The Verghis Group

Kindle version of book available

By Phil Verghis on January 23, 2013

I’m pleased to report that my publisher has made the Kindle version of my book ‘The Ultimate Customer Support Executive’ available, and a fantastic value at $9.99. If you have Amazon Prime, you can even ‘borrow’ the book for free…

‘Savvy Support’ model (aka no more tiers) cited in new book

By Phil Verghis on January 30, 2010

Andres Sanchez has published a book titled Technical Support EssentialsAdvice you can use to succeed in Technical Support and has cited the Savvy Support model a few times as one of the new models for support.

Read all about it, and much more of what Andres has to say in his book.

Is it possible to create good luck?

By Phil Verghis on February 11, 2009

From the January 2009 newsletter – The Verghis View. Sign up from my home page.)

It has been a particularly harsh winter in the northeastern United States. Add the barrage of bleak economic news, and a lot of people are feeling blue. During times like these it’s easy to spot the eternal optimists. You know the type: the ones who think the glass is more than half full. (Confession: guilty as charged.)

Being optimistic is a pretty good trait to have, it turns out. In fact, it is one of the four principles of people who are lucky. Yes, you read that right. There are traits you can adopt to improve your luck.

In a 2003 book called The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax), Professor Richard Wiseman scientifically explored psychological differences between people who considered themselves exceptionally lucky and unlucky. Wiseman states that people are not born lucky. Instead, lucky people use four basic principles (often without realizing it) to create good fortune in their lives.

  • Principle One: Maximize Chance Opportunities
    Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude toward life and by being open to new experiences.
  • Principle Two: Listening to Hunches
    Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.
  • Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
    Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.
  • Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
    Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on ill fortune, and take control of the situation.

Scientific Luck
A number of great scientific discoveries came about by accident (or luck). A relatively recent well-known example is the ‘failed glue’ that led to the creation of Post-It notes.

White glove service – or trusted advisor – a tale of $1,500 saved (Part II)

By Phil Verghis on September 10, 2008

In my last post, I wrote about $1,500 saved. This post I’ll walk through some of the major ways the dealership messed up from a service point of view.

Issue: Inconsistent information. Why was I asked to pay $1,500 when a week earlier I was told it would be covered under warranty.

Lesson: Deal with the bad news first. As I’ve written about in my book (page 24, in the section titled Psychology and Customer Service), a number of studies have shown that human beings want to see improvement. Tell me the bad news then show what you can do to improve the situation. Don’t parrot ‘rules’ that don’t make sense.

Issue: Why did they duck my calls? It is not as if I called multiple people simultaneously – I asked the same question three different times to three different people – calling the next person only after waiting a few days for a response from the previous person. I didn’t get a even a call back from two of the three people. 

Lesson: One of the dead giveaway of a of rookie manager  is an unwillingness to deal with unpleasant situations.

Issue: It took a call from their competitor for the dealership realize that they had completely dropped the ball.

Lesson they (hopefully) learned: If it takes a competitor’s call to you to remind you to do your job, you aren’t doing your job.

Issue: They finally fixed my problem but didn’t even attempt to recover from the service mistakes.

Lesson: They had me back in, and repaired the part under warranty. All done professionally. However, they never explained to me what happened and didn’t apologize. They did not recover from the service snafu in any way. End result is still the same – no future business to this particular car dealer.

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.

Ultimate Customer Support Executive – thoughts since publishing?

By Phil Verghis on February 25, 2008

I’ve been asked if I would make any changes to the book I wrote. Of course, as any author will tell you, there are probably a number of things I would have done slightly differently. Nothing dramatic, but having created a workshop based on it has made me realize some of the things that resonate better.

Let me know if you have anything that you think should be revised or revisited.

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