SDSL's Cornerstone Newsletter

South Dakota State Library's e-newsletter

January 12, 2023

Ten Customer Service Takeaways

Customer or patron? Applying great customer service skills turns library visitors into library patrons. Here are a few tips for delivering great customer service:

  1. Treat every visitor as if they have a say in your funding.
  2. Ask if you can help everybody, every time.
  3. Always answer the phone during open hours. Excuse yourself from a face-to-face conversation, if necessary.
  4. Walk visitors to an item.
  5. Use names at every opportunity.
  6. Always have an alternative to “No.” Get rid of the “No” signs, as well. These clutter the library and give a negative vibe.
  7. Know why you have a policy and be able to explain it.
  8. Check yourself for positive body language and tone of voice.
  9. Give visitors the opportunity to be wrong with dignity.
  10. Be willing to apologize.

Pay attention to good customer service experiences and see how you can apply them to turn your library customers into loyal patrons.

*These pointers are based on a session by Phillip Carter of Starkville-Oktibbeha County Public Library System: How Can I Help you and Other Ways You’re Losing Your Patrons at the 2022 Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference.

About SDSL

The South Dakota State Library provides leadership for innovation and excellence in libraries and services to state government.

The SDSL does not endorse any service or product listed in this newsletter.