Customer Service.


DH and I made an unexpected trip to a Major Alliterative Electronics Store (MAES) to return my Christmas gift, which was a netbook.  My previous netbook had seemingly stopped working (more on that later) and so DH got a new one for me.

I was mid-search yesterday when the new netbook went black. No amount of rebooting worked. I plugged it in and let it hang out for a while with no results. Disgusted, I decided to return it and instead get a new flatscreen television for the bedroom.

So….we trudge to MAES and encountered a young lady at the Customer Service desk, who proceeded to become snippy and condescending, in turns.  I was so irritated, I had to walk away from the desk, leaving DH to finalize the transaction.

Meanwhile, the woman that was supervising the desk was understanding and managed to talk to us about the problem without being either snippy or condescending. Regardless, I left MAES with a bad taste in my mouth…and that’s not the first time this has happened.  At this point, I have a feeling I will purchase electronics anywhere but there.

So, Library Directors….do you have a snippy and condescending person working your desk? Does he or she verbally sneer at patrons if they aren’t sure what book they’re looking for, or can’t remember whether they returned an item, or are simply asking a question? If so, you are dangerously close to losing that patron for life.

And that patron has friends. And those friends will hear how badly they were treated. And all of those people vote. Guess how well your bonding bill will go?

If you suspect one of your staff treats people like this but aren’t sure, ask around. Either coach them into behaving properly or free up their future. It’s important.  The future of your library may depend on it.

Oh, and my old netbook? I turned it on when we got home and it’s miraculously working again. Will wonders never cease.



Filed under Customer Service, Libraries and Librarianship

5 responses to “Customer Service.

  1. Pingback: Customer Service. | Impromptu Librarian | Customer Service

  2. SVM

    I was put off by my local library for a while. I mentioned that I wished they still stamped the date on the books somewhere so I could tell more easily when they were due rather than printing a slip. I was told that putting the stickers on the books to stamp them damaged the materials (OK — cool with that) and rather curtly that “it’s the patron’s responsibility to return materials on time.” I felt like I’d been called into the principal’s office. The first reason was adequate — I didn’t need the lecture.

  3. And we wonder why people don’t frequent their libraries. Or why librarians have a bad reputation. Sigh.

  4. SVM

    Don’t know if you saw this, but a major alliterative electronics store was called on the carpet in Forbes

  5. Interesting timing, isn’t it? And a brilliant assessment of the dangers lurking for them if they don’t get their act together, and FAST.

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