pricing, multi-layer diaries and so on which many of you don’t need and have found gets in the way of your workflow.

We’ll be officially launching e-clinic Standard at next week’s CCR expo on the 10th and 11th October. We also have a preview webinar on Friday 3rd October at 10am. If you want to sign up for the webinar and get the first look at e-clinic Standard, register here.

We are very proud of e-clinic Pro but we fully understood what our client meant when calling it  a beast. Sadly, it’s too late for them. We genuinely wish them well with their move and really wish we’d had this solution a few months ago, but we’re confident that we’ve now tamed the beast and that e-clinic Standard is a great product for clinics who want an easier life but with the multitude of  advantages of using e-clinic.