Collective Wisdom is now available as an e-book

Collective Wisdom: Transforming Support with Knowledge, the original (and still only) blueprint for knowledge management in support organizations, is now available as an e-book. With a price under $10, we are hoping that many more readers will be able to enjoy it, and in a highly portable format to boot. (If you do not own a Kindle, you can use the Kindle reading app on a variety of other devices.)

Back in 2006 when David Kay and I published the original, hard-copy book, we wondered how well it would stand the test of time, and certainly the Tools chapter would name some different vendors today — but on the whole, having read and re-read the entirety of the text over the past couple of months to transition it to electronic format, I can say that it’s full of useful techniques and approaches, whether you are trying to decide on a staffing model or a good set of metrics. It’s served as an excellent reference for me to this day.

For those of you who prefer a “real” book, it’s still available here, albeit in dwindling numbers — and the hard copy will come autographed by yours truly, a feat I have not managed to master for ebooks! Order one today.

Working from home is a productivity winner

I work from home and I’m very productive hence it’s true for everyone. Not so simple.

The January-February 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review reports on a study conducted by a Stanford professor and one of his graduate student with the staff of a call center. Volunteers were randomly assigned to work from home or in the office for nine months. The at-home workers were 13.5% more productive (as measured by the number of calls they took) and quit at a rate of 50% (!) less than others. The productivity increase is attributed to fewer distractions and longer work hours. (I agree wholeheartedly based on my own experience.)

No word on whether the lower performance of the control group stemmed from their frustration about not having been chosen to work from home!

Do you have a hard time convincing yourself or others that home-based workers are productive?

The FT Word – April 2014

The FT Word

The FT Word is a free monthly newsletter with support management tips. To subscribe, click here. The subscription list is absolutely confidential; we never sell, rent, or give information about our subscribers.


to the April 2014 edition of the FT Word. Topics for this month:

FT Works in the News

ChurnSquad! In support, we know that churn is not a good thing: losing customers means a loss of precious recurring revenue, loss of the organization’s investment in the customer, and, all too often, bad word of mouth. We also know that growing the base is a good thing: it’s much easier to convince a customer to buy than to lure a new one, the added purchases contribute to a larger stream of recurring revenue for the future, and the positive vibe is contagious.

We know that the cultivation of customers is not something that support organizations can do alone: it is, or should be, a company-wide effort. But all too often turf wars and data silos complicate the collaboration. This is why, in concert with a long-time colleague of mine, I am launching ChurnSquad, a consulting and service venture that targets churn (the customers that leave) and identifies anti-churn strategies and prospects from a joint marketing-support perspective. My colleague, Olivier Delerm, provides the marketing expertise and yours truly the support expertise.

We offer a series of tailored services starting with a blueprint (to identify the causes of churn and possibilities for revenue expansion) to implementation assistance and creation of metrics to better track churn. You can find out more at — or simply contact me. We’d love to design an anti-churn program for your organization.


Will you be attending the TSIA Technology Services World conference in Santa Clara, CA on May 5-7? I will be there! Would love to see all of you at the FT Works booth. Make an appointment if you’d like to be sure to see me there. (Otherwise you will chat with one of my wonderful collaborators, so your visit will be informative in any case.)

Curious about something? Send me your suggestions for topics — or add one in the comments — and your name will appear in future newsletters.

Françoise Tourniaire
FT Works
650 559 9826

About FT Works

FT Works helps technology companies create and improve their support operations. Areas of expertise include designing support offerings, creating hiring plans to recruit the right people quickly, training support staff to deliver effective support, defining and implementing support processes, selecting support tools, designing effective metrics, and support center audits. See more details at

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