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Culs 2009 Presentation Give Em The Pickle


Presentation at KLA College and University Library Section Fall 2009 Conference in Hays, KS. Topic: Customer Service

Presentation at KLA College and University Library Section Fall 2009 Conference in Hays, KS. Topic: Customer Service

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  • Need to focus on quality service in libraries – put needs of users before preferences of staff. Focus on customer’s needs and expectations. The goal should be to reduce the gap between what service is expected and what is received. Often assumptions are made about user needs. Needs should be identified and not assumed.
  • Samuel Swett Green


  • 1. Give ‘em the Pickle: Customer Service Improvement Terri Summey, Associate Professor Head of Access and Children’s Services Emporia State University
  • 2. Customer Service Hardy Franklin, ALA President 1994
    • “ Service is the heart of our profession. Thinking of patrons as ‘customers’ is an apt way to remind ourselves - and our staffs - of the manner in which we wish to associate with the public. Our customers - whether they be students, faculty, or members of the general public - are why libraries exist. We must not take them for granted.”
    • Customer Service: The Heart of a Library.”
    • College & Research Libraries News . 2(Feb. 94): 63.
  • 3. Customer Service in Libraries: Not New! Mr. Green’s Axiom
    • “ A librarian should be as unwilling to allow an inquirer to leave the library with his question unanswered as a shopkeeper to have a customer go out of his store without a purchase. Receive investigators with something of the cordiality displayed by an old time shopkeeper. Hold on to them until they have obtained the information they are seeking, and show a persistency in supplying their wants similar to that manifested by a successful clerk in effecting a sale.”
  • 4. Why Emphasize Customer Service?
    • Libraries have:
      • Variety of patrons, varying needs
      • Different employees and tiered services
    • Perception of Library
      • “ Each individual encounter has power”
    • Double Standard – “Define own vision of customer service”
  • 5. Evaluating Customer Service
    • 360˚ Review
    • Surveys
    • Unobtrusive Evaluation
    • Comment Box
    • Qualitative Methods
    • Other methods???
  • 6. Improvement
    • Training, Training, Training
      • All Staff including Students
      • All Departments
    • New Employee Orientation
    • Customer Service Philosophy
    • Be Aware of Customer Service Experiences
    • Empower Employees
  • 7. Customer Service: Not Just for Front Line Employees
    • Circulation / Reference
    • Interlibrary Loan
    • Shelvers
    • Technical Services / Acquisitions / Collection Development
    • Internal / External Customers
  • 8. The Pickle Principle:
    • Service: Make serving others your #1 Priority. You work in a noble profession, be proud of what you do.
    • Attitude: Choose your Attitude. How you think about your customers, is how you will treat them.
    • Consistency: Set high standards, and stick to them. Customers return because they like what happened last time.
    • Teamwork: Look for ways to make each other look good. In the end, everything ends up in front of the customer!
  • 9. Give ‘em the Pickle
    • Bob Farrell
    • Concept
    • Pickle Principle
    • Pickles??
  • 10. Customer Service Models
    • Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market
      • Attitude
      • Play
      • Make Their Day
      • Be Present
    • Nordstrom Principles
    • Ritz Carlton
  • 11. Celebrate Success
    • Customer Service Week
    • Rewards and Recognitions
    • Other Ideas?
  • 12.
    • “ Customer service is more art than science. Like art, where beauty is in the eye of the beholder, learning the art of customer service takes training, patience, and an “eye.” Skills associated with customer service can best be gained through example, practice, and mentoring. For the challenging staff member, stress that the positive response from customers is, for many of us in public service, the reward that makes our work most enjoyable.”
    • “ Mr. Green’s Axiom” Reference and User Services Quarterly 42:1(Fall 2002)
  • 13.
    • “ So, for today, let’s transform our own individual, professional behavior – reflect not on a colleague’s, an employee’s, the dean’s or director’s behavior – reflect upon our own behavior.”
    • “ It’s not who is right, but what is right.”
    • Chief Keith Ranney, Bloomington Fire Dept.
    • Jane Chamberlain, (2008) “What Does It Take? Transforming Customer Service Today.” ILA Reporter 26(1): 4-7.
  • 14. Bibliography of Sources
    • Bernstein, Mark P. (2008) “Am I Obsolete? How Customer Service Principles Ensure the Library’s Relevance.” AALL Spectrum 13(2): 20-2.
    • Brown, Linda C. (2006) “Go Fish! Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market Offers Inspiration for Exceptional Customer Service.” AALL Spectrum 10(6): 6, 27.
    • Chamberlain, Jane. (2008) “What Does It Take? Transforming Customer Service Today.” ILA Reporter 26(1): 4-7.
    • Tooulias-Santolin, Christina. (2006) “Customer Service Training at the University of Toronto: creating excellence through flexible and responsive training.” Feliciter 52(6): 252-3.
    • Vilelle, Luke and Christopher C. Peters (2008) “Don’t Shelve the Questions: defining good customer service for shelvers.” Reference and User Services Quarterly 48(1): 60-67.
    • VWallace, Karen. (2007) “Marketing Mindset: Focusing on the Customer, from Technical Services to Circulation.” Feliciter 53(3): 126-9.