A bit of a mash-up here.
Why Gen Y-ers are Better at Customer Service. (Open Forum, 2/3/2011)
Excerpt: Gen Y-ers realize that in this social media connected world, consumers are constantly tweeting and commenting about your company on the Internet. It used to be that companies were afraid that a dissatisfied customer would tell seven people. Now, through social media tools, they can tell seven million people! Peer review sites like Amazon and eBay have become the standard way for the uneducated consumers to choose what to buy. Consumers believe more about what their peers (even if they are strangers) think of the product than any Super Bowl corporate advertising campaign.
The article provides five keys to what your company needs to do to offer excellent customer service in a social media world.
Even to a small degree, libraries can plug into any of these. Some already have.
1. Don't ask customers how you can help them, ask “How can I help you feel more satisfied?”
2. Provide many ways for customers to give feedback.
3. Don't just listen to what customers are saying, reply.
4. Hire people who have been in the hospitality industry. (Look for skills like courtesy and attentiveness.)
5. Tie customer service to profit. (Keep the customers that make you money and fire the others that cost too much Metaphorically, this could be taken as a reminder for libraries to prioritize their service program and not try to be all things to all people.)
The power of word-of-mouth marketing. It's for libraries, too.