Joseph Hafner is Sorry, Glad, Sure about Customer Service

Written by Dora Zanni

John Abbott College Information and Library Technologies Dept.

On October 17, 2014 the students of John Abbott’s Public Relations course welcomed Joseph Hafner, Associate Dean for Collection Services of McGill University Library, who presented the workshop “Sorry, Glad, Sure!” The workshop was about the skills needed for service excellence when dealing with clients and colleagues. Students were encouraged to participate in the workshop to learn about customer service in a library setting.

Students first watched a short video called “Remember Me” which highlighted incorrect customer service practices. Mr. Hafner had the students discuss the different negative situations in the video and come up with suggestions to improve the customer’s service experience. Students were then placed in groups of three, asked to discuss a good and bad customer service they had experienced, and pick a word to describe it, for the negative experiences, and find a word that would have made it a positive experience. These words were then placed on the board to show how they affect a customer’s experience in Communication, Attitude, Respect, Empathy, and Reliability (thus the acronym CARE+). Some of the students then put on a skit to highlight service problems that can be experienced at a library circulation desk, and Mr. Hafner gave suggestions to make these negative situations into positive ones.

Student Zaf Koty said, “I really enjoyed participating in class and it made it really fun and informative.”

Mr. Hafner stated that the students have to learn to care about good customer service, and had them reflect on how they could change things, through either their own behavior or library policies, to provide good customer service to library patrons.  He said, “Good customer service is not just that you smile at your customers but that you make your customers smile.”

Photo of Mr. Hafner and student Zaf Koty