Quality Assurance Best Practices from McKesson's VP of Customer Support

By: Customer Contact Week

As we quickly approach Customer Contact Week Austin in a few weeks, CCW had the opportunity to interview Dawn Bradney, VP Customer Support, Audit & Process Improvement at McKesson. 

Dawn discusses the biggest mistakes that organizations make when thinking about their quality assurance function and how she trains agents to understand customer empathy. She also shares what Quality Assurance looks like at McKesson and the unique process they use.

Tell us a little bit more about your current role at McKesson.

At McKesson, I’m responsible for customer support, value added services, project management and process improvements for Macro Helix, a division of McKesson that is focused on pharmaceutical software solutions for Hospitals and Pharmacies.  My focus would align to a B2B interaction with our customers.  

My team is responsible for providing all aspects of support from a frontline team to more advanced levels of support, training for our agents, content writers for internal resources, data analytics to help drive our focus for change, business process analysts who are focused on process improvement initiatives as well as quality assurance analysts who are focused on improving our customer experience.  Additionally, I am responsible for some of our customer facing service offerings that help to set us apart from our competitors.  

How is Quality Assurance a dynamic process to include implementation and continuous improvement?  What makes the Quality Assurance process at McKesson unique?

We maintain our concentration on how Quality Assurance will help complement our key initiatives and opportunities.  Quality Assurance is not a process that you can implement and just let it be, you need to include it on all aspects of what you do to drive change.  This doesn’t mean you should change it every month, but it does mean you need to account for it and strategically plan when and what you are changing in that process.  Quality Assurance is key for identifying opportunities for improvement, how your process adherence aligns w/ your customer feedback in CSAT as well as areas of confusion.  I would not say that what we are doing is unique.  I would however say that Quality Assurance is a key driver for us and we use it as an indicator for numerous areas of our customer experience. By giving Quality Assurance such a large seat at the table, you are continually focused on driving changing, improving the customer experience and helping support your team members by identifying opportunities for focus.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that organizations make when thinking about their quality assurance function?

I believe the biggest mistake made is just implementing it and letting it be.  It needs to be an ongoing focus as you are driving changes in your organization.  There are always ways to update and improve processes in your organization and as you focus on that you need to focus on improving your Quality Assurance process as well.  Additionally, you need to use that data to help identify and driving overarching improvement opportunities.  There is valuable insight in the trends you are seeing and that includes the trends in how your teams execute upon support.  No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying to be perfect and offer the best in class support experience.

How do you go about training customer empathy?

We focus on helping our team members understand our customers.  Obviously, there are opportunities to provide team members better ways of saying things or how to approach situations.  But outside of that, if we help our team members to understand the environment of our customers, the importance of the changes they are requesting, how our product impacts their operation and success and the impacts the program our products supports has on our customer and their community.  

What are some initiatives that McKesson does to focus on the customer? 

This is a hard question to answer because there are a number of initiatives we have that are focused on our customers.  The best I can share here is we are always listening to our customers and do so in a variety of forums.  We use that feedback to drive process improvements, product enhancements, new products and services and so on.  Keeping our customers at the forefront is engrained in all we do.

Please provide a fun fact to share with our attendees. 

I am a simple person who loves to spend time at home either working on things at our house, floating in the pool, or having game nights with our neighbors.  I am also a big dog lover.  I have a sign in my office that says I work so my dogs can have a better life and I think that sums me up well.  If I could rescue all the dogs I really would, but right now I am at my limit with 3 (at least for now)!