Barnes & Noble’s Above & Beyond Award recognizes booksellers for excellence in delivering extraordinary customer service, showing team spirit, going the extra mile, increasing business knowledge, and exemplifying personal growth. This year Barnes & Noble is honoring a wonderful bookseller with the 2017 Above & Beyond Award. Let’s meet the winner!
Store: Bolingbrook, IL
Exemplifies: Delivering Extraordinary Customer Service
The Perfect Match
Anne’s store manager says, “When Anne Violette (pictured right) joined our team last year as a Bookseller, we were excited for her previous experience as a former Children’s Lead at our Walpole, MA, store. In a few short months, she was promoted to fill our position as a second Children’s Lead.
“Anne’s focus on customers has been a game changer, and her dedication to meeting customers’ expectations has had a tremendous impact on the whole team. Whatever Anne is doing, she puts the customers and her co-workers first, striking the perfect balance between completing her tasks, helping others with their work, and volunteering for special projects, while successfully engaging every customer in her path. The time and care she takes with every customer ensures that their experience is memorable, and the model she sets for her fellow booksellers created a new store standard. Anne goes the distance with her customers, taking them to various departments to make recommendations or carrying their purchase to the register to complete the transaction and issue a Membership. She takes the time to build a relationship with her customers and soon we were calling her our “book concierge.”
“In Anne’s own words, ‘This is my dream job. I love working here, I love the people I work with and I love the customers.’ As her store manager, I can see Anne and Barnes & Noble are the perfect match.”
We asked Anne a few questions about her job.
What are some of your favorite books to recommend to reluctant readers?
I have a brother who is a reluctant reader. I had purchased a Science Fiction Anthology for him and he loved it. Usually I hear that they don’t have a lot of time to read or don’t have any particular genre they like, so I like to suggest some short stories or anthologies.
What book changed your life?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It was the first book I read that was not a just a story. I was on a train trip from Syracuse to Chicago and was reading that—not only did it open up a whole new type of literature to me; but it made me quite a few friends. I had several people come up to me and want to talk about the book, including a professor who was teaching a class based on it.
What upcoming children’s book are you most excited about, and why?
Actually, I think the The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan sounds like an exciting addition to this great series. I love that I have boys and girls alike coming in eager to read the whole series and then move into the next one because they found them so engaging.
What children’s book do you think everyone should read?
When I was a little girl I had a very basic book of children’s fairy tales that I read and re-read over and over. I love that we have so many beautiful fairy tale books—especially a lot of bargain ones. It gives them a great place to escape to and use their imagination.
What is your work superpower?
My smile—I love sharing it with the customers and my co-workers as much as possible.
What is the most fun part of your job?
I take it as a personal challenge to try and make each customer I interact with leave with a smile; so I am amazed and delighted to be working somewhere that not only values my interaction with the customers—but rewards it! As I told Carol—this is my dream job. It combines my two favorite things, people and books! And I do love my family here at Barnes and Noble Bolingbrook!
Congratulations to our 2017 Above & Beyond Winner!