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Film & Video Student Assistant Information: Customer Service

Library Film & Video Collection Student Assistant Manual

Working with the Public

Here are some basics when it comes to customer service:

Make eye contact, smile, and offer each user a greeting, such as "Hello. How can I help you today?" or "Good morning! What can I do for you?"

Show interest: if talking to other staff members or performing a task, stop immediately to offer assistance to the user or let them know you will be right with them if you are helping another user.

Listen respectfully to the user's request, and pay close attention to questions.  Ask for additional information if necessary to clarify the users needs.

While working on a service desk you are permitted to use the Internet and your email. Keep desk conversations with friends as brief as possible. General reading and minimal homework may be permitted at a service desk when time allows, but you should not come to work expecting to get homework completed.  You are being paid to be an attentive worker and provide service; work assignments are your main priority while you are on the clock.  

If you work at any public service point in the Library, you will be asked questions. Be friendly and polite. Question the user in a courteous manner until you understand exactly what is being requested. Some users’ requests are simple and direct while others are more difficult. If you don’t know the answer, get a staff member to help you or provide a referral. Keep in mind that you should leave users with some direction, even if you don’t know or can’t get the exact answer; “I don’t know” by itself is not a satisfactory answer.  Giving wrong information is even worse.

Potential Difficult Situations

At times you may encounter a user who may be difficult, even rude. If this occurs, maintain a calm and friendly manner, excuse yourself and get a staff member to help.

Confidentiality / Privacy

Any records and files which you may view at work are confidential and must not be disclosed or discussed outside of the unit. Do not leave user information on the screen longer than necessary. Do not reveal the identity of one user to another, even a faculty member. This includes the e-mail and phone lists of student assistants provided for substitutions.  Any personal use of this list or unwelcome intrusion on another student will be grounds for dismissal.

Ask for Help!

Be knowledgeable about your job and provide correct information. No one expects you to have an answer for all questions.  If you are unsure about something, ASK STAFF! Then you'll know the answer for next time, and won't steer the patron in the wrong direction.  During ‘slow’ times, familiarize yourself with the Library and Film & Video's web pages.  You may also want to practice searching in DELCAT Discovery.

Office Phone Use

The office phones should always be answered when staff is not here.  For anything other than simple questions ("Are you open?", "Do you have this film?", etc.), feel free to refer them to the Film & Video webpage and/or have them call back when staff will be available.  For an outside line on the office phones, dial “9”. The office phones should only be used for business-related calls or in emergencies.