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Success Stories

Combining Advanced Technology and Agile Methodology to Serve Veterans

Client: Collaborative Government and Business Non-Profit Organization

Challenge

When the Government identified a need to develop resources for returning veterans to help them adapt to life after their military service. They looked to a non-profit organization formed by both government and business to drive an innovative portal focused on connecting returning veterans with highly relevant resources based upon need (i.e., physical health, mental health, career counseling, job searches, community and geography). This organization turned to CVP to develop and implement their vision.

Approach and Results

In order to successfully bring the portal online in the short timeframe available, CVP led a team using an Agile development methodology. This extremely diverse and fragmented team moved from vision to a private alpha launch in 10 coding days and to a live public beta launch six weeks after alpha.

How? Using four key drivers:

  • Advanced architecture
  • Large, multi-vendor team
  • Portability to multiple destination sites
  • Agile methodologies leading to rapid results

CVP delivered a working prototype within six weeks of project initiation and completed the initial application in less than four months. The result is an online web portal provided from a secure cloud platform with Web 2.0 features such as:

  • personal profile,
  • extended organizational profiles,
  • ratings and comments for all content,
  • multi-faceted search and content filtering,
  • geospatial mapping of search returns, and
  • social networking features.

Its robust APIs and open source core allow other agencies and non-profits to provide the portal capability and data via their own websites.

The portal has been a major success on two key fronts that are relevant to the development process – it was rolled out quickly to meet promised timelines, and it has won awards for innovation excellence. The CVP-led team went from bullets on a PowerPoint slide to a full live beta site within one calendar month with only four full-time developers. More importantly, despite the short timeframe, the beta site included all features and functionality that had been promised before the CVP team arrived on the scene.

Not long after launch, the portal won the MarkLogic Innovation Award at MarkLogic’s annual conference for innovation in the use of the MarkLogic platform – specifically related to the integration of geo-spatial search and the creative use of MarkLogic Server as an open architecture social media platform.

Enterprise Program and Performance Management

Client: Security Bureau, Federal Department

Challenge

This Federal Department, Security Bureau (SB) was in need of processes, standards and tools for developing performance measures to allow the organization to determine its mission, set goals for desired results, and identify methods of measuring how well the results are achieved. They lacked standardized reporting mechanisms and this resulted in a lack of transparency across the Directorates, Offices, Divisions, etc., within the Bureau.

Approach and Results

CVP established a Program Management Office to oversee the strategic planning branch of SB. A key component of this effort was the Program Performance Management System (PPMS) which allows SB to define each program's overarching goal, key tasks associated with achieving that goal, and metrics for measuring success. Performance across all programs is rolled-up so that senior managers can assess the health of their strategic programs and determine where performance improvements are required. The PPMS has transformed the PMO's focus from tactical decision making to a more strategic, enterprise view of program performance in order to optimize resource allocation.

Specifically, this program has achieved the following results:

  • All Programs, Divisions, Offices, Directorates are now submitting a uniform report Eliminates ambiguity about what should be in the report
  • Provides timely and accurate visibility to ongoing operations
  • Easier to aggregate and deliver up to the Department level
  • Creation of objective performance measures (vs. subjective) for each program
  • Ability to address poor performance with pre-defined corrective action plans Increased transparency throughout the Bureau
  • Provides up to date status on health of highest profile projects/programs
  • Enables all levels of management to make decisions based on performance/success of projects/programs

Subsequent to the development of PPMS, CVP helped SB design the Security Planning System (SPS), a systematic process to build upon operational performance measures and reporting, and create an enduring strategic decision support capability. SPS, in combination with PPMS, provides SB the ability to evaluate strategic alignment of program performance, as well as lay the foundation for evaluating the effectiveness of programs in light of the worldwide SB mission. Included in the development of the PPMS/SPS solution are baseline requirements for automated IT enablement of performance measures and reporting at the desktop.

Contact Center Optimization Dramatically Improves Call Accuracy and Efficiency

Client: Midwestern Blue Cross Blue Shield Organization

A midwestern Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is the state's leading customer-orientated health benefit services company. The company arranged for the payment of more than $4 billion in annual claims payments to health care providers and members and helped 1.6 million members to receive care. The organization's customer service representatives (CSRs) are located in multiple service centers that handle over 1 million inquiries a year from members and providers.

In dealing with these calls, BCBS must comply with strict Service Level Agreements that use contract-specific and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's service performance monitoring program - Member Touchpoints Measures (MTMs) - to assess the company's performance in terms of the inbound customer service phone calls.

Challenge

Against this background of compliance, CSC's call accuracy and efficiency performance goals were not being achieved; and future performance targets looked difficult to attain.

The problem was compounded by the fact that CSC had evolved organically. The CSRs were in small business units that served only one product group. Over the years, each business unit had applied business processes as it saw fit. There was no uniform approach to answering calls that guaranteed promptness, accuracy, courtesy, or that matched various types of inquiries to the CSR with the right set of skills. Finally, among other problems, the current metrics were not driving the right actions for a quality customer experience or efficient operation.

As a result, members encountered CSRs with limited product knowledge, which prevented first call resolution. Instead, CSRs transferred calls if information was not quickly available or take ownership of a particularly difficult call because it might affect their AHT or call accuracy ratings.

 

Approach and Results

This BCBS realized that they would have to undertake some significant changes and called upon CVP's health care specific CRM expertise for assistance.

CVP’s holistic CRM diagnostic approach focused on root cause analysis to uncover core issues needing to be addressed. After reviewing the goals of the customer service center, CVP examined opportunities related to customer experience and interactions, organizational design, call routing process workflows, quality assurance and management, performance measures and continuous performance improvement processes, workforce management techniques, and technology to determine steps needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

The collaborative CVP-BCBS team identified several high leverage areas of improvement. The team developed a business case for the project and created a much-needed CRM Roadmap. CVP helped BCBS execute the roadmap, which focused on redesigning and aligning the call routing, quality assurance process, performance measurement and management processes, and development of a comprehensive Knowledge Management system to better serve BCBS members.

The collaborative CVP-BCBS team identified several high leverage areas of improvement of which the expected results include:

  • MTM Inquiry Accuracy Rate increased to more than 99%
  • Average Handling Time per call decreased by at least 25%
  • Productivity increased by 40%
  • Costs reduced more than 30%
  • 82% customer satisfaction rating
  • A better work environment and increased employee retention
  • Increase in First Call Resolution from 68% to 78%, reducing call volumes
  • Reduced CSR training time and improved new employee ramp up

The design, training, testing, and implementation were completed in just 18 weeks due to the thorough groundwork completed during the CRM diagnostic phase. The entire organization has been refocused on continuous performance improvements to perfect quality and efficiency.

The ultimate achievement? Our client has won multi-year awards as a result of Customer Value Partners’ support:

Winner of the SQM World–ClassCustomer Satisfaction Award - 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Creating a Roadmap to Take Customer Care to the Next Level

Client: Mobile Wireless Provider

Challenge

Most executives know the tactics available for improving Customer Care while at the same time reducing the cost to serve. What they are often missing is the time and data necessary to prioritize these tactics and create a long-term program that will create real change. That is exactly what Customer Value Partners (CVP) did for a mobile wireless customer. The company was in the process of defining its role in the wireless marketplace by delivering high levels of customer service to traditionally underserved markets while doubling its subscriber base and geographic footprint in 2006. As part of this company-wide transformation, the new SVP for marketing and customer care required a comprehensive 24-month Customer Care Roadmap to ensure that the Care group could deliver the promised experience without increasing budget.

Approach and Results

CVP looked across the various contact channels including the IVR system, the outsourced contact centers, and the Web. The team examined opportunities related to the following tracks: Customer Experience, Organization, Technology, Operations, and Marketing. CVP delivered a comprehensive 24-month Customer Care Roadmap which funded itself through operating efficiencies in sourcing and process optimization. This roadmap identified five prioritized projects to be undertaken and reorganized the Customer Care and marketing organization.

Upon approval by the CEO and CMO, CVP was engaged to assist the customer in executing the roadmap and continued on to lead the program office that managed the various change initiatives.

Information Systems Security Program

Client: Federal Department Safety Division

Challenge

This Safety Division (SD) of a Federal Civilian Department formed an Information System Security Program (ISSP). Under the direction of the Deputy CIO and the Information System Security Program Manager, CVP's mandate was to organize, document, implement, and maintain an Information Technology Security Program that ensured security of all information technology assets in a manner which achieved compliance with industry and NIST/Department standards. CVP's work on the SD ISSP included developing policies, guidelines, and procedures for determining the appropriate security clearance levels for SD OCIO personnel involved in information security, and developing a tracking and reporting mechanism to support the SD personnel security clearance process.

Approach and Results

CVP was initially responsible for five (5) work streams:

  1. ISSP Management;
  2. Information Assurance Policy/Procedures/Guidelines and Compliance;
  3. Security Operations/Incident Handling;
  4. Plan of Action and Milestone (POA&M) Management;
  5. Security Awareness and Training

CVP was able to mitigate key issues and transition the Quarterly FISMA Scorecard from Red (non-compliant) to Green (100% in compliance with federal guidelines) in seven months, including rapid, effective mitigation of all incidents, developing a policy framework, and supporting annual testing to identify and correct weaknesses.

CVP is now responsible for eight (8) work streams:

  1. ISSP Management;
  2. Information Assurance Policy/Procedures/Guidelines and Compliance;
  3. Security Operations/Incident Handling; 4 – Security Technology Initiatives;
  4. Plan of Action and Milestone (POA&M) Management;
  5. Security Awareness and Training;
  6. Certification and Accreditation;
  7. Security Controls Test and Evaluation

We maintained a green quarterly FISMA scorecard throughout the period of performance and incorporated a scanning tool to increase efficiencies.

In June 2009, CVP received the “Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year” award for our support of Department’s mission and was recognized for providing outstanding services to SD. In 2010, SD won the Department’s Cyber Security Agency of the Year Award based on CVP’s work.

Strengthening Continuity of Operations

Client: Federal Executive Branch Organization

Challenge

This Federal Executive Branch needed updated continuity of operations plans. On a daily basis, upwards of 2000 personnel are involved in support of wide-ranging functions that sustain business operations within this organization. Among less critical business operations and activities, personnel also perform mission essential functions.  To address the range of threats to the organization's operations continuity, a Continuity Plan was developed. The most recent version of the plan had been completed and approved two years prior and included a commitment to conduct a periodic review of the plan to ensure its continued validity in the context of changing personnel structures, the development of new capabilities, modifications based on lessons learned from exercises, and to provide better linkage with adjoining plans. CVP was asked to conduct a“bottom-up review” of the client’s continuity of operations capability to ensure its validity in this changing context.

Approach and Results

CVP performed a gap analysis that examined 3 key focus areas: Compliance, Awareness, and Innovation.

The results?

  • Inventoried risks and vulnerabilities
  • Defined baseline assumptions for deriving priorities such as essential task requirements
  • Defined the “level” of desired capability
  • Described an improved framework and program operating model that balanced resource limitations with the sustaining capabilities of a unique environment under any circumstances

In order to ensure that the staff can continue to work under any emergency situation, CVP recommended ways to optimize performance by employing best practices and leveraging technology. Additional activities included designing and facilitating tests, training, and implementation of the revised plan.

Rapid Deployment and Operation of Federal Relief at the State and Local Level

Client: State/Local Relief

Challenge

How do you quickly and effectively deploy a Federally funded and state guided program to provide financial relief to citizens whom are victims of natural disasters, enabling them the capability to begin their individual recovery and the economic recovery of their region, while assuring compliance with multiple complex regulations involving federal, state, and local authorities as well as efficient and accurate payments of benefits. One state organization hired a prime contractor to do this, and the prime then brought Customer Value Partners (CVP) in to provide program management support to their efforts.

Approach and Results

CVP evaluated the needs of its client and the unique political and programmatic challenges of the environment. Based upon that analysis, the CVP team supported the client in standing up a PMO capable of providing immediate support and relief for tactical as well as strategic program needs. The CVP Team focused upon the ability to "turn to" in response to numerous shift and changes in the program policy originating from the Federal and State authorities, all the while establishing "best practices" for project and program management. CVP provided the client with the agility it needed to be successful in supporting citizens with timely and accurate support, while also providing the "steady hand" of experience and practiced management methodologies. With over 18,000 applications for benefits received, more than $730 million in benefits have been paid to victims. CVP continues to support its client and our citizens to maintain efficient and accurate operations, while continuing to "stand up" additional support capabilities for citizens.