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RPL Netguides Training: Customer Service
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RPL Netguides Training: Customer Service


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The Netguides program at Reading Public Library trains high school students (we'll expand the program in the future!) to help patrons through one-on-one technology training sessions and assistance in …

The Netguides program at Reading Public Library trains high school students (we'll expand the program in the future!) to help patrons through one-on-one technology training sessions and assistance in computer classes. For more information, see the Netguides information page at

Published in: Technology, Education

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  • Transcript

    • 1. RPL Netguides Training: Customer Service Andrea Mercado, Netguides Supervisor
    • 2. Netguides = customer service + teaching
    • 3. *Great* Customer Service means:
      • Taking ordinary to extraordinary
      • Going above and beyond
      • Being at your best with every customer
      • Surprising yourself with how much you can do
      • Taking care of the customer like you would take care of your grandmother (assuming you like her a *lot*)
      • We want to offer GREAT customer service
    • 4. Make The Great Customer Service Entrance
      • Smile! 
      • Make eye contact and ask, “How may I help you today?”
      • LOOK at the person as you speak to them, if possible
      • Give them 100% of your attention
      • Hear out the question
      • Is there a queue? Acknowledge and give a timeline
    • 5. Teaching is hard. For serious.
      • Typical issues for teachers include:
        • Talking to/in front of people is sometimes scary
        • Varying abilities or disabilities
        • Distractions
        • Lots of questions
        • Problems listening
        • Problems understanding
        • Disinterest in learning
        • Communication is unclear (speed, accent, charged, unorganized, etc.)
    • 6. Important qualities in a teacher
      • PATIENCE!
      • Communicates well: listens attentively, speaks clearly
      • Asks good questions to help the learner
      • Maintains a positive attitude
      • Comfortable with admitting, “I don’t know”
      • Avoids technical terms, or explains them clearly/with analogies
      • Gives the learner a feeling of confidence in the teacher
      • Makes the learner feel important and (at least a bit more) confident
      • Soothes ruffled feathers
    • 7. Active Listening
      • Listen to what the learner is asking or saying
      • Repeat back to them what they are saying, using your own words, to verify that you understand*
      • If necessary, break the question/issue down into smaller phrases as you repeat back
      • Ask questions to suss out what you’re missing
      • Proceed to answer or address the issue
      • Rinse and repeat
      • *[Absolutely DO NOT interrupt when you are active listening, except if the patron has gone into Broken Record Mode]
    • 8. Questions that help you help them
      • Open Questions
        • Solicit more than “yes,” “no,” or one-word responses
        • Get ‘em talkin’
        • General information
        • Lead into what, how, why
        • Example: “What can I help you with today?”
      • Closed Question
        • Just “yes,” “no,” or 1-word
        • Limit talking, control direction
        • Specific information
        • Lead into who, when, did, which, would, are, can, have, do, is, will, and may
        • Example: “Does the floppy make a crunchy noise?”
    • 9. Even if you’re frowning on the inside
      • Smile, even if you don’t feel like it
      • Accentuate the positive
        • Negative: “You have to remember to save often, or else you’ll lose your work.”
        • Positive: “By saving often, you’ll always know that you’ll have the most recent version of your file, and you won’t lose your work.”
      • Make sure you eat well and get lots of rest
      • Remember: this interaction has an end point
      • Can’t smile anymore? Take a break
    • 10. Zen and the art of intelligent ignorance
      • Don’t know the answer? It’s OK!
        • Say, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”
        • Ask the librarian for help
        • Refer to the handouts and books
        • Try to figure out the answer
        • Leave me a note or post a Message and we’ll talk about it
    • 11. Rah! Rah! Go learner!
      • Encourage the learner when they’re on the right track
      • Give praise when a task is completed correctly
      • Building rapport builds confidence in the ability of both you and the learner
        • Use the customer’s name
        • Be polite
        • Show interest and empathy
        • Give the learner options
    • 12. Jargonese: your special language, not theirs
      • Jargon = slang: a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves); "they don't speak our lingo“
      • Slang = informal nonstandard vocabulary composed of invented words, changed words, and exaggerated or humorous figures of speech
      • Define jargon using another familiar word or phrase
        • memory vs. RAM
        • “computer space” vs. hard drive
      • Use analogies for really technical stuff
    • 13. No, really, the answer is “NO!” but nicely .
      • When you can’t fulfill a learner’s request:
        • Explain the reason, but stay positive
        • Show empathy
        • Let the learner know what you can do, offer an alternative solution
          • “I’m sorry, I can’t drive the mouse for you. By having you drive the mouse, we help you learn to be independent.”
          • “I’m sorry, I can’t come to your house for computer help, my role is only here at the library. But you can always make another appointment for more help.”
    • 14. Who counts as a ornery patron?
      • Frustrated no matter how well you do
      • Can’t stay focused, mad/annoyed when you don’t indulge them
      • Raised voice, or voice and tension seems to be escalating
      • A patron who wants you to drive, and becomes snippy if you don’t
    • 15. Wrangling the ornery
      • Acknowledge their feelings
        • “ You seem… [frustrated, annoyed, tired]. How can I help?”
        • “ It’s OK, this is hard for many people. Let’s try again.”
      • Offer them a 5-minute break
      • Excuse yourself if you need to, and take a deep breath to clear your head
      • Tell someone if you need help, or to get feedback/advice
      • If the sitch is too tense, let another Netguide or the librarian try
    • 16. Breaktime!
    • 17. Activity: Amateur Architects
      • Goal: Improve questioning and active listening skills
      • Instructions:
        • I’ll put you in pairs
        • You each get a picture of a house
        • 5 mins: “House A” person describes, “House B” person draws
        • 5 mins: Compare “House A” picture to drawing together
        • Switch
      • If the drawer asks an open question, give several details . If the drawer asks a closed question, only say yes , no , or a 1-word reply .
    • 18. Activity: Pass It Along
      • Goal: Improve digestion and use of complex explanations
      • Instructions, round 1:
        • First person: say message once, whisper in the ear of the person to your left
        • Next person: Repeat the message to the next person as you understood it
        • Last person: repeat message to the group
    • 19. Pass It Along
      • Instructions, round 2:
        • First person: say message as an “I” statement
        • Next person: confirm as a “You” statement
        • Pass it along
        • Last person: repeat message to the group