Monthly Archives: December 2014

What We Read This Week, Boxing Day Edition, 2014:

I hope everybody had an excellent Christmas. Below is our weekly Enterprise Technology Support Management reading list for the week:

How to Prevent Experts from Hoarding Knowledge – An interesting, if somewhat obvious, perspective on losing knowledge as people retire (HBR)

Forrester’s Top Trends For Customer Service In 2015 – from the always excellent Kate Leggett at Forrester.

I Actually Enjoy Terrible Customer Service – And frankly speaking, so do I. An interesting discussion from the Kana blog.

Large Company Customer Experience Battles – discusses the differences between large enterprises and smaller companies as far as customer focus goes (Pivot Point Solutions).

Knowledge Management vs. Content Management – from David Kay.

Thank you all for following the blog, we’ll see you in the new year!

What We Read This Week, 19 December 2014:

What’s Lost When Experts Retire – Knowledge Management and Retention are key for every support manager and we usually spend significant amounts of time and effort ensuring knowledge is well documented and shared. This post touches on a different perspective of departing employees and the knowledge they take with them (HBR).

Measuring Customer Value in Experience?Wim Rampen is a very thoughtful blogger on customer service and interaction. In this post he describes the current state of customer value definitions and how it fails – I am waiting eagerly for the next post in this series

Skype’s newest app will translate your speech in real time – Supporting customers in other countries has always been a challenge for companies with smaller, single-country operations. While still in the future, skype Translator can transform that part of the support business in a very profound manner (The Verge).

Who Will Make Money in the IoT Gold Rush? – Internet of Things is one of the hottest discussion topics in recent memory. In the post, the author reviews some of the business challenges surrounding IoT and tries to predict the winners. I believe the jury is still out on the business models and technologies for enterprise class IoT implementations (

What We Read This Week, 12 December 2014, Math Edition:

This week I’d like to recommend two longer form articles touching on slightly mode complex mathematical topics. I believe each of these articles is very pertinent to managing customer support, and specifically to measuring and thinking about our workload:

First, I’d like to recommend Log-normal Distributions across the Sciences: Keys and Clues(pdf). It touched on an alternative method of measuring populations different to the very common Gaussian system we are all very familiar with. The following image compares the two distributions:

I am sure the image on the right is very familiar to many of us. The firs example that comes to mind is the number of cases closed vs. their age.

The second post I’d like to share this week is The Power of Power Laws from John Hagel‘s blog, Edge Perspectives. Power last distribution is sometimes knows as Pareto Distribution, or the 80/20 rule:

This post establishes some solid foundations for thinking about Power Law distribution which we should all be familiar with.

I’ll return to these two concepts in a future post and discuss how we can use them to greater benefit in managing support operations.

Image source for both images: Wikimedia.

What We Read This Week, 5 December 2014:

Managing 3 Types of Bad Bosses – Pretty self explanatory title. How many of us have encountered one or more of these types in our career? (HBR).

Customer Service Needs to Be Either More or Less Robotic – An excellent HBR blog post discussing the decision making latitude given to customer facing agents. It may be more relevant to those of us serving consumer products, but a worthwhile reading for everybody. If you have time, Masahiro Mori’s linked article, The Uncanny Valley, on IEEE Spectrum is a good use of it

David Kay has an excellent post about the cost of failure and makes an interesting point that cheap failure is a learning experience.

Last, ASP has announced their 2015 Ten Best Support Sites competition. I had the privilege of judging over the last two years and plan to do so this year as well, together with many other support leaders and influencers. Don’t miss this opportunity of having your website reviewed and the valuable feedback you will receive.