Monday, October 09, 2006

Improving Customer Service -- Campaign “Saying ‘Yes’ when ‘No’ has been the Answer”

Recently, the University Libraries’ Services Excellence Working Group (SEWG) asked all personnel to keep a record or log about instances and situations where the staff member was not able to comply with a service request from a student or faculty member. This idea was based on an article by Kathy MacMillan published in American Libraries, November 2005, page 48.

The exercise became part of a campaign to explore reasons why the answer to the request was ‘no.’ Examples of such requests are “Can you make these copies for me?” or “Can I check this reference book out?”

The ‘No’ logs turned out to be a good way for our personnel to track customer-service related concerns and to explore how we responded to them. The logs helped in the following ways:
• fostering more open communication and discussion of services and policies
• keeping customer service in the forefront of everything we do
• promoting review and clarification of practices
• revealing patterns in services and service requests

Practical information gleaned from studying the logs can help lead to policy and guideline changes that will help the University Libraries to provide better customer service.


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