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Did you ever leave a place of business or hang up the phone thinking, "Wow, they were not very customer-friendly!"? Do you wonder how many library users think the same thing?

Being "customer-friendly" requires more than a smile and a pleasant manner. It requires that you demonstrate to your customers that the library really cares about them and their problems. This course will help you to:

  • build support with customers
  • take the confusion out of explanations and directions
  • say "no" to a customer in a positive way
  • learn to listen reflectively and actively

At the end of the day, you will have completed a personalized customer-friendly action plan that you can begin to implement as soon as you meet your next customer!

Workshop Description: In a fun, upbeat environment, students will participate in a variety of activities to practice customer-friendly skills and behaviors. In small groups, you will learn how to build rapport with customers and to create empathetic responses. While learning how to simplify instructions and directions, students will view a video case study of working with an ESL customer on the phone. Students will also take a listening inventory to identify any areas that need to be improved. The instructor will provide handouts and help you work on your personal action plan throughout the day so you will be ready to improve your customer-friendliness as soon as you return to your library.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Customer-Friendly Actions
    • What are basic customer-friendly behaviors?
    • Good and bad attitudes
    • Give and take of customer interactions
    • Building rapport with customers
  • Confusing the Customer
    • Avoiding "biblio-language"
    • Giving clear explanations and directions
    • Video case study - an ESL telephone customer
  • Saying No to a Customer
    • Responding empathetically
    • Creating a neutral paper zone
    • Options and compromises
  • Listening
    • Personal listening inventory
    • Myths about listening
    • Filters and barriers
    • Types of listening
  • Complete Your Personal Action Plan

Workshop Instructor: Elaine Jennerich