My Library Ideas posts that management is responsible for implementing extraordinary customer service.
I agree up to a point. But if you are an employee, you don’t have to wait for your supervisor to tell you to offer that kind of customer service.
You can do it yourself by taking the first small step to learn and remember your regular customers’ names.
Story #1: Back in my single days, I used to eat breakfast every day at the same McDonalds. I was such a regular that the employee behind the counter would just raise an eyebrow, watch for my nod, and then order my usual. She never asked me my name.
Story #2: I’ve lived across the street from a branch library for going on seven years. I’m in there at least weekly picking up and dropping off books. Never, in all that time has an employee greeted me by name even when it was on her computer screen.
If I was that McDonald’s employee, the next time a regular customer came in, I’d hold out my hand and say, “Hey, you know what, you’re a regular customer here and I don’t know your name. Mine’s Glenn. What’s yours?”
If I was a librarian, I’d look at the computer screen after I scanned the patron’s card and say, “Mr. Smith, I know you’re a regular patron here. I just want to thank you for coming in so often. It really makes us feel good when we see regular customers. My name is Glenn. If there’s anything I can ever do for you, just let me know.”
As I engaged the customer or patron in conversation I would be giving my most radiant smile. I’d use his or her names several more times in order to better remember it. If the person’s name was hard to pronounce, I would take that as a challenge and attempt it until I got it right.
I encourage you to read the book, “Fish! Philosophy.” One of the four principles it espouses is “Be there,” as in be there for your customers. By putting forth the extra effort to remember your customers’ names, you will find greater enjoyment in your job, the hours will pass by faster, and your boss just might reward you with a promotion because of your customer service skills.
Bottom line, it’s more fun to interact with your customers and patrons.
As Dale Carnegie said, “Remember, to that person, his or her name is the sweetest most important sound in any language.”