By Carmen Gass
Delivering Bad News to a Customer
Customer service is about providing the best experience to a
customer—yet, a lot of the time customer service reps find their hands
tied because what the customer wants is not something the rep can
deliver. This course outlines a simple four-step approach that can be used in a
variety of customer service settings. Learn about communication styles,
methods and approaches that can be applied to challenging situations like
delivering bad news, handling concerns and more.
The lynda.com course is available here:
Jeff Toister of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc., tells the story of when he worked as a retail sales associate in a clothing store when he was in high school.
This experience taught him the importance of making the first move when helping customers. He also learned that how he made my first move was almost as important as making it.
Wait for the customer to come to you.
Initiate contact with your customers and ask, “May I help you?” I generally got good reactions when I did this at the clothing store, although I also noticed very few people said, “Yes, I could use your help.”
Customers often don’t know what type of questions they have or what help they might need, so you can overcome this by initiating a little conversation.
Here are some examples:
- In retail, I learned to ask customers what brought them into the store today. That often sparked conversation about what they were looking for and made it easy for me to find ways to help them.
- At a catalog company, I would sometimes call customers just to see how they liked some products they had recently ordered. This usually was a pleasant surprise for the customer and would often result in additional business.
- As a consultant, I often call my clients just to see how they are doing, even if we aren’t currently working on a project together. This lets them know I care about their success and makes it more likely they’ll hire me when they do need my help.
Bonus Info: Initiating service is a great way to make a first impression. Did you know that first impressions are just one of three critical moments in every customer’s experience?
When you do things to help other people within your company do their jobs better, you are providing internal customer service. The quality of that service often has a huge impact on the overall quality of service delivered to external customers.
In this course, you’ll learn about types of internal customers and how to identify internal customer service relationships. You’ll also learn about the importance of getting to know your internal customers, identifying their expectations of you, and taking action on those expectations. Finally, you’ll learn guidelines for providing internal customer service.
This 30-minute course is available at lrn.psu.edu. Log in and register here.
– submitted by Carmen Gass, User Training Services
Submitted by Ann Snowman
We welcome Rita Buhite (left) to the University Libraries staff. Rita is our new – and very first – user services training coordinator. The user services training coordinator is responsible for developing, directing, and coordinating training activities for the University Libraries to ensure the delivery of excellent customer service. She will help us build a curriculum of core competencies and learn to deliver training to faculty and staff in a variety of settings including face-to-face, online, groups of all sizes, libraries-wide.
Rita comes to us from Ridgway Area School District where she was a computer and mathematics teacher. In addition she trained other teachers to provide instruction for the district’s virtual academy. She was also an adjunct professor at Gannon University where she created and facilitated the Advanced Educational Computing course that introduces current technology and its application in the classroom to teachers.
Rita has a B.S. in education from Mansfield University, an M. Ed. from Gannon University and holds graduate certificates in educational technology and online learning from Antioch University and technology integration from Boise State.
Rita began her introductory training with University Libraries in October under the guidance of Stephanie Movahedi-Lankarani at the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library where she was introduced to library services and gained direct experience with our users. In February, she integrated into the Knowledge Commons rotation and will continue to work at both locations through the spring semester.
When she is not providing user services, she is busy researching and developing training modules to help us meet the goals of the strategic plan by “emphasizing continued employee development and training programs to improve skills and knowledge to better serve patrons.” You can expect to see the training modules begin to roll out after spring break. Say hello to Rita at Discovery Day where she is working on the program planning subcommittee.