Difference between revisions of "Customer Service"

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Latest revision as of 08:22, 29 September 2022

Customer Service

We are here to help. All questions are welcome, and there are no walls between us and our users. Circ staff will:

  • Be approachable
  • Treat each customer with courtesy and respect
  • Remember that some customers may become frustrated with the system; thus we will use our knowledge and skills to guide them through the process
  • Listen to requests carefully and ask questions directed at finding what the person truly wants
  • Be understanding and flexible
  • Use LIS policies as guidelines, not roadblocks. If there is something in the policy that unnecessarily interferes with providing the best service, we will follow up on the matter to ensure that the issue has been addressed
  • Find someone who can help if we are unable to do so.
  • Inform the customer promptly if the request will take some time to complete; we will estimate a completion date and respond back to the customer at that time.
  • Inform the customer when a task cannot be accomplished, and suggest alternative approaches if at all possible

More info on Student customer service can be found in the training archive page HERE.


Put the customers first by being aware of their presence and by interrupting routine tasks to provide service.

  • Look up from routine tasks frequently
  • Promptly stop other activities to assist customers
  • Assist when and where needed to provide customer service
  • Do not allow personal difficulties to affect attitude and approachability

Acknowledge every customer with a pleasant verbal greeting and open attitude.

  • Greet EVERY customer EVERY time
  • Smile and make eye contact
  • Ask if the customer has found everything he or she needed
  • Focus your full attention on the customer throughout the transaction
  • Do not be distracted by other tasks, conversations or activities

Base service to customers on the values of the library rather than your personal convictions.

  • Serve all customers equitably
  • Explain policies and procedures in a knowledgeable, positive and well-informed manner
  • Do not express personal opinions about library policies or procedures
  • Respect customers by handling all transactions in a non-judgmental, confidential manner.
  • Use a voice level that does not permit other customers to overhear the discussion
  • Understand and follow policies regarding customer record confidentiality
  • Do not discuss customers or their transactions in any public area

Solve the customer’s problem at the first point of contact.

  • Maintain a positive and calm attitude and use a quiet, pleasant voice
  • Explain policies and procedures in a knowledgeable, positive and well-informed manner
  • Offer options appropriate to the situation
  • Make exceptions based on the principles of excellent customer service and consistent with policies and procedures
  • When unable to resolve the issue, use a positive transition statement, such as “Perhaps my supervisor can help you.”

Work Ethic

  • Be enthusiastic. Willing to accept a challenge; a positive attitude
  • Be action-oriented. Willing to take the initiative and do something rather than wait for something to be done
  • Be hardworking. Willing to do more than what it takes to get by; willing to contribute the extra effort, even if it may not be recognized
  • Be clear thinking. Thinking an idea all the way through and analyzing its implications
  • Interact well with co-workers. Establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships
  • Be supportive of one another with consideration and kindness.
  • Technologically oriented. Willing to be open to new technologies and able to apply them effectively to the work
  • Pro-active. Always pressing to move forward and improve.
  • Integrity. Honest, trustworthy, able to respect confidentiality; able to balance the rights of the individual with the mission of the Libraries.
  • Communication. The commitment to communicate appropriate information in a timely and effective manner to those who will be affected by it.
  • Promoting the intellect. An appreciation of and commitment to advancing education, research and other scholarly pursuits.
  • The Lighter touch. Able to balance the seriousness of purpose with the ability to enjoy one's work and accomplishments. Appreciating the value of a good laugh.

Top Ten Email Tips

1) Grammar:

Office emails should be legible to all recipients. Please save text or chat speak for personal correspondence. Compose an email using the language you would use to speak to your boss, a fellow employee, or a customer. Write clearly and do your best to use correct spelling and grammar. Use a spell-check program before sending an email.

2) Discretion is the greater part of replying:

Imagine that you've received a piece of company-wide e-mail from someone in your very large organization. If you feel the need to respond to the sender, rest assured that every member of your very large organization does not want to read your reply, no matter how witty or urgent you may think it is. Beware the "reply all"!

3) The subject "Re: " means nothing:

In other words, fill out the Subject line. If the subject of the message wasn't important enough for the sender to fill out the Subject line, then it's not important to me. Be gone!

4) Greetings & Salutations:

Don't forget to address the recipient of your email, and close the email with "Sincerely, your name," or something similar. Even if you're in a rush, it only takes a second to be polite. Short emails that contain only one sentence or curt language can be mistaken for rudeness or inconsiderateness. Also, don't forget "please" and "thank you," when appropriate.

5) Stop yelling at me:

USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IS NOT ONLY RUDE AND IRRITATING, IT'S ALSO HARD TO READ. Save your caps for special occasions, such as those times when you want your recipient to know you're shouting.

6) Fonts:

Stick to traditional fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, etc. and traditional font colors (black on white background).

7) Humor:

Humor can be difficult to convey through written words. Tone and inflection are not apparent in an email, and it can be easy to offend when you're trying to be comical. Save humor for speaking if you must share an anecdote or humorous comment. Sarcasm and wit are difficult to express when written; leave that to professional humorists, writers, and comedians.

8) Don't be a cyber-coward:

If you've got something to say that is highly personal, scary, sad, angry, tragic, vicious, shocking, or any combination of the above, please do it in person. (Actually, I prefer you don't do it at all.) Sentient beings are filled with emotions (and NOT emoticons). E-mail programs aren't the best translators of this.

Anytime things gets emotional, confusing, overly complicated, or the e-mails start piling up, then it's time to get off e-mail and to move from digital to face-to-face interactions.

9) Itchy trigger finger? Count to 10 before hitting the Send button:

You're hot under the collar. But before sending your scathing message out there to the world (with virtually no chance of retrieving it), remember this: the pushing of the Send button lasts a moment; its effects can last a lifetime -- or at least until you're back on the street, looking for another job.

10) Finally:

Giving a little thought and effort toward email etiquette can go a long way in maintaining a good office morale. Just remember to be professional and courteous. The main point is: think before you send.

Annik Stahl, the Crabby Office Lady columnist


Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home, David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, Knopf, 2007: http://ezinearticles.com/?Office-Email-Etiquette&id=1172891

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