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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Customer Service

I was finishing up my presentation coming on May 18th at the North Suburban Library System entitled, "Basic RA for Public Desk Staff." and I realized that I hadn't posted about Customer Service in a while.
At the BPL RA desk we have 2 mantras:
  1. Never let a patron leave unsatisfied
  2. Try to never say "no."
These are 2 variations on a similar theme; the theme of putting the patron first. Now I do want to clarify that I am realistic. If a patron comes in today looking for The Help, I will not have it and she will have to wait. But when I offer to take hold, I also offer to send them home with something else right now. They may not want it but the offer goes a long was toward making the patron leave satisfied that they were helped.

Here are some of my other tried and true examples of good customer service: with links to the BPL's examples (where applicable). All of these have the same result...satisfied patrons:
  • Listen to patrons
  • Remember names
  • Print out lists for later
  • Treat phone patrons the same as those in library 
  • Take reserve-offer another book for today
  • Call other libraries to pull and hold books for your patrons
  • Offer homebound/home delivery of books
  • Holds Without Hassle
  • Leave out return carts for browsing: patrons love it
  • Have chairs to sit in and/or places to put books down
  • Keep shelves neat and clean-- Weed!
  • Keep catalog records accurate
  • Offer lots of lists--everywhere! In building and on the web [Click here, here, and here for examples of lists that can be found in both places @ the BPL]
  • Anticipate popular trends; be prepared for alternative options on heavy holds (we updated our Urban Fiction list as Precious was becoming popular)
Also, please make sure to read my "Get off your Butt!" rant here.

Now stop reading this and get out there and help some patrons.

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