Saturday, May 26, 2012

Customer Service in a Hurry

Now that summer vacation has begun and your library is packed full of young and old readers alike, providing quality customer service is probably the furthest thing from your mind.  But it shouldn't be.  With customers coming at you from every direction, it's very easy to get so involved with helping people that you forget to smile and have fun.  Here are three easy steps to help you keep a level head during a hectic season:

1. Focus directly on the person you are talking to.  Don't worry about the ever increasing line of people because they, too, will get their turn.  If you get distracted by all the activity surrounding you, then you are not giving your best customer service to the person right in front of you.  Whoever is in front of you at the time is the person who matters most.

2. Take Your Time with the person directly in front of you.  There is less of a chance that you will make a mistake and a greater chance that you will move more quickly if you take your time with each transaction.  Sound like contradictory statements?  They're not.  The story we all grew up with about the Tortoise and the Hare can still teach us something today - slow and steady really does win the race.

3. Find a Way to Make the Building More Efficient by changing furniture around and implementing new strategies.  This idea goes back to my post Rate Your Library and the importance of understanding how customers use the space they are in.  If your furniture is not working for you, then it is definitely working against you or, at the very least, being lazy.  By rearranging the library and rethinking signs and their placement, you will cut down on some of the frequently asked questions by customers, resulting in a lower wait time at the help desk.

Just because it's busier doesn't mean our customers are expecting less from us.  When shopping during the holiday season you still expect quality customer service from the retailer.  The same basic principle of customer service applies here, as well.  By giving your best you ensure repeat customers for life.

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