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ACRLNEC 2009 - Building Community: How Combined Training Improves Customer Service
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ACRLNEC 2009 - Building Community: How Combined Training Improves Customer Service

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A presentation at ACRLNEC 2009

A presentation at ACRLNEC 2009

Published in: Business, Education

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  • Our session today is about how combined training improves customer service, sort of a before and after look at life in the information commons at Simmons College. Our function in the information commons, like in most libraries, is to provide the best possible service for our patrons. The challenge inherent in providing this efficient and effective service is that this responsibility is entrusted to around 50 student workers. While these student workers are great, they typically only work around 10 hours a week and are doing things like graduating and finding new opportunities so we then have to find new students to hire to replace them. How can we maintain a consistently high level of service when those providing the service lack institutional knowledge and turn over on a regular basis? Our answer to this challenge was to build community among our student workers. It wasn’t our original goal but by identifying the challenges that we were facing, this became our solution. Today, we will talk about the steps that we have taken to improve customer service in the information commons and how doing so has built our community. Our information commons consists of three service points – Reference, Circulation and Technology.
  • Transcript

    • 1. How Combined Training Improves Customer Service BUILDING COMMUNITY
    • 2. What is community?
    • 3. Welcome to Beatley
    • 4. What do our patrons see?
    • 5. Circulation
    • 6. Technology
    • 7. Reference
    • 8. New Library, New Opportunities
      • Overarching goals for the pilot project:
        • Improve the day to day operations
        • Find opportunities for collaboration
      • Concrete issues:
        • Student workers needed:
          • more support
          • common knowledge
          • common skills
    • 9. Supervisor Meetings
      • What we discuss
        • Managing students
        • Anticipated issues
        • Unanticipated issues
        • Unexpected outcome: we provide support for each other as managers and as professionals
    • 10. Communication
      • Keys to our success
        • Meetings
        • InfoCommons blog
        • Statistics modules
    • 11. Why train together?
      • Get to know each other
      • Everyone hears the same message at the same time
      • Reinforces that we have the same goals
    • 12. Combined Orientation
      • Introduction into the services that each desk provides
      • Review of policies that impact each service point
      • Discussion of issues of common interest
    • 13. Skill Building Workshops
      • Dealing with Difficult Situations
        • Gianna Gifford, Librarian for the School of Social Work
        • Focused on strategies for dealing with difficult situations
    • 14. Skill Building Workshops
      • Providing Excellent Customer Service
        • Rex Krajewski, Reference Services Librarian
        • Focused on strategies for providing excellent customer service
    • 15. Socials
      • Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
        • Fishing for Friends
        • Speed Friending
        • Desk Decorating
        • Bake-offs and snacking
    • 16. Challenges
      • Different Departments
        • Communication Channels
        • Different Budgets
      • Scheduling
        • Meetings
        • Trainings
    • 17. Benefits
      • For us
        • Support network for each other
        • Space to vent
        • Insight on managing
        • No duplication of effort
    • 18. Benefits
      • For our student workers
        • Support from managers
        • Network of peers
        • Transferrable skills
        • Shared communication channels
        • Everyone is on the same page
    • 19. Benefits
      • For our patrons
        • Informed student workers
        • Correct referrals
        • Better service
    • 20. What the future holds
      • Reinforcing (and rebuilding) service ethos and a team spirit
      • Additional trainings – professionalism and job skills
      • Continued communication and planning
    • 21. Takeaways
      • What you need:
        • Support from administrators
        • Collaboration between supervisors
      • What you get: An environment where student workers see themselves as part of a community of service
    • 22. Takeaways
      • And while it helps if you have:
        • Time
        • Money
      • Having a community is:
        • Fun!