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?

Measures Metrics & Madness: Boston event – October 5, 2011

By Phil Verghis on September 12, 2011

I’ll be leading a highly interactive version of my workshop — ‘Measures, Metrics & Madness: the new world of guiding, not grading’ at the First Wednesday Group session in October. Seats will sell out, so act now…

New Workshop – Support Excellence Intensive – September 12-16 in Santa Clara, CA

By adamk on June 29, 2011

We are excited to announce a new workshop – Support Excellence Intensive from September 12-16 in Santa Clara, CA.  Co-taught with FT Works (this is their first open workshop in 14 years!), this 5-day intensive covers customer service and communications skills as well as the foundations of KCS.  This is a first-time combination of two of the key areas you have to have to be successful in customer support – knowledge and communications.

Sign up soon!  Registrations are limited to 16!

Ready to learn more?

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’.

Big smile

By Phil Verghis on April 13, 2011

One of the most satisfying aspects of working with clients around the world is knowing what you do makes a difference for them and their customers. I don’t get to do workshops often, but…

…a  ‘Metrics, Measures and Madnessworkshop attendee called to let me know something after the workshop on Friday that made me feel really good. He took a proverbial knife to the 1,500 reports that he was responsible for producing and made available only 500 from Monday onwards – and no one noticed.

That same Monday, his boss asked for a new report. He took the time to ask all the right questions – who is the audience, what is the purpose, how will the information be used, how will feedback be given on use of the information, how will customers benefit etc. The boss was puzzled with all the questions, but gave all the answers. When she got the report and the analytics behind it, she said it was the best report she ever had.

Next workshop: Transforming knowledge management. For those of who know, it is the Knowledge Centered Support (KCS V5 Foundations workshop), with many Verghis Group twists…, co-taught with the Consortium for Service Innovation, the custodians of the standard.


Knowledge Centered Suport (KCS V5) workshop – Boston May 16-18

By Phil Verghis on April 11, 2011

Take a long, hard look your organization’s existing approach to support. How much do you suppose this outdated model is costing? Not just in terms of morale, but the company’s bottom line? Chances are, it’s thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Would your bosses be pleased if you could trim your budget by even a fraction of that amount?

By popular demand, we are offering the Knowledge Centered Support (KCS V5) Foundations workshop, May 16-18 in Boston, presented by experts from the Consortium for Service Innovation and The Verghis Group. We will be presenting the foundations of KCS, with several Verghis Group twists, particularly “un-mad” measures and internal communications strategies that will accelerate your success!

Want to learn more about how KCS can transform the lifeless pool of support information into useful knowledge, action and excellence?  In a cost effect and proven way?

This workshop is specially designed for support/service center directors and managers, Knowledge Management program managers, and other professionals responsible for implementing Knowledge Management strategies.

More info and registration at:

After a hectic week, keynote event at NASSCOM GEPS event

By Phil Verghis on March 2, 2011

I’ve been in India for a few event-filled days. First was the 1/2 hour traffic jam at 1 AM in Mumbai’s airport — took that long to get from the 3rd floor to the road. Productive set of meetings with a client in Mumbai. Tuesday was a 4 hour early morning drive to Pune, and a full day with a second client. Wednesday was a way-too-early-for-humans flight to Hyderabad, for another day of meetings with a client.

Thursday, I’ll be delivering a keynote address to an influential group of India-based service executives that I mentor – the NASSCOM GEPS team. The keynote? The white-hot ‘Measures, Metrics & Madness’. Knowing the audience, I’m looking forward to the Q&A…

The keynote is based on the workshop coming up on March 18th in Boston.

Transforming knowledge into action workshop (KCS v5 workshop)

By Phil Verghis on February 22, 2011

(Date changed to May 16th – 18th)

By popular demand, we are pleased to offer our first knowledge management workshop. It is simply one of the most effective ways to get a 20-40% productivity gain — and align the entire organization (not just support) around the customer. Join Adam Krob from May 16th to May 18th near Boston. Co-taught with Melissa George, the Program Director of the Consortium for Service Innovation.


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…

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