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WOW! Thanks! Customer Service in a Technology Driven World

By Barbara Knight, MA, MLS, AHIP
Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

customer at counter WOW! Thanks! Customer Service in a Technology Driven World was a five-hour seminar funded through a Professional Instruction Award from NN/LM GMR.

This seminar focused on delivering health care information via telephone and email reference.  The 22 participants included librarians from the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) , Health Workforce Information (HWIC), the Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences (HEFL) http://undmedlibrary.org/, and the Chester Fritz Library all in Grand Forks ND; librarians from the North Dakota State Library in Fargo, ND; and one librarian from La Crosse, WI.  They received training on how to increase customers’ satisfaction with online reference and information services, with special emphasis given to information professionals who work with remotely located customers. Topics discussed included: email and voice etiquette; response time; organization of information to be delivered; matching the information retrieved to the client’s initial request; applying emotional intelligence to difficult situations; and embracing the information service profession with energy and enthusiasm.

class participantsChris Thompson, seminar presenter, did an excellent job of providing instruction and leading discussion of customer satisfaction with remote delivery of information services. Thompson’s experience working with call center support and management gave us many ideas as well as specific practices we could implement.  An example of one guideline: if you have had 3 exchanges by e-mail, it is time to make contact via a phone call to clarify the communication.

The seminar was a joint project of the RAC http://www.raconline.org/, HWIC http://www.healthworkforceinfo.org/, and the Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences (HEFL) http://undmedlibrary.org/ and was held on June 23, 2010 at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, ND.

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