We don’t expect you to have an answer for every question. We do expect you to help every customer who has a question – whether that means asking a co-worker or supervisor; looking up information on the library website, WorkFlows, or this LibGuide; or referring the customer to the medical librarian or assistant medical librarian.
If you are working at a time when no one else is available to help, leave a note for the regular library staff with the question and the customer’s contact information. Assure the customer that someone will get back to them as soon as possible (give a rough time estimate if you can).
Helping customers is the most important and most visible part of your job at the Medical Library. A friendly, service-oriented attitude tells each customer that they have come to the right place to find the resources they need.
Like every skill you develop in a workplace, learning how to provide excellent customer service and being comfortable in your role come with time, care, and practice.
How to Deal with a Difficult Situation/Frustrated Customer
At times you may have a customer who is frustrated with “the system,” or just with the way her/his day is going. Remind yourself that it’s not personal, and that your friendly assistance, within acceptable limits, can help diffuse the situation for them. Making an effort, even if you’re not successful in the end, will leave the customer feeling more valued and satisfied with their experience.
If the frustration is caused by library or department rules, explain why the rule is in place. If possible, show them the rule in writing in the student worker manual.