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24 Aug 2007 / Julie

“Vice President, Customer Experience”

While researching my portion of an upcoming InfoEyes training on accessible online sources for reading material that I’m doing in September, i ran across something interesting on the audible.com’s Management page:

Will Lopes
Vice President, Customer Experience

We’ve got 2 buzz words here- customer and experience but simply, this guy’s job is Customer Service.

I’m called “Operations Supervisor” which gives me images of someone standing on a catwalk outside of a big glassed-off office overlooking the disgruntled factory workers below circa 1920. That’s not what I do. I’m in customer service. Technically, everyone at AskUsNow! and in the whole of Libraryland is. (Who am i kidding- anyone who’s involved with a product or service that folks may use is involved in Customer Service.)

I’m a big believer in how language can change reality (though not when it teeters on being for the sake of Political Correctness). Change how you speak about something and you’ll change how you view that something.

Would tweaking some titles make folks think about their work differently? Would tweaking “librarian” to “information professional” give us more street cred with folks who don’t already use the library? Would that same tweak keep the stodgy, wierd folks who don’t like interacting with people out of this very service and people oriented profession? Would adding words like “customer” and “experience” to high-traffic areas remind folks (librarians, providers, etc) that they’re here for the customers and they shouldn’t put up walls?

Just a thought.

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