Customer service training

20Jul08

Kudos to the Houston Area Library System for an excellent three-part module on Customer Service training.

Some good pointers on effective listening, verbal cues and non-verbal behaviour in customer interactions, and handling difficult patrons are outlined. I especially liked the logical steps in diffusing difficult customer interactions. My basic tenets are to allow the person to vent, while I attempt to stay calm as much as possible. Faced with unreasonable statements I have also “ignored outrageous statements,” and later documented the interaction for supervisors.

At the other end of the spectrum, if I answer my phone with a smile on my face, callers can amazingly pick up on this cue. Strange but true. Voices seem more relaxed and well-modulated, therefore appearing friendly and warm.

Finally, interspersed throughout the module are sections called To Do’s. They are another means for learners to reinforce the concepts by thinking about real life situations around them. I did not review the Reference Interview or Library Planning/Marketing modules, but based on the Customer Service module, the series of training sessions will likely prove effective for public library staff. — Brenda

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One Response to “Customer service training”

  1. 1 Karen

    Good customer service can be as simple as just listening to someone vent. I recently returned from an overnight vacation where just about everything that could go wrong, did. But the staff made sure to listen, and offered enough comps to ease the frustration. Bottom line? we had fun. And I’d go back.



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