Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Librarians (ALA Editions)

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9780838906897: Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Librarians (ALA Editions)

As a library faces changing technologies and increased competition from other information providers, this guide presents advice for a library's service approach which should ensure that customers make that library their first choice when seeking information. The key issue in business today is not what service is offered, but how it is offered. This book emphasizes that those who borrow and use library materials are more than "patrons" - they're "customers" - and they expect first-rate customer service. This practical guide helps readers to develop and implement successful customer service strategies in any type or size of library. It identifies the different types of library customers, and describes when and why the customer is always right. Then it explains the fundamentals of customer service and the essential quality benchmarks in library services and products. The book also gives readers the tools for achieving and maintaining a customer-oriented environment, including: strategies for excellence, such as the customer service scorecard; team approaches to effectively organize customer service in busy departments; skills, such as active listening techniques and managing emotions during conflicts; and customer service language, including 10 magical phrases. With its comprehensive coverage, the guide is suitable for in-service training and programmes in library science education. "Putting Service Into Library Staff Training" is a complementary volume to this text.

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From School Library Journal:

Written to fill a gap in the literature on customer service in libraries, Weingand's book is just what the title promises--a concise guide for librarians. It starts with a broad philosophical discussion of the definition and components of customer service, drawing on human resource development theory and the identification of customer attributes. The next seven chapters review highlights of such topics as a team approach to improving customer service, problem solving, conflict management, and the roles of verbal and nonverbal communication in creating an organizational climate that fosters good customer service. Each chapter contains a library-oriented scenario illustrating the material, as well as a short case study that could be incorporated effectively into staff training. Weingand stresses quality of service as a potential competitive advantage that libraries can have over bookstores and other information providers, and she advocates doing a financial assessment of the role good service plays in day-to-day library operations. Final chapters contain specific strategies for success keyed to material presented earlier in the book. The strength of this title lies in its specific application to libraries. Readers searching for a more in-depth presentation on customer service will want to consult titles listed in the section on further reading. Many of these books are recognized classics in organizational theory and management.

Cindy Lombardo, Ashland (OH) Public Library

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Bravo to Weingand for this superb application of sound customer service principles to libraries, especially public libraries. Drawing upon a keen understanding of how service businesses can indeed teach librarians a great deal, Weingand describes the types of library customers, customer diversity, fundamentals of customer service, benchmarks in library service, team approaches to organizing service, and relevant communication skills, which include active listening when dealing with customer complaints. Weingand's experience teaching library management and marketing and her Managing Today's Public Library (Libraries Unlimited, 1994) and Administration of the Small Public Library, 3d ed. (Professional Reading, LJ 6/15/92) establish her credentials to tackle this topic. Her frank assessment that people who use the library are customers, not patrons, is likely to raise a ruckus on the library listservs. A useful guide for library students, this excellent resource will also help libraries break the old paradigm of patronage to patrons, replaced by the reality of the future?serving their customers.?Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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