Monday, June 10, 2013

Fifth Stop...Novel and Adaptive Thinking

Novel and Adaptive Thinking is one the most important skills workers will need in the future.  The ability to "think outside the box" will be imperative to our relevancy.  Customer service is a huge part of what we do in our library system.  We do things as simple as making a new library card and checking in and out materials to things as complicated as reader's advisory and answering tricky reference questions.  A lot of what we do is very routine, but once in a while you will have a situation arise that is not easily solved. The way we handle these situations will determine whether a customer comes back to us for their future needs or not.  We know we can't always give customers exactly what they want, but just because a customer does not get exactly what they wish for does not mean they have to leave unhappy.  The key is to offer them something else instead, or to at least compromise and meet them halfway. 

A big campaign going around right now in a lot of corporations is "Never Say No".  We all know  we can't always tell the customer yes.  There are some things that customers ask for that we must say no to.

The first part of this campaign is to find alternatives to the actual word NO.   It has been proven that customers absolutely hate the word NO.  If you can avoid using this word, even when there is not a way you can meet the customer's needs, things will go smoother with that situation.

The second part is encouraging  employees to find alternative ways to fulfill the desires of their customers even though they can't give them exactly what they want.

In our library system we have policies and procedures we have to abide by.  The key to never saying no is to offer them something else instead by finding a way to work around the policies and procedures we have in place. 

The video below is a re-enactment of a true customer experience that came up at a branch.    When watching the video notice that the circulation assistant does not use the word no.  She also offers an alternative to the customer.

For this module you have the option of participating in the group exercise, the individual exercise, or both. You can get up to one hour for the group exercise and a half hour for the individual exercise for a potential of 1.5 training hours.  You have until August 12th to complete this module.

Individual Exercise

You will get 30 minutes training credit for this exercise.  Please submit your answers using the form on Harriet.

Answer these customer questions without using the word "no".  Don’t forget to offer a comparable solution if possible. 

  1. Are you open on Sundays?  (CYF- for this exercise pretend you work at another branch)
  2. Can I check out this reference book to take home?
  3. Can I check out this DVD on my kid’s card?
  4. Can my daughter's Girl Scout troop sell cookies at your front door?

Group Exercise
Please choose a facilitator for this exercise. This person will submit the names of participants and the total training time upon completion using the form on Harriet.    Up to 1 hour training credit will be given for this exercise. 

Note: This is a group activity. Facilitator must fill out form and list all participants. 

Get together with a group and have each person share a story or two about situations that arose when a customer came in and they couldn't give the customer exactly what they wanted.  

  1. How did each of you handle these situations and what was the outcome?  
  2. Were you able to offer a solution that made the customer happy? 

You will have until August 12th to complete one or both exercises.  You can earn credit for both types of exercises.