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Do not ask again

It seems rare nowadays to purchase any product, regardless of type or price, that comes with comprehensive support as standard. We can make use of the FAQ websites and faceless chat boxes, but this is crisis management at best and soul-destroying for the customer who just wants answers. The development of a User Group for a high-end technical system is the ultimate in product and customer support and is exactly what Hallmarq offers as part of Q-Care, their unique customer care program.  

The first ever virtual Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging MRI Clinical User Meeting for veterinarians working with the 1.5T small animal system, was a strong step towards achieving a true ‘two-way street’ of communication for those attending. The meeting, held at the end of March 2021, was hosted by the Hallmarq team, represented by their technical, marketing, sales and clinical support staff in both the US and UK and across multiple time zones. As the challenges of COVID-19 continue, the best attempt to create a face-to face environment was made by the now only too-familiar webcams. Obviously, this eliminated the chance to shake hands, engage in low-key social chats and share a few drinks, which is typical for these types of meetings but needs must.  

Facilitated by Lynn Bender, Hallmarq’s Chief Marketing Officer, Shawn Miller, North American Sales Director, and newest team member Simon Platt, Small Animal Medical Director, the meeting was attended by small animal MRI clinical users from all over the US with a focus on three major topics: 

Customer Connection 

Firstly, a veritable introduction. The essential component of customer connection is knowing who you are speaking with on both sides. Finding out which one of us is afraid of snakes, has met Mohammed Ali or knows a real-life moon-landing astronaut helped break the ice and will hopefully inspire some healthy competition for the next meeting!  

Product updates 

Next, another important aspect of this type of meeting is to disseminate product update information. This was proficiently delivered by Steve Roberts, Hallmarq’s Chief Technology Officer, and Isabel Joharjian, Applications Scientist, Customer Training, and Support, North America. The highlights of this session were the soon-to-be-released software updates and discussion of image optimization.  

“The clinical user meeting is a great opportunity to discuss our ongoing product development roadmap and receive important feedback from our customers. During the recent virtual user meeting, there were a couple of requested features from the attending users and those features will now be included within our next MRI software update.”

 – Steve Roberts, CTO.   

The User Experience 

Attendees then had time to discuss experiences with their individual systems which were addressed in real-time wherever possible or taken back to the Hallmarq team as valuable input to future product development. This candid input is welcomed by Hallmarq who continually strives for product improvements and customer-driven direction to optimize the user experience.  

Future Focus 

The focus for future meetings was settled with the agreement that, a short case-based presentation series, to discuss image acquisition and disease-based sequence advantages would be of benefit to all. This type of forum will provide the opportunity for Hallmarq users to share case examples of their work and provide additional insights into the diseases commonly seen in small animal veterinary medicine. Hallmarq has always intended that education and collaboration be an integral part of the development of both their own business and that of their customers and peer-to-peer discussions remain invaluable.  

Finally, attendees shared what they think differentiates Hallmarq from the other MRI providers and voted on some of their favorite new advertising campaigns that Hallmarq intends to run in the coming months.  

Despite the lack of a face-to-face gathering, with all the advantages that being in the same room brings, this virtual experience served to break down barriers and create a platform for future meetings. Eventually, we can ‘clink’ our glasses in person and push these experiences to further benefit the health of those patients we are trying to improve, and the people who care for them. Here’s to 2022!  

Click here for more information on Hallmarq’s Small Animal MRI