Friday, 24 October 2014

Customer Service

I teach a number courses in the SOLS Excel program. This term I am teaching a course in Library Management. A comment by one of my students took me by surprise. She indicated that she didn't think she would need to use her customer service skills in the public library setting until she started working in one. Perhaps this mindset is why there are some public libraries seem unwelcoming and cold. One of my staff visited New Brunswick this summer and went to a small library in the northern part of the province. She was very surprised that the staff did not even look up to acknowledge her presence. Why would a newcomer to a community want to come back if this is the welcome they get! Customer service is the cornerstone of public libraries. As a library manager and recruiter, one of the main qualities that I look for in a new staff member is experience in customer service. You can train an employee in library procedures and routines, but you cannot fully train for good customer service if there isn't any interest in providing it. Certainly additional training in customer service can elevate it, but the core must be there. What do you look for in new recruits?

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