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Five-Star Customer Service Program

Miami-Dade Public Library System

Innovation Leader: Sylvia Mora-Oña, Assistant Director, Branch & Youth Services, moras@mdpls.org

Problem Statement

The Miami-Dade Public Library System enjoyed a very comfortable rating in all public service surveys. Regardless of what the customer experience was, the Library had an approval rating in the 90+ percentile. What exactly did that rating imply? Were customers really that happy with the Library? How could we really gather meaningful information? What is the user experience we want our customers to have? We wanted to WOW! our customers and “up the ante” by making our customers aware of our new expectations.

Innovation

The first step was to develop an overall vision statement that would reflect the values of the Library and express our commitment to our customers. Vision: The Miami-Dade Public Library System will be the compelling community destination by providing a five-star customer service experience. Now that we knew what we wanted had to change the way we did business. We call it our Five-Star Commitment Program.
  1. Attitude: To be here for you. The only reason we are here is because you are here.
  2. Resources: To provide opportunities for lifelong learning and exploration. The Library is an important component in the formal or informal educational process and human development.
  3. Expertise: To be your best search engine. The Library staff has expertise and can assist you in finding the information you seek.
  4. Empowerment: To open doors for you. Information is an empowering tool. With the huge compliment of Library educational, informational and recreational programs, the Library can certainly open many doors of understanding and knowledge.
  5. Environment: To provide an inviting, comfortable, and clean Library. Since we are the compelling community place, we wanted to make sure that our customers found the Library open, clean and comfortable. This commitment impacted operations. We had to adequately budget for security, create open inviting spaces with more tables and chairs on a more “human” scale, and assure that our janitorial contracts were responsive to our needs.
The Library System developed a comprehensive in-house Five-Star training program. The entire MDPLS workforce both full time and part time received Five-Star Customer Service training and is expected to embrace the Library’s new vision and commitment. The Library Director led all employee meetings to impressing upon staff the value and importance of our new program. Every Library has a poster, prominently displayed for the public, with our Vision Statement and our Five-Star Commitment.

Progress

Twice a year we survey our citizens. We continue to get high ratings although not in every category. The difference is that now we know what the ratings mean. More importantly, staffs have become customer-centric and are daily delivering that WOW experience.