News from the Reference Desk Category: Consumer

Boosting Customer Service

Some new titles in the Library’s collection were recently highlighted at a Jump Start Your Business session, a series of business programs offered by the Library and Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce.

@ Your Service : How to Attract New Customers, Increase Sales, and Grow Your Business Using Simple Customer Service Techniques / Frank Eliason. (658.812 ELI) 2012

Scammed : How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World Of Schemes, Swindles, And Shady Deals / Christopher Elliott. (332.024 ELL) 2012

Customer Service Management Training 101 : Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results / Renee Evenson. (658.3124 EVE) 2012

The Apple Experience : Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty / Carmine Gallo. (658.812 GAL)

Winning The Customer : Turn Consumers Into Fans and Get Them to Spend More / Lou Imbriano, Elizabeth King. (658.802 IMB) 2012

Uplifting Service : The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet / Ron Kaufman. (658.812 KAU) 2012

The Loyalty Leap : Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy / Bryan Pearson. (658.8343 PEA) 2012

Who’s your Gladys? : How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into Your Biggest Fan / Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest. (658.812 SUT) 2009

What’s Your Problem? / Jon Yates. (381.34 YAT) 2011

What’s FRED?

What is FRED? Short for Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED is an online database consisting of more than 55,000 economic data time series from 45 national, international, public, and private sources.

FRED, created in 1990 and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, combines data with a tools that help us understand and display economic data.

The categories that can be searched include: Money, Banking & Finance; Population, Employment & Labor Markets; Production & Business Activity; Price Indexes; International and Regional Data.

Summer Driving

The U.S. Department of Energy has a site for fuel economy information which many drivers may find helpful in saving money, finding the right car, and checking EPA ratings. Please take a look at www.fueleconomy.gov.

Social Security Benefit Estimates Now Available Online

Because of budgetary constraints, in 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped sending estimated Social Security benefit statements on paper. For a number of years these statements had been sent to all workers age 25 and older and not currently receiving Social Security benefits. In addition to listing a worker’s lifetime earnings record (the basis for Social Security benefits), the statements contained estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members.

This month (May, 2012), the SSA unveiled a program to provide the same information electronically, on the SSA website. Any individual who wishes to sign up must be at least age 18 and have a valid Social Security number, e-mail address, and United States mailing address. Create an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do

The new electronic version of the benefit estimate statement provides the same information as the paper statement, a worker’s lifetime earnings record and estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members. At the same time, the government has resumed mailing paper estimated benefit statements to workers age 60 and older who are not currently receiving Social Security benefits.