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Penn Libraries Student Employment Guidelines: What is customer service?

From your own experience...

What do you imagine when you think of customer service? We experience customer service all the time: on the phone, at a clothing store, at a restaurant, and of course, at the Libraries. Is there somewhere you return again and again because the service is great? Or somewhere you will never go back because you had a bad experience?

From your own life, think of a couple stories for:


  • A really great customer service experience I had:



  • A really bad customer service experience I had:



Customer Service Is:

  • Attitude and Playing the part: Have you ever taken acting lessons? Play the part of someone providing good customer service.


  • The “Golden Rule:” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you:
    Remember the good customer service experiences you have had and create that for someone else.


  • Be available and make eye contact: If you are working at a desk, look up and glance around occassionally to see if someone needs help.


  • Be firm: Sometimes you cannot give what the person is asking. Stick to the policy, but be polite and find a way to say what you CAN do.


  • Follow up (be accountable): You may need to hand off a question or concern to your supervisor or the person on the next shift. Make sure you check later to see if the issue was handled, and if appropriate, find out the answer so you can help yourself next time.


  • Leave them happy: Even if you must say "no," find a way to tell the customer what you "can" do. Make them feel like they have been taken care of.