OK, I’ve been meaning to post this idea for over a week, so it serves me right that I got beaten to the proverbial punch by Stephen Abram, who appropriately titled his post, “an idea worth stealing.”
The idea? Keep a log at every service desk and note every time a customer is told “no”, or “we can’t do X”, or any other variation on the theme of denying the customer what they want or need.
Look at the logs on a regular basis and evaluate whether those ‘nos’ can be turned to ‘yesses’. I recommend reviewing the nos while keeping in mind Michael Stephens’ “Five Factors for User Centered Services”
- Does it place a barrier between the user and the service?
- Is it librarian-centered or user-centered in conception, i.e. is it born from complaints from librarians about users?
- Does it add more rules to your bulging book of library rules, procedures and guidelines? The more rules you make the more quickly library users will turn you off.
- Does it make more work for the user or the librarian?
- Does it involve having to damage control before you even begin the service?
I’m not suggesting that every no be turned to a yes. But I am suggesting that your customer service will improve if you every ‘no’ is critically evaluated.