Most businesses focus on providing excellent customer service to improve profitability. However, many libraries don’t spend much time and effort in this area since they aren’t profit driven and don’t have enough budgets.
But, nowadays, customer expectations are higher than ever. Since patrons want to visit a friendly and welcoming library, improving libraries’ customer service would help achieve their unique missions.
Providing excellent service would satisfy customers and encourage them to use the library repeatedly. They can also become supporters and advocators for the library and would even be willing to vote for bond issues and contribute money.
On the other hand, poor customer services will result in a lack of public support and lost elections and funding. Like in any other businesses, most dissatisfied customers wouldn’t complain, but 91% of those unhappy customers will just leave and never come back, and you can bet that some of them will share their terrible experience with at least nine people.
Libraries should continuously evaluate and improve customer services so they can be known for their customer service.
Encourage Staff to Become Approachable and Friendly
Every staff member is a representative of the library so their actions would reflect on the image of the library and affect the support they receive which is why staff members should always exhibit behaviours that will welcome patrons and make them feel at ease. This will ensure that the customer would be walking away with a positive experience.
An approachable attitude is an excellent way to begin. The staff should make themselves available by being ready to engage any approaching customers. They should stop doing other library work and activities that will distract them from interacting with the customer.
Improve Their Communication Skills
Good communication skills are at the heart of excellent customer service. While finding ways to improve communication skills is a challenge, it’s a helpful skill to have especially when a problem arises.
Nothing is ever perfect even in customer service. Things can always go wrong, but this doesn’t mean that you’re providing terrible service. Librarians and other staff with excellent communication skills will be able to diffuse the situation and prevent the patron from leaving the library angry.
Companies that excel at customer service also wouldn’t wait for a problem to arise before addressing it. A great customer service skill is the ability to take preventative measures for possible risks and be prepared with a solution when a problem occurs.
Try Using Social Media Sites
When libraries train staff for customer care, they focus mostly on front-line customer service and less on new technologies or social networking services, particularly. However, social media is an asset every library should take advantage of.
It’s another channel that allows libraries to engage with their patrons. More importantly, they also allow patrons to reach out to libraries especially with the younger generation who are more familiar with instant messaging, Facebook, or SMS.
For customer service, it’s essential to always respond to the customer’s feedback, whether it’s praise or concern. Social media makes it easier to provide a comfortable setting for patrons to leave feedback and suggestions to improve services. While the customers’ messages about the library can’t be controlled, it lets you show them your interest in and care about their opinions.
Essentially, social networking allows libraries to reach out to patrons outside of traditional methods and offer customer care that expands all throughout the community.