Great Expectations – Customer Service and the Future of Libraries
Positive memorable experiences – Customer experience is key.
Comply with customer or follow policy without exception – need organizational definition. Need a definition and then develop tools and training needed to provide that service. Goal: We will provide library internal and external customers with an exceptional, personalized and consistent service experience. Vetted by staff and incorporated their ideas and experiences.
GET HANDOUT and Review recorded webinar
Front line staff see it as a playbook – expectations | Supervisor – tool to help encourage underperforming staff (observable, trainable and coachable – behaviors we want them to model) | Director – Common language and framework for both internal and external customers
Customer service behaviors 101 – nothing new, but does the organization provide it consistently throughout the library?
Great Expectations are aspirational – challenge to find something to improve upon
Great Expectations: (sample of her 3 hour class)
- Make everyone feel welcome – inclusion, accessibility, easiest to grasp, set tone for entire customer journey. Project a friendly and approachable demeanor with body language and non-verbal cues.Lean in, open body language, etc. Scan the area around you periodically. If you don’t do this “I’m too busy, don’t bother me.” Can’t have good external without good internal. Treat all customers fairly – Libraries are for everyone – reflect community and world at large. Give every customer the same enthusiasm – genuine and sincere. Be consistent from one customer to the next. Does everyone feel welcome, even the grumpy ones?
- Anticipate customer needs – helping to create a seamless experience by eliminating barriers. Say WOW that was easy. Reduce customer effort whenever possible – anticipate questions and go over things in advance. Do a quick account review to see if card is close to renewal or any fines or holds, upcoming due dates – inform them. Proactively look for unique customer service opportunities – Self-check – pull person out of line and check in books. Anticipate the next logical step in the customer’s journey.
- Radiate confidence – Earns customer trust. Training gaps, but staff are more knowledgeable than they think they are! Ability to FIND the answers, even if you don’t know the answer itself. Confidently share knowledge and expertise – Example overdrive – jump in and help. “Use your professional judgement.” Keep up to date on knowledge of tools, products, services, and collection – New interfaces need training – new events, new items, changes to be aware of and have a grasp of what is happening around them. Staff needs = new training strategies.
- Inspire curiosity – Introduce customers to their next favorite thing. Creative cleverness in displays. Positively suggest resources customer may not be familiar with – Customer gets their notion of products and services from the staff member who first introduces them to it. eBooks – become proficient so you can excite the customer about the new options and formats. Empower the customer with knowledge – teach and explain, walk them through, show them where to find the info they need. Readalikes – show customer Fan Fiction or novelist. End each session with “If you didn’t get all that, don’t worry..I’ll help you every time.” Humans are information seekers and we want to figure things out. Inspire customer brains.
- Creatively solve problems – Pursue the reconciliation of the relationship, not just the resolution of the issue. Look for offsetting consideration for the disappointment. Make an exception, split the fines, Be flexible but consistent in approach to resolving problems. H.E.A.T. – Tool for staff from Disney. Need a method. Hear them Out (listen). Empathize. Apologize and Thank them for their time and patience. need to recover from a service failure.
- Own the moment – When customers aren’t interacting with us, they’re working through our phone system, our building, our branding. Example: Page puts a book back incorrectly. Customer journey from parking lot and everything they do in the library or online. All of our roles throughout the journey. Complete every task with the customer’s experience in mind. Staff behind the scenes. Take each opportunity to make a positive experience. Your 15th card is the patron’s very first – especially with kids. Transform transactions to interactions with the patrons.
- Personalize the experience – Get an emotional response in the customer that makes them fiercely loyal. Very Individual Person (VIP). Gauge customer reactions and respond accordingly. Visual cues – looking for signage or us. Recognize repeat customers with friendly acknowledgment – Repeat customers – use professional judgment to decide level of interaction and level of service. Be mindful – consistent customer service.
- Act with integrity – Reliable and accurate information. Privacy! Confidentiality! New to staff who don’t know libraries. Use appropriate resources to give accurate information – know digital collection! Power Library. Know the source. Consumer Reports for example. Respect the privacy of customers as well as coworkers. “Mr. Peters and Fifty Shades of Embarrassment” If they lower their voice or give you note, respond in kind and gauge that by being in the moment. Walk them to the shelves to speak with them quietly. Circle back or let them know where you are so they don’t have to talk to another staffer.