Excellence in Customer Service

There is a great post entitled 20 points on excellent library customer service over at Blog about Libraries that I think everyone who works in libraries ought to read – maybe even daily. Work often gets complicated and frustrating – insufficient resources, insufficient human capital, broken equipment, not enough equipment, etc. – and these are only the problems that I’ve had to deal with in this short work week that started yesterday. When one is frustrated, the patron often becomes the enemy. This makes it difficult to keep a smile on one’s face – and to be helpful. Every once in a while, we all need these reminders. This reminder certainly helped me put my work frustrations into their proper place today!

And by the way, I don’t think that these lessons are just important to libraries – especially points #4 Follow the Golden Rule, always and #9 Be professional; take customer service seriously (I think they are just as important in our day-to-day lives). Customer service is almost non-existent in today’s society. Our society has an alarming tendency to blame the customer for problems. Everyone could use a bit of help to remember the value of good customer service. I’d like to show this post to people at my bank, my mortgage company and I would especially like to show this to people who work in retail stores. It doesn’t have to be difficult – something as simple as saying “Please” and “Thank You” can make people happier.

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3 Responses to Excellence in Customer Service

  1. Steve says:

    Well said. You know I compiled this list while researching a bunch of “customer service statements”, but in the end you are exactly right…a lot of what we call good customer service is really the stuff they teach in kindergarten. Play nice, aim to please, don’t leave a mess for someone else to pick up; it’s all pretty simple stuff, yet I am surprised that we need to write it down and actually train people to follow these rules.

  2. Richard says:

    I work in a public library where the staff consider the patrons a nuisance, where the head of reference refers to people as scum, where control has supplanted service as the ultimate goal. When I asked one of the staff one day why she, an acknowledged misanthrope, is in a position requiring swuch intense interaction with the public, she told me this (library assistant) was the best job she could get.

    This is my first job in a library, and I can only hope ours is an aberration, though I feel reasonably certain this is not the case.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Patrons as scum??? Yikes!! Your library doesn’t sound like a nice place to be – either as a patron or an employee. I know that where I work (academic library), everyone cares deeply about the patron experience. The patron experience is of ultimate importance. I wish you the best of luck in what seems to be a very bad situation. I don’t believe that this attitude is the norm – if it were I doubt anyone would use their local library.

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