Listening to the Customer

Overview

A modern library is much like a business in that it must provide a set of products and services to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers in order to succeed and survive. With libraries now focusing more on their "customers," Listening to the Customer is a critical resource that provides effective strategies for gathering information from the client perspective in order to meet library patrons' expectations and specific information needs.

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Overview

A modern library is much like a business in that it must provide a set of products and services to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers in order to succeed and survive. With libraries now focusing more on their "customers," Listening to the Customer is a critical resource that provides effective strategies for gathering information from the client perspective in order to meet library patrons' expectations and specific information needs.

The voice-of-the-customer program described by Hernon and Matthews involves not only listening to customers, but also maintaining an ongoing dialogue with them. The book addresses different types of customers, assorted methods for gathering evidence, data reporting to stakeholders, and relevant metrics for libraries to report. The authors also devote a chapter to regaining lost customers and discuss leadership techniques and preparation steps to meet an uncertain future. Completely unique in its methodological focus, this book is one of very few titles to address the importance of library customer service in the 21st century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598847994
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/23/2011
  • Pages: 201
  • Sales rank: 1,236,927
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Listening to and Valuing Customer Comments 1

Kano Model 2

Customer Excitement with the Library 4

What Is a Library? 4

Academic Library Scenario 6

Public Library Scenario 8

Libraries Are Still Service Organizations 8

Types of Customers 9

More on Lost Customers 11

Library Brand 12

Customer Expectations 12

Are Librarians Really Aware of Customer Expectations? 13

Customer Feedback 14

Linkage to Strategic Planning 14

Concluding Thoughts 15

Notes 26

2 Obtaining Staff Buy-In 29

Leadership Throughout the Organization 30

Service Leadership 32

Resistance to Change 32

Staff Development Plan 35

A Voice-of-the-Customer Program 38

Concluding Thoughts 39

Notes 39

3 Methodologies (Structured and Solicited Approaches) for Gathering Voice-of-the-Customer Data 41

Surveys 44

Types of Error 44

Customer Expectations 45

Community Surveys 48

Interviews 52

One-on-One Interviews 52

Focus Group Interviews 52

Telephone Interviews 52

Exit Interviews 53

Community Forums 53

Mystery Shopping 54

Some Libraries Using Mystery Shopping 55

Characterizing the Results 58

Concluding Thoughts 59

Notes 66

4 Methodologies (Unstructured and Solicited Approaches) and the Presentation of Data Collected 69

Complaints 70

Compliments 71

Ways to Comment 72

Suggestions 72

Suggestion Boxes 73

Comment Cards 73

Other Forms of Comments 76

Those Posted on Web Sites 76

Comments and Suggestions Made in Surveys 76

What Are Libraries Doing? 77

Concluding Thoughts 77

Notes 86

5 Methodologies (Structured But Not Always Solicited Approaches) and Analyzing Study Findings 87

Building Sweeps as an Observation Technique 87

Some Other Methodologies 90

Usability Testing 90

Anthropological Evidence Gathering 90

Customer Ratings 92

Creating a Database 92

Analysis of Open-Ended Questions 97

Concluding Thoughts 99

Notes 99

6 Methodologies (Unstructured and Unsolicited Approaches) 101

Discovery Tools 102

Other Ways to Discover Customer Comments 103

Social Search Engines 104

Finding Information on Blogs 105

Searching on Twitter, Microblogs, and Lifestreaming Services 105

Message Boards and Forum Search Tools 106

Conversations and Comments Search Tools 107

Social News and Bookmarking Search Tools 107

Brand Monitoring Tools and Techniques 107

Application Example 108

Concluding Thoughts 108

Notes 109

7 I Was Once Lost But Now 111

Who are Your Customers? 111

Lost Customers 114

Another Meaning of Lost Customer 115

Library Nonusers 115

An Action Plan to Find Lost Customers 116

Additional Customer Intercepts 118

A Regaining Strategy 118

Adding Value 119

Concluding Thoughts 120

Notes 120

8 Analyzing and Using the Customer's Voice to Improve Service 123

Statistics 124

Tallies 124

Average 125

Variance 125

Gap Analysis 125

Quadrant Analysis 126

Conjoint Analysis 126

Qualitative Analysis 130

Benchmark Analysis 130

Data Displays 131

Examples 132

Accountability and Service Improvement 134

Using Information 134

Concluding Thoughts 135

Notes 135

9 Communication 137

Benefits for the Library 138

Benefits for the Customer 139

Benefits for Library Staff Members 140

Benefits for Funding Bodies 140

A Communications Strategy 141

Understand Your Audience 141

Provide Context 142

Perceptions That Resonate Positively 143

Be Credible 144

Improve Presentation Skills 144

Stage the Release of Information 145

Concluding Thoughts 152

Notes 153

10 Valuing Library Customers 155

Information Needs and Customer Expectations Differ 156

Customer Service Pledges 156

Myths 158

The Management Context 160

Key Metrics 161

Returning to the Library of the Future 166

An Alternative Approach 166

The Workforce of the Future 169

Concluding Thoughts 170

Notes 178

Bibliography 181

Index 193

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