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18 Jul 2008 / Julie

Xtreme Customer Service or TTWWADI must die.

The gap between Expectations and Reality is where emotions form and problems happen.

Become a Customer Activist- An advocate for customers

  • Passionate, fanatically, committed, progressive, protective about their cause
  • Closes gap between expectations and reality
  • you need a hat
  • you need a creed
  • Nordstrom customer service: The Tire (and possibly the best customer service story of all time.
  • Interact with customers so that they want to come back
  • Customer Radar- Look at the library through the customers eyes
  • Look through the eyes of who is in your community
  • Look at how policies and procedures affect them
  • Need to have a radar
  • Remove the barriers

    • don’t make excuses
    • don’t blame
    • just find solutions.

    You must become an Environmentalist

    • What kind of environment do we want to have?
    • Think about your favorite places. What do they look like/feel/sound/smell like?
    • How do you create the same type of environment?

    Exceed expectations

    • need to know what people expect before you can exceed it.
    • how do you find out what they expect? You have to ASK them.

    All co-workers are partners. Not rivals

    • Libraries are extremely hierarchical

    Shift your focus

    • Shift from being library focused to being customer focused
    • what is good for librarians versus what is good for customers- we *always* need to be thinking about what *they* think is good for them. NOT making them conform to us.
  • Expectations are influenced by “others…” (other industries… like google (faster, and “good enough”))
  • Stoplight Rules

    • Red rules- things NOBODY can override
    • Green rules- rules that can be bent (this is where staff can get confused as to what they can do)
    • Yellow rules- when staff is not sure what to do
    • It’s important to know the INTENT of the rules and for staff to be empowered to follow them as they see fit. (empowerment story: @Rtiz Carlton, any employee can comp a customer up to $2k without talking to management first.)
    • Some rules seem reasonable but when they come into practice, they are ridiculous


    • See it
    • Own it
    • Solve it
    • Do it

    Words that say “no” set a tone

    • Say things in a welcoming way
    • instead of “no cell phones” try “courteous cell phone use, please” or “you are welcome to use your cell phone in our lobby.” & don’t forget the signs as you’re leaving the building that say, “don’t forget to turn your cell phone back on!”

    Thinks about the terms we use

    • Calling them patrons allows us to patronize them (Stephen Abrams)
    • Circulation/OCLC/ILL/Periodicals/Call Number/Reference/Page. No one should have to understand these terms. Use better things. Not “reference” but “questions.”
    • Purpose of signage is to help people move through something easily and quickly.

    Be Emotional Intelligence Activists

    • Empathy (not feeling sorry for, but being in their shoes)
      • No more Golden Rule. Try the Platinum Rule-Treat them like they want to be treated
      • The only way we know what people want is to ask them. otherwise we’re treating them on OUR OWN assumptions
    • Attitude
      • When you say I can’t, you here “i won’t”
      • Be open-minded. All the time.
      • TTWWADI (“That’s the Way We’ve always done it”) must die
      • Need to be genuine

    Environmentalist plus CIA = Customer Activist

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