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Customer Service in the Earl K. Long Library. Customer Service Why is Customer Service Important? Good relations with the University community Good relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Customer Service in the Earl K. Long Library. Customer Service Why is Customer Service Important? Good relations with the University community Good relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Customer Service in the Earl K. Long Library

2 Customer Service Why is Customer Service Important? Good relations with the University community Good relations with the New Orleans community Helps fulfill information needs Makes for a more pleasant experience

3 “Top Ten” Tips Smile and make eye contact Be aware of your body language and tone of voice If it doesn’t come natural, practice your greetings Remember to say the magic words: please, thank you, and you’re welcome Notice the people around you and offer to help them

4 5 More… Remember to put the person in front of you first Address and correct mistakes ASAP If you don’t know the answer, don’t make one up—always ask for help Keep your phone on vibrate—never answer it during a reference interview! Offer follow-up to the person

5 How to handle busy times… There are times when the desk is dead…and times where everyone needs help at once. How do you handle this sudden burst of popularity? The next few slides should help you with that.

6 Order of Assistance It is important to remember this order of assistance: 1) In person 2) On the phone 3) Online

7 In person Usually, first-come, first-served is the way to go, but there can be exceptions to this rule. When helping someone with a detailed reference question, it is okay to take a moment and check with any other users in line. Let the person you are helping know that you just want to take a moment to get the line cleared Ask the next user what he/she needs help with. Often, it’s a simple question like, “where is the bathroom?” or “what are your hours?” If it is another question that will take some time… Reassure that user that you will help him/her as soon as you can Don’t be afraid to refer the question to a reference librarian! That’s what we are here for!

8 On the phone Phone reference is very important, but we must remember to focus on the person in front of us. If you are helping someone in person and the phone rings… Excuse yourself to the person in front of you and answer the phone If it is a brief question (“what are your hours?”), answer the question If it is a detailed question, refer the user to the proper department or explain to the person that you will have to place them on hold/call them back Never spend more than a minute on the phone when someone in person needs help Again, don’t be afraid to call on the reference librarian!

9 Scenario #1 Jimmy is sitting at a computer, just staring at the screen. Occasionally, you see him look your way, toward the desk. He never makes direct eye contact, and he doesn’t say a word. He’s just sitting there, and nothing is happening—the mouse isn’t moving, and he isn’t typing. Do you wait for him to ask for help? Do you walk over and say something? If so, what?

10 Be Proactive! Be approachable at all times. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for a user’s needs, without being a nuisance. Don’t assume the users will come to you…sometimes you must go to the them.

11 Scenario #2 You are sitting at the desk at the beginning of a shift. Anita walks up to the desk and tells you that she needs a particular book. You search the catalog, and it is not a book we own. In fact, the nearest library that owns the book is in Mississippi. You offer to help her ILL the book, but she says she needs it now. She starts to yell at you and call you names. Do you yell back and call her names? Do you remain calm? Listen. Smile. Offer to contact the librarian on duty for her? How would you handle it?

12 The “Problem” or “Irate” Patron Be calm Listen and let them be heard Make sure your supervisor or a librarian knows about the problem immediately Understand that it’s not personal

13 When No One is Available If you have problems with a user when a librarian is not available, it is important to remain calm… 1. Find the correct person to handle the problem (your supervisor, a particular librarian, etc.) 2. Explain to the upset user that the person who can help him/her is not available at the moment 3. Give the person the business card for the appropriate individual, if available. 4. If not, write down the information for the problem person (the name, title, number, and address of the appropriate librarian/staff person) 5. Offer to take a message for the appropriate person—be sure to get the user’s information (name, address, problem)

14 After you do all of that… Send a quick to the librarian/staff person you referred the user to (and CC the to your supervisor). Do this even if the person did not want to leave a message. Why? Chances are the person will return…it is always good to give us a heads-up about the situation, so we know how to handle it. It protects you and us from making a sticky situation even stickier.

15 Some conclusions Good customer service is a long-term, daily commitment It is something that you never truly master…but rather something that is a long-term practice It can only make things better…just as poor customer service can only make things worse. Cultivating good customer service skills will help you throughout your life, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

16 Acknowledgements Originally created by Dayne Sherman, Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, LA) Edited for the Earl K. Long Library by Rodney Clare Jackman, formerly of University of New Orleans Revised by Sonnet Erin Brown, Federal Documents/Reference Librarian 12 June 2009


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