The Verghis Group

The real bite of knowledge sharing

By adamk on February 18, 2013

Blog by Adam Krob, Senior Advisor

There is an old saying (and a song by a 1980s hair band) in English – “once bitten, twice shy.”  Effectively, it means that if you do something that leads to a negative or painful outcome, then you are unlikely to do it again.  In the old saying, if you pet a dog that bites you, you are less likely to pet that dog again.

Most organizations start knowledge sharing because of a real pain that they want to eliminate.  For support organizations, that pain is the overwhelming volume of the same questions over and over again-questions that, most of the time, someone on the team has answered before.  Knowledge sharing addresses that pain by putting the knowledge of the entire team into a repository that the team and the customers can use to answer these repeating questions, before they become cases.  The words we use to describe knowledge sharing outcomes reflect the desire to avoid the repeating case bite.  We talk about “case avoidance” or “customer deflection” as our goals.

For most of organizations, even those who do knowledge sharing well, they stop here.  Knowledge sharing focuses on gathering knowledge as we answer customer questions, sharing it to prevent other cases from appearing.

I would argue that there is much more power in knowledge sharing.  In even the best practice of knowledge sharing (I believe that Knowledge Centered Support, KCS, is that best practice), the focus is on the case workflow as the primary means to find, improve, and create knowledge.  To go beyond just avoiding the pain of massively repeating cases to truly learning from our entire organization, our partners, and our customers, I suggest a two-step plan.

  1. Identify other events that trigger a need for knowledge
  2. Start to build a process that incorporates sharing, improving, and creating knowledge into that event

Where do you see an event that triggers a need for knowledge in your organization?  A new software release?  A government regulation change?  Training for new partners or

How could you build knowledge sharing into the processes you use to address each one?

Want to pursue these ideas further?

Exciting new blog posts from Adam on Knowledge Sharing

By adamk on January 11, 2013

Adam has been a guest blogger for HDI for several months and has created some great articles on knowledge sharing programs, particularly from the operational managers perspectives.  Take a look at all his posts and follow him at

We would love to hear from you!

3 Shaky Pillars of Customer Support Metrics

By Phil Verghis on October 3, 2012

A link to my October 2012 newsletter…

Two clients in top ten ‘Most Innovative’ companies in America

By Phil Verghis on September 5, 2012

Pleased to have 2 clients in the 10 most innovative companies in America. A pleasure to work with… #custserv

Can slowing down service improve ratings?

By Phil Verghis on May 8, 2011

For a while now, we have believed that making customers wait online can cause bad things to happen. Some interesting new research from two professors at Harvard Business School has shown that this may not always be the case.

It seems that if customers have to wait, and are shown why they are waiting (for example showing them what was being searched), they give higher ratings than if the results are instantly available. (Note: The information returned has to be ‘good’.)

Read the whole article at:

There’s hope for those of you with slow websites (albeit with good information)… Bring this article to your web team or IT team and talk to them about ‘labor illusion’.

Superb plug by TSIA’s John Ragsdale on upcoming workshop

By Phil Verghis on February 15, 2011

Update: Workshop is sold out, contact me if you want to be on the waiting list.

VP of Research at TSIA, John Ragsdale blogged about my upcoming workshop.

Here is some of what he said… “One of the top attended TSIA Member webcasts last year was a September event with my long time friend Phil Verghis, founder of the Verghis Group.”

“Phil is a thought leader around all aspects of support, including knowledge management and KCS. This is a great opportunity to learn about the evolving world of metrics and support best practices from one of the best in the business.”

Check it out – there are a few seats still available…

Measures, Metrics and Madness workshop announced

By Phil Verghis on December 30, 2010

New date: March 18, 2011. Location – Waltham (Boston), MA. 20 seats, registrations will absolutely close when I reach that number. Early bird discount available…

Off to London soon for a talk…

By Phil Verghis on November 15, 2010

Heading to London to do a keynote on ‘Impact of Culture on Support (and translation)’.

Interestingly enough the translation industry has headed to a race to the bottom in terms of pricing wars. I’ll sneak in some observations on moving to a trusted adviser rather than an expert for hire.

This talk is based on some of the research I did for IBM, and is available (for free) here.

Oracle, SAP fight could have changed your (support) world

By Phil Verghis on November 3, 2010

Oracle and SAP start another round in a big court case…
This could have lead to others undercutting the promise of ‘we know our stuff best’

NYC Police put goals on activities: Result? more fines for you

By Phil Verghis on September 10, 2010

A classic case of the wrong behaviors that result when management puts goals on activities….
New York Times article: Secret Tape Has Police Pressing Ticket Quotas

Take a look at your own organization — is it that different? Bring in your own metrics and let’s see on October 27th, the world premier of my new workshop: Measures, Metrics and Madness: the new world of Guiding, not Grading. (Only 7 seats left.)

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