Kathy is from the Conneaut Public Library in Conneaut, Ohio. She is a webinar instructor and also does webinars for PCI (People Connect Institute).
She asked us if the patron is always right? Right? No. But how we HANDLE it makes them feel like they are always right. We need to lead by example.
She had us ask ourselves:
Do you...contribute to a problem-solving work environment?
Apply strategies for conflict resolution?
Remain professional in difficult situations?
Participate in decision making.
Customer service means we are supposed to have all of these things.
Are you invested?
What about your team?
Do you have a team?
What are the road blocks?
All patrons are different:
Social Services and Diversity:
Re-try families: She has a prison in her community.
Generational poverty: There is a hidden language with this.
Everyone walks through our door. Are we ready? We need a framework for understanding.
Empathy: We need this to understand other people's feelings.
What does this look like? - Show with your face and smile.
Show with your feet: Go and help. Once someone starts talking to you, they are yours.
Listen to the stories: Sometimes people just need to be heard.
Reflect back: They see that we “get it” and understand. They might have an ally.
Now what about us/team?
Circ desk skills: Check in-check out
Staff procedures: What do you have in your tool box?
Are you empowered?
Why does this make a difference?
It means no more passing the buck. Everyone in our organization could and should be a leader.
Detect: What does this imply?
Expect and anticipate
Set up for failure
What is the user experience? How can you gather information? A new patron would be great.
Be informed and look for trends.
Be a leader.
Engage – Ask the right questions
Talk with a smile
Agree with them
Find positive ways to talk about the negative
How do we help?
Change the scenery: step away from the circ desk
What language are you using? Who are you talking to?
Hold On and let me get my director... - she doesn't recommend this.
Enpowerment: Can you make decisions?
Vouchers: Allow staff X amount of money a year to make a patron happy. Give them the power
Zero to 10: Are your buttons being pushed.
Safety Net: Can you count on your team?
Serenity Savers: What is in place to save you?
Recommended books: A Mind Shaped by Poverty