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Customer service as an extension of your brand

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  • 1. Customer Service: An Extension of Your Library’s Brand Presented by Libby Post, President for Suffolk Cooperative Library System October 2, 2008Making the Connection• Good customer service is about keeping people coming back• When people keep coming back they build a brand loyalty to the library• When the time comes for you to ask the public for a bigger budget or a new building, that loyal customer base turns into a loyal voting base 1
  • 2. But, What Is Your Brand?• Unique position in the market place• Not enough to be the only library in town• Competing with B&N, Borders and the Internet• Brand is the foundation for all your marketing and messagingBrand Examples• Inspiration• Mind Recreation• Technology• Customer Service 2
  • 3. Case Study: Grinnell LibraryAssociation Library, chartered to serve the Town of Wappinger,service pop. 26, 274• SWOT analysis – Library has unbelievable customer service• Strategy – Establish an I/you/us relationship between the library and the community• Brand essence – Customer ServiceCase Study: Grinnell Library• Emotional attachment to the present building 3
  • 4. Case Study: Grinnell Library• Customer Service brand + emotional attachment to building =Case Study: Grinnell LibraryPosters 4
  • 5. Case Study: Grinnell LibraryPostersCase Study: Grinnell Library Postcards 5
  • 6. Case Study: Grinnell LibraryWeeklyNewspaperAdsHow to Bring Your Brandto Customer Service• Instill an organizational culture about the importance of customer service• Customer interactions form perceptions that are much more powerful than your marketing messages alone• Work with staff to “Live the Brand” – Everything they do to serve customers comes out of understanding library’s brand essence 6
  • 7. Patrons=Customers• Need to shift they way we see patrons• They are customers• Need to understand that they are actively engaged in selecting the library’s programs and services• Selling a library’s programs and services means constantly promoting and improving themHow to View Customer Service• Every aspect of a library’s operation• Not just a smiling face behind circ desk• How efficiently the library works• How the phones are answered• How easily patrons can access information• Breadth of reference materials• Time and effort it takes patrons to get what they want 7
  • 8. Staff as Customer Service Reps• Organizational culture shift where staff understands how important customer service is• Customer service encompasses the library’s entire operation – How comfortable moms and toddlers are during story time to how easy it is to download an audio book off the library’s web siteEngaging Staff• Essential for staff to understand their role in customer service – They are the library’s ambassadors• But how do we get them to live their roles? 8
  • 9. Engaging Staff• Create a culture within library that customer service is Job #1.• Be clear about customer service expectations when hiring• Train!Get on theCustomer Service Train!• Patrons drive your customer service – What they need or desire are the highest priorities• How do we know what the patrons want? – Customer feedback – Information Gathering • Focus Groups • Surveys – Asking patrons one on one at check out 9
  • 10. Get on theCustomer Service Train!• Is your staff “present” when at the library?• Do they love their jobs?• Is the staff friendly, accurate and efficient?• Does the staff look like they want to be there?• Can we make their jobs more fun so they enjoy being there and convey a positive attitude to patrons?Get on theCustomer Service Train!• Library program and service improvements are part of customer service – Wireless technology and computer upgrades – Better web site with enhanced on-line services – Expanding collections – Staff that speaks more than just English 10
  • 11. FISH! Philosophy©• Speaks directly to what libraries are all about: inspiration, creativity and innovation – Be There – Play – Make Their Day – Choose Your AttitudeFISH! Philosophy©• Be There – Be present while doing what you’re doing – Listen for content AND emotion – Don’t let tasks get in the way of your real work which is serving patrons – Antidote to being tired is being full present 11
  • 12. FISH! Philosophy©• Play – Look for productive play in the library’s environment • Having a good time doing their job – What dull or routine tasks can you make more fun? – Shouldn’t exclude others or offend peopleFISH! Philosophy©• Make Their Day – Make the world a better place to be one person at a time – Do something unexpected – Don’t exclude the difficult co-workers or patrons – Make it a challenge to make their day everyday 12
  • 13. FISH! Philosophy©• Choose Your Reaction – Stop blaming kids, parents, co-workers, customers and management – When you look for the worst, you’ll find it – So, look for the best, you’ll find that too!FISH! Philosophy©• Choose Your Attitude – Be the person you want to spend time with – It’s not about being happy all the time – If you don’t believe you have a choice, you don’t (self-fulfilling prophesies) – Be responsible for your attitude, it’s contagious 13
  • 14. FISH! Philosophy©• Take Responsibility – Instead of “Why are they making us go through all this change?” try “How can I adapt to my changing world?” – Instead of “When are my people going to communicate better?” try “What can I do to understand them?” More on Fish! www.charthouse.comGive Them The Pickle!• PICKLES are those special or extra things you do to make people happy. – Walking the patron to the item theyre looking for rather than pointing – Knowing and calling them by name. – Figure out what your customers want and then making sure they get it. – Thats the message behind Give`em the PICKLE! 14
  • 15. Give Them the Pickle!• Service: Make serving the patrons your #1 priority – You work in a noble profession, be proud of what you do• Attitude: Choose it. – How you think about the patrons is how you’ll treat themGive Them the Pickle!• Consistency: Set high standards and stick to them – Patrons return because they like what happened during their last visit• Teamwork: Look for ways to make each other look good – In the end, everything ends up in front of the patronMore Pickles: www.giveemthepickle.com 15
  • 16. Standards ofLibrary Customer Service• Take Responsibility for – Upholding confidentiality of records and Intellectual Freedom’s Bill of Rights of all customers – Knowing, understanding and correctly implementing library policies – Being at your workstation when scheduled – Creating a cooperative work environmentStandards ofLibrary Customer Service• Take Responsibility for – Exhibiting respect for all customers and co- workers – Helping create a welcoming environment in the library – Making each patron’s call or visit to the library a high quality experience – Meeting the needs of patrons and co-workers – Verifying that those needs have been met 16
  • 17. Standards ofLibrary Customer Service• Take Responsibility for – Avoiding communicating personal value judgments when interacting with patrons or co-workers – Providing service to the public above personal activities or interests – Being knowledgeable, courteous and responsive when communication by phone, e- mail, writing, speaking, etc. Davenport Public Library, Davenport, IowaFun Customer Service Ideas!• Reward loyal library patrons with a little gift – I Love Libraries Button for checking out 100 items• Keep in touch with Breakfast with the Librarian events – Get to know patrons on a personal level – Ask them about concerns and likes – Patrons will feel appreciated that you wanted to know 17
  • 18. Fun Customer Service Ideas!• Voice Mail Tips of the Week – Change your message on hold each week to let them know what’s happening, what new books are coming, easier way to access info, etc.• Thank You+ – Add on “See You Soon,” “See You Later,” or “See You Tomorrow.” – Tells them they are always welcome backFun Customer Service Ideas!• Good signage – Let them know you’re always available to help, especially seniors who aren’t “great” with computers• Know Your Services and Program inside and out – Create a manual for all staff – In-service trainings to up date staff 18
  • 19. Fun Customer Service Ideas!• Make sure policies and procedures are patron friendly• Allow food and drink in designated areas• Identify staff as staff (badges, t-shirts)• Make ready reference materials readily available• Wear a button that says “Please interrupt me!”Fun Customer Service Ideas!• Try arranging lists or other info by important or popularity rather than alphabetically• Add copies of book jackets or other graphics to stack ends to indicate what kinds of materials can be found in that area 19
  • 20. Fun Customer Service Ideas!• Arrange furniture to direct patrons away from circ and toward the collections and catalog workstations• Recruit and train volunteer greeters (Wal Mart has greeters and they’re always busy!)• Trade links back and forth between library and community organizationsFun Customer Service Ideas!• Give organizations that have the library’s link on their site “Internet tips of the week” and other content for their sites that link back to the library’s site• Provide power strips for lap tops• E-mail notification for pick-ups, returns, overdues, events, etc. 20
  • 21. Fun Customer Service Ideas!• Show off your bandwidth or wireless service with a “LAN Party”—woo hoo!• Live chat• Give all staff generic business cards with pertinent library info• Plenty of parkingConclusion• As trustees and management, you have to set the tone and create the customer service culture• Always be enthusiastic in that endeavor – Your approach sets the example• Live your brand through customer service• Keep them coming back 21