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Smart libraries put their customers first. Infopeople has long been a leader in library customer service training, and this exciting new workshop offers an opportunity to move your own customer service techniques up to a new level. As the economic downturn increases library use AND decreases staff resources, it is vital that everyone work as productively as possible. Whether you spend most of your time on the front lines or primarily serve internal customers, your ability to handle your workload will be enhanced when you learn how to complete customer interactions successfully at the first point of contact, while cultivating a positive attitude and keeping stress levels to a minimum.

Improving customer service outcomes requires moving beyond old habits to create a lasting change in behavior. This course employs an immersive, experiential learning environment, initially developed and tested in collaboration with San Jose Public Library. In this safe and friendly environment you will practice simple, powerful techniques for improving

  • Eye contact
  • Facial expression and body language
  • Tone of voice
  • Availability to customers,
  • Assessment of customer needs, and
  • Quality of information provided.

Completing this course will help you handle more interactions with customers by empowering them to do more for themselves, while increasing their knowledge of your offerings and their satisfaction with the library experience.

Workshop Description: In this all day workshop you will practice and experience how to enhance service through being fully engaged to create a win-win experience that saves time for both you and the customer. The skills can be used with both internal and external customers and many of the activities can be brought back immediately and used to train your staff.

Pre-workshop assignment: Each attendee will be expected to spend from 15 minutes to half an hour visiting a library where they don't know the staff to experience a library from the customer's perspective. A short worksheet will be sent out 2 weeks prior to class to remind attendees of this pre-workshop assignment. The worksheet will include directions about what to observe and what questions to ask during your library visit..

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Elements of a Fully Engaged Customer Service Interaction
    • Three main parts of a customer interaction
    • The library customer experience
    • "Why don't they just ask their question"
    • How to make yourself approachable
  • Parts Of Us That Communicate
    • Posture, gesture, facial expression
    • What goes on between two people
    • Who's got the power
  • Make the Connection
    • How to listen when you're distracted
    • Questioning and rephrasing to be sure you have it right
    • Empower customers to self-serve for future visits
    • Teach them about related library programs or services
  • Close the interaction
    • What does it take to make a customer feel satisfied
    • Good solid closing phrases

Workshop Instructor: Cheryl Gould