The Verghis Group

Guiding, not Grading — aka Measures, Metrics and Madness

By Phil Verghis on May 8, 2010

Over the last year or two, I’ve been trying to replicate the magic of start-ups – where everyone is laser-focused on the mission of the organization. Everyone knows what needs to be done and just does it.

Unfortunately, this ‘honeymoon’ phase quickly dissipates during the transition to a middle-aged company and beyond.

I think I’ve moved one step closer to finding a solution, as this month’s article discusses. Two of my retainer-based clients are one year into the ‘alignment and measurement’ process, and have reported (mostly) amazing success.

One of the biggest unanticipated side effects has been the boost in employee morale, which has a multiplier effect on productivity, customer loyalty and so much more.

Get the article in a pdf format — or sign up for the next newsletter from my home page –

Coming soon — article on “Measures, Metrics and Madness”

By Phil Verghis on April 20, 2010

Well, it has taken me much longer to finish than I thought, but I’ve just put the finishing touches to an interesting new article “Measures, Metrics and Madness”.  It will be the basis for the April 2010 edition of the Verghis View (my newsletter).

Stay tuned… it is truly perhaps the single best method to turbocharge productivity that I have seen.

Voice of the Customer conference starts today

By Phil Verghis on November 2, 2009

After almost 4 weeks of travel (just crossed the 100,000 mile mark with United Airlines this past weekend), I’m back in Boston for a few weeks.

One of the reasons I’m back is the Third Annual Voice of the Customer conference hosted by the First Wednesday Group. There is a terrific lineup of speakers and participants. If the past two years were any indication, it should be a fun event with a lot of provocative ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing many friends, colleagues and customers there.

 (Disclaimer, I am one of the producers of the First Wednesday Group.)

High quality, low cost Voice of the Customer Conference…

By Phil Verghis on September 28, 2009

The Voice of the Customer Conference 2009
Boston, November 3-4

 Some of the strongest, most active communities in the social media world are based on post-sale customer support relationships. User groups, online forums, advisory boards, expert networks, survey panels–a growing number of “voice of the customer” channels now provide a rich dialog between companies and their customers.

 A great place to learn more about how social media is influencing the support world is the First Wednesday Group’s annual Voice of the Customer conference, which will take place Nov. 3-4 at a conference center outside of Boston.

This is a boutique event–highly interactive, small in scale, with an impressive lineup of expert speakers and an audience of managers with a good deal of hands-on experience with social media in a customer support environment.

If you’re looking for great conversations and lots of real-world data, this is the place to be.

 Registration is $385/day. For speaker and program details, please visit

Programs and Speakers announced for 2009 Voice of the Customer Conference

By Phil Verghis on June 24, 2009

Boston, MA — Drawing on an impressive lineup of speakers, the 2009 “Voice of the Customer Conference” will focus on leading-edge issues in building end-user communities, improving satisfaction metrics, and creating customer-centric organizations. The conference, produced by the First Wednesday Roundtable, will take place in Bolton, Mass. on Nov. 3 with a day of optional workshops on Nov. 4.

Registration for the Nov. 3 conference is $385 per person. Additional information about the program and post-conference workshops can be found on the First Wednesday Web site:

Talk for client in Bangalore and Hyderabad

By Phil Verghis on May 16, 2009

In May 2009, I flew to Bangalore and Hyderabad, India to do four sessions (four hours each!) for a client. This covered a number of topics that were custom done for them based on requirements from the client (senior executive in support in a global company) and their HR team.

The talks went pretty well and I did them with no notes. About 60% of the content was common, the rest of it varied based on the audience and the feedback during the interactive homework sessions.

Speaking at MIT Enterprise Forum (support strategies for startups)

By Phil Verghis on April 22, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, I will be speaking at the MIT Enterprise Forum at MIT tomorrow.

I’ve got a few thoughts jotted down, mostly on the key issues I see (and have personally seen before I defected to consulting) startups face when they finally get to thinking about support. Usually it is let’s build it and sell it (sometimes in reverse order!) and if support does come into play, it usually involves engineers doing support until too much of their time is ‘wasted’ with break-fix.

It was a pleasure building out a global support model at Akamai providing complex, award-winning support when we had over 15,000 servers to support and almost a million hits a second on the network. The whole philosophy was to build a support model to scale in an environment where a support call for break-fix was too late. By the time we figured out where the needle (your IP address) was in the haystack (among the million that *second*), it was too late. That was just to start the troubleshooting process…

Some of the philosophies are documented in my book, and more of it will be in the form of war stories we will talk about in my upcoming workshop, ‘Be the Voice of the Customer‘ on June 5th just outside Boston.

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