Measuring Customer Effort: Key Steps to Drive Customer Experience Success

Brian Clark

In many customer-centric organizations, the customer service mantra has historically read: “The customer is always right.” Successful customer experience innovation requires understanding what your customers want and your business needs from the value exchange. This requires acknowledging that not all customers are created equal. The new manta for CX success needs to read: “The customer is always right … as long as they are the right customer.”

Measuring the impacts and outcomes of Customer Effort require a systematic approach.…

Is Your Claims System Creating Operational Value?

Donna Jolly

Over the years I have had the privilege to use, configure, and review a multitude of claim and benefit administration systems. Some have been home grown systems that have evolved as a business changed, while others were off-the-shelf versions that had minor tweaks and customizations to fit a specific business need. But the common capability they all shared was this: provider submits a claim, claim is entered into said system, system figures out a price according to the provider’s contracted status and the member’s benefits (sometimes with the help of other systems), and then the priced, or denied, claim is sent for payment resolution (fig.…

Operational Savings Through Sustainability

We often think that sustainability means placing a couple of recycling bins in our break rooms and including anecdotes in our email signatures that urge people to consider the environment before printing messages. While those things help to divert waste from our landfills and increase awareness about the use of resources, true sustainability in the manufacturing and distribution industry represents a goal – creating operations that are able to move and produce goods with minimal use of external resources while causing no negative impacts on the immediate and global environment.…

Clean Air Act: Maintaining and strengthening relationships with regulators & policy makers will be more important now than ever


Recently adopted and proposed federal environmental regulations can have potentially far-reaching effects on State-level planning and policy making, particularly for states that rely heavily on fossil fuels for energy production and use. These regulations can also add significantly to the costs of doing business in that state.

While emission standards for criteria pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and the proposed rules for new power plant carbon emissions, require diligence on the part of affected parties in identifying the “best-value” compliance strategies, it is clear that the role of the states’ in developing plans and ensuring compliance is being strengthened.…

West Monroe Helps the Furniture Bank in More Ways Than One

Jeremy Tancredi_120

West Monroe Partners’ “1+1+1” initiative was designed to encourage employees to give back to their local communities with the goal of donating at least 1% of our time to community engagement, 1% of our profit to charities and 1% of our talent for pro-bono work. A great example of this initiative in action is our Columbus office’s work for the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio.  The Furniture Bank is an organization that provides furniture to families in need. …

Wealth Management – Enriching Service with Every Contact

Stuart Anderson_120

For those Wealth Management firms focused on high net worth individuals and family offices, “high-touch relationships” are and will remain a cornerstone of the business.  Many of those firms serving clients with $1M and preferably greater than $5M in investable assets are presently setting course to cross the chasm into extending their touch with digital and multi-channel capabilities.

In early blogs we promoted the concept of segmenting clients, more specifically developing ‘servicing personas’ and how leading firms are complimenting their relationship service model with digital. …

West Monroe Partners and BearingPoint Announce New Book, “Darwinism in a Consumer-Driven World”

Kyle Hutchins_120

Customer Experience experts discuss how evolutionary thinking is driving the digital revolution

Management and technology consulting firms West Monroe Partners and BearingPoint today announced the publication of their book, Darwinism in a Consumer – Driven WorldThe book, co-authored by Kyle Hutchins, director of Customer Experience at West Monroe Partners, and Erik Campanini, Digital Marketing, Sales & Customer Management leader at BearingPoint, uses various nature-driven models to decode modern consumerism and the challenges it poses to today’s businesses.…

It’s a Team Sport…

Greg B 120

Selling professional services and consulting is, and always will be, a team sport. As Rudyard Kipling so aptly states in The Jungle Book, “the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Truly a law of the jungle! The business developer, aka the wolf in our case, who prefers to go at it alone, is severely disadvantaged, as is the firm who promotes this approach.

Why? Consulting work, particularly project-based work, is a very difficult sell.…

Getting Started with Sentiment Analysis Part III

In the first two posts of our series on sentiment analysis, we discussed, how to use sentiment analysis to get value from service and how to get a competitive advantage. Let’s spend some time talking about how sentiment analysis works on a functional level. For simplicity sake, we will assume that a model has been constructed that is sensitive to banking terminology.

Sentiment Analysis is composed of three high level activities [i].

  1. Construct the Corpus
  2. Pre-process the data
  3. Extract Knowledge

The corpus is simply the body of information you are looking to analyze.…

Camping and the Customer Experience

Recently, I have been planning for a week-long trip to the Rockies. The whole purpose of the trip is to get away from the city and spend some time out in the gorgeous, rural mountains. To get ready for this trip, I did what we all do anytime we have to research or plan something – I hopped online and started Googling.

Many of the online campsite reservation sites said things like “first come, first served” and “limited campsites available online – call for more information”.…

Enhancing Your Usage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM: XRM ToolBox


The XRM ToolBox ( is a free third party application that provides several pieces of functionality that Microsoft Dynamics CRM administrators wish were native to the application. All that needs to be done to use the application is to install it on any machine, point it at a CRM organization, and enter the appropriate credentials. It contains the tools listed below and below I’ll elaborate on two of the ones that I use most often.…

Why Use Citrix’s Universal Print Server?

Universal Print Server—a collection of free components available for your XenApp and XenDesktop environments—is a great enhancement to your Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop farms. If it is not already being leveraged in your environment you should definitely look into it. Particularly customers that are using network printers that are generated within their user sessions should explore the possibilities presented by this software.

If you’ve read my first blog post you can think of this as a logical follow up.…

Diversity in Technology, or Lack Thereof

In the melting pot that is the United States, diversity is becoming more and more important; our population is diverse and our workplaces should be as well. New research suggests that having a diverse workforce gives companies a competitive edge. If this is the case, why does it seem like technology companies aren’t getting on board the diversity train?

The Facts                                                              

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that diverse groups outperformed more homogeneous groups not solely because of an influx of new ideas, but because diversity triggered more careful information processing that is absent in homogeneous groups.…

City of Naperville issues a voluntary demand response event – Is this the new utility customer engagement model?

Jeff Smith Web Headshot

From 3pm to 7pm today (Tuesday, July 22, 2014), the City of Naperville has asked its electric customers to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption. By doing so, the City hopes to reduce the amount they’ll pay their electricity supplier in peak demand charges this month. More details and energy-savings tips are available on the City’s website here.

The formula for predicting monthly demand on a summer months is relatively straight-forward: Look for a hot day (91˚F predicted) and a time window that overlaps businesses with residents coming home (3pm to 7pm).…

The jar that won’t open


I’m sure we’ve all had a jar that just won’t open no matter what you try. You tap on the lid, you run it under hot water, you use any tool available to get a bigger grip; still, the jar won’t budge. The more you try, the more your hands get tired and the chances of the jar opening get slimmer. Then there’s the dreaded voice in the background saying: “You want me to try?” You attempt to ignore that voice and protect your ego but your biceps are bulging.…


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