Tip #4: Keep a "No" log. (aka Steal this post)

May 9, 2006 at 6:51 pm

Practical Tip #4: Keep a “No” log. (Steal this post)

OK, I’ve been meaning to post this idea for over a week, so it serves me right that I got beaten to the proverbial punch by Stephen Abram, who appropriately titled his post, “an idea worth stealing.”

The idea? Keep a log at every service desk and note every time a customer is told “no”, or “we can’t do X”, or any other variation on the theme of denying the customer what they want or need.

Look at the logs on a regular basis and evaluate whether those ‘nos’ can be turned to ‘yesses’. I recommend reviewing the nos while keeping in mind Michael Stephens’ “Five Factors for User Centered Services

  1. Does it place a barrier between the user and the service?
  2. Is it librarian-centered or user-centered in conception, i.e. is it born from complaints from librarians about users?
  3. Does it add more rules to your bulging book of library rules, procedures and guidelines? The more rules you make the more quickly library users will turn you off.
  4. Does it make more work for the user or the librarian?
  5. Does it involve having to damage control before you even begin the service?

I’m not suggesting that every no be turned to a yes. But I am suggesting that your customer service will improve if you every ‘no’ is critically evaluated.

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